Home is where the heart is

Bloody Hell, I’ve done it again. A few weeks ago I lost my credit card…for second time this year…in a foreign country. The first time, occurred on the Island of Koh Phangan during girls night out, meaning, somewhere between the the bars, the drive and the stumbled walk to our room, I misplaced my card. Which lead to the next morning, frantically searching bushes and ditches, only to wind up at some internet cafe to contact ANZ. Luckily for me, the kiwi guy on the other end had great banter and lifted my spirits, assuring me I would have a brand new card awaiting me on my return.

This time however, I was not so lucky. It all started on a hot Sunday afternoon, when I had finally puckered up the courage to explore the city of Valencia, all by myself. I had made it to the train station thanks to my handy navigation system and thought it was best I grabbed some money before venturing into the middle of a city, where the only thing I could say was ‘water’ and ‘friend’. With a few ‘erms’ and ‘uhhs’ I managed to fluke my way through the Spanish ATM system, or so I had thought. Until I was rudely interrupted, in full English might I add, by a sign that popped up reading ‘Sorry, your card has been withheld until further notice” – Furious, I stormed away, leaving behind the ATM and my only source of cash for the next couple of months. And before I knew it, my legs were leading, self-control dwindling, and emotions fuelling, I was holding a chocolate croissant, having responsibly spent my last bit of change.

*I am not ashamed of my response to this event. I was both confused and phased by emotion therefore unable to effectively process the ordeal and act appropriately.

Eventually, I made my way back to the hotel, and set myself up in the hotel lobby, to once again contact my lovely and caring bank, ANZ. I must mention, I have great luck in reaching ‘cute voiced’ men when contacting my bank, as I was once again charmed by his concern and continual understanding through my stress and outpour of emotions. Yet no matter how caring and affectionate this man could be, there was one thing he could not give me. Well…actually there were many things he could not give me, but most importantly was my card. For, as I was half way through my security questions I was momentarily speechless when asked for my home address… stuttering…the only reply I could give was…”I don’t know…” holding the silence a little longer for dramatic effect, I went on to explain my travelling situation and lack of home address. After twenty minutes of back and forth reasonings as to why I couldn’t just ‘come home and pick up another’, I was left grumpy and cardless for the next couple of months.

I never knew I would, at one point in my life, be without a home. An address to send your excess baggage, a place to dream of when on the open road, a sight to see upon the voyage home. Its all a bit unsettling to be honest, the unknown haze in an area of your life that should be so sure and so stable. Before leaving New Zealand at the start of the year I had three homes I could call upon when in need of food and shelter. Firstly, my family home, of which there have been 11, so in other words, my most current family home, which was abandoned in high hopes for the ‘new and improved’ family home. However it is currently non-exisitent but should be complete in 2034. Another home being my ‘short-term’ flat, a place where my friends and I made terrible life decisions and ate way too many pringles. And while my friends are probably (hopefully) still doing just that, I am unable to pay for an empty room (that doesn’t exist because they are all full) in hope of holding onto a home. And lastly, my best friend’s house, a place where I could find the key and set off the alarm, due to the fact I could never remember the code, yet still have enough time to steal some food, try on her clothes and leave the door locked behind me. Another place gone, as she has moved back with her parents and will be moving once again in a few weeks.

So where is my home? Well, currently I am living in some old coach house in Upper Brailes in the North of England, next week however I will slumming it in the hostels of Croatia, after that, well I shall keep that a surprise. Yet, in referral to the title of this post, my heart is in New Zealand. And as much as I try to deny my connections with this country and live completely free of ties and certainty. I know this will always be my base, as I travel, as I relocate and as I empty out my bank account, I will inevitably be drawn back to this place I call home, whether or not that involves an actual house.

So heres to being homeless, and slightly unsure about life. I’ll drink to that!

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