Home sweet home credit: Kaye Holland
If adventures won’t befall a young woman in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” So wrote Jane Austen in her novel Northanger Abbey.
Growing up in Watford - a town Lonely Planet once labelled as “the kind of place that makes you want to travel” - Jane Austen’s words resonated with me.
There’s nothing really wrong with Watford per se but I couldn’t help thinking: there has be more to life than this corner of Hertfordshire?
So at 18, after finishing school, I escaped Down Under on a gap year. I followed this up by spending my university summers working as an au pair in Switzerland.
At 25 I made my way to the Middle East where I lived and worked with Emiratis for three years, before swapping Arabia for the Caribbean. China came calling after the Cayman Islands, followed by Argentina and Hawaii.
Fast forward to 2017 and I’m finally back ‘home’ in London, by all accounts one of the greatest cities in the world.
Don’t get me wrong - I do love London’s bright lights, black cabs, cultural wealth and amazing restaurants and get where Sir Samuel Johnson was coming from when he famously remarked: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
But my experiences and adventures abroad have shown me that life outside of London is just as valid, as life in London.
Here’s how living abroad changes you…