So, we have passed six months in Valencia. Sunny, hot, beautiful Valencia. Next week, however, we are leaving for a month in England. Everyone says that the heat in Valencia is unbearable in August, and I expect that everyone is right. So we will pack up our beloved Victor Hugo (our VW Camper van) and head North for the summer. This is the first time that I have left Spain in the height of summer, knowing that I will be returning to the same place in September. This is a huge relief, as I do not have to contend with the prospect of Winter in England, phew.
If you have read any of my other posts, you will know how alive I feel in a Mediterranean climate; how relieved I feel to see the sun every day and how good this makes life in general feel. So you may be surprised to read that I am actually looking forward to several things about a month in the North of England. Here we go…
- Spending time with family and old friends; obviously.
- The beach in the photo above. It certainly isn’t a beach of golden sand and clear waters, but I grew up by this beach. I have seen the Irish Sea breach the sea walls; close the promenade in Winter and wash up thousands of starfish in summer. This beach and sea have an energy that courses through my veins. The sunsets are spectacular; unrivalled by any others I have seen. A walk on this beach is refreshing and energising. The same cannot be said of the golden sands of Valencia’s beach, which I also love, in a different way.
- More variety in the supermarkets! Terrible though the reputation of English food is, our traditional, bland cuisine has paved the way for creativity in the kitchen. In countries like Spain, France and Italy, which all have their own culinary traditions, there isn’t the same need for the variety and fusion that we have in the UK. However, in Spain, this means that the supermarkets all sell the same ingredients, which can be quite boring if you want to cook something a little more exotic than paella.
- Connected to the point above: all the food we eat at home, and out, in England which is unavailable here! Sandwiches, scones, Victoria sponge, tea, quiche, pies, English ham, Quorn, pub food…Ah, bring it on!
- A population which is generally spacially aware. I am looking forward to people who look where they are going; who aren’t practically in my back pocket when I am queueing at the supermarket; who don’t stop in the shop doorway/at the top of the escalator/in the middle of the road to have a chat. This irks me no end so I’ll stop now.
- Changing skies and weather. After almost six months of blue skies, sunshine and increasingly hot temperatures, I will appreciate some cooler weather and variety; just for a month though! I am also a little apprehensive about what will feel like a huge drop in temperature for us. It has currently been around 32C on average. Back home it’s around 18C, at the height of summer. I really feel the cold, even in summer, so I’ll be packing jeans and jumpers for our ‘summer’ back home!
So, we’re leaving our current home to go back home for a month. When you are a traveller, anywhere you make connections feels like home. Still, wherever you call home, there will always be something, and someone you miss.