A month from yesterday, I leave Hanoi. One month today, I land back in the UK.
I must admit, it hasn’t really hit me. The life I’ve built for the last three years is disappearing. Not all of it, of course, but huge parts. And yet, I can’t imagine it. Not properly.
In my head, I’ve pictured that first glimpse of my dad at Heathrow, how we’ll most probably (definitely) cry as we embrace for the first time in over a year. How we’ll pile mine and Oli’s hefty bags – those possessions we’ve deemed worthy of a transcontinental flight – into the boot, and chat as we whizz up the A1 on what might just seem like the wrong side of the road.
That long-awaited reconciliation with my mum, and our few days away (after my isolation). Time to talk about it all, in a newly-found coffee shop we’ve stopped off at on our drive. Caramel shortbread (ordered by me, inevitably shared in the end). The silent but sweet feeling of spending time together.
Time spent with granny and grandma. Those ‘not letting go’ hugs, beaming smiles over cake or a KitKat. Sharing photos and videos of this city they’ve never seen, and probably never will. Gasps in amazement at just what can fit on a motorbike, and relieved comments that I’ve made it back home ‘in one piece’.
I’ve thought of those reunions with friends on long summer nights (oh, how I’ve missed sunsets later than 6:30pm). Smokey BBQ scents alongside the sweet, sweet taste of berry flavoured cider. The hugs, the laughs. The supposedly highly improved range of veggie sausages and burgers grilling away as we catch up on two years worth of news, yet pick straight back up where we left off.
And yet, despite all those imagined scenes, I can’t really picture the reality of life back in England. After a few weeks with my family, we’re moving to Norwich in Norfolk. I’m sure it’ll be full of excitement: a new city to eat and drink my way around, a new county to enjoy, and a new-found eagerness to explore what the UK has to offer.
But alongside this enthusiasm for what’s to come is the haze of what I’m leaving. Mundane moments of my daily life which now seem more special given their now fleeting nature. Being woken up by roosters now seems like a better preference to an alarm. The intense humid heat feels ~for a short while~ like beautiful warmth on my pale skin. The beeping horns and worn out engines are the background melody to life here. I’ll miss them.
For the next month, I’ll be making the absolute most of this city (assuming the rumours of lockdown aren’t true!). I’ll be soaking in the sights and the sounds, working through my coffee shop bucket list and revisiting my all time favourites, and sharing it all with you on here and over on my instagram too. Join me as I embrace this change?
How do you cope with change in your life? Let me know in the comments!
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