It’s been longer than I’d like to admit since I last sat down and blogged. Life has changed since then. As I speak (type), this blog post is the result of ignoring multiple reminders on my phone reminding my future self to update my blog *hangs head in shame*. Due to a lot of moving and putting myself and my career first – content on my blog was quiet for a while. Since this blog post is titled ‘Leaving Leiden for London’, I should probably explain.
Last year I was living in Leiden, the Netherlands – one of the many countries I’ve had the privilege of calling home (for now). At the end of 2015, I made the decision to move back to the UK. It’s where I’m from and the place that I left 4 years ago to travel the world in search of well, as cliché as it sounds but, myself. I left as a bright-eyed 21 year old excited to see the world and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I caught my first solo flight to Florida and didn’t look back, moving to France soon after and not long after that, San Francisco, Munich and most recently, Canada and the Netherlands. My blog had a constant stream of travel content as I took every opportunity I was given and ran with it. I started Making Apple Pie From Scratch in 2012 as a result of the new experiences I had abroad and in order to share the fascinating science I was communicating.
I returned home as a 25 year old woman that pretty much knows what she wants and that the place to get it is back where it all started, in London. Leaving Leiden for London, I began 2016 in my new (old) home and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Fast forward 4 months and I’m now living the life that I envisioned from the start. Working for the brilliant National Physical Laboratory – I communicate science right from the place where it’s done, working closely with the inspiring minds that do so. It’s great to remain involved with European science but to do so with research conducted in the UK, for the UK and the rest of the world. I love the innovative inventions that arise from international collaboration and co-operation in science.
After years of living and working abroad, it took returning home to realise that it’s the simple things that matter the most. To me anyway. A job that inspires me. My loved ones. A car that I can finally call mine (and practice my driving with)! And a country that I can always call home. Perhaps it’s boring. Perhaps it’s predictable. And yes, at times I do miss the excitement of landing somewhere new, but I know that the world is still out there.
I think that the “quit your job to travel” attitude that a lot of millennial-targeted articles out there have, portray travelling through some very rose-tinted lenses. In my opinion, this approach leaves room to not fully appreciate the life that you have already made for yourself. I hope that by sharing my story, others can relate to and realise that travelling doesn’t have to be a black or white quit-your-job-tomorrow-and-deplete-your-savings- type luxury decision. It can be something to work towards, whilst carving out an everyday life is fulfilling, inspiring and is simply enough. Without that feeling of something lacking.
Moving home has allowed me to set myself up professionally and financially so that travelling will always remain a big part of my life. Because, after changing country every few months, catching a flight every other weekend and packing and unpacking countless times, I grew tired of my ever-changing location and longed for something a bit more normal. And if you ask me, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of normal.
p.s check if you ditched your world travels for a 9-5 job too, then this article might resonate with you like it did for me too.