I was craving a road trip. No wonder – it’s been over 8 months since I left my hometown. That might not seem like a long time to most people, but for me – the last few years I’ve been disappearing every 4 months to somewhere new.
I packed an overnight bag, jumped in my car and off I went on a 3 and a half hour journey. I listened to my top summer hits from 2017 and thought about the year that I so desperately miss. I continued to think deeply, and thought about this year so far. I felt down and my mood worsened, as I realised I haven’t achieved nothing.
So what was I going to get out of this trip? Most importantly, I wanted to clear my head. Things had felt messy for a long time, and things didn’t feel like they were going to get sorted anytime soon. When I approached the city that I once knew all so well, memories came flooding back and faces of my Auntie’s became much more clearer in my head. It’s strange, because before I came back to the city I struggled to remember what they looked like the last time I saw them. Yes, I have photo’s of them from their younger days. But a more a recent image I couldn’t imagine.
I’ve been to Bournemouth many times before. I first came here in 2007, when I met two of my Grandad’s sisters for the first time. They’re both not alive anymore, but my parents still visit here often for a weekend break, and to attend their properties that they own. If I lived here, I would still see my parents often – which is another benefit of moving to Bournemouth in the future.
The first day, I decided to go to Costa Coffee for breakfast and a cappuccino at 9:00am. I sat in the window and watched people as they started their day. It had been a long time since I treated myself to a coffee elsewhere other than in my own home. And while Costa Coffee isn’t the nicest of shops (meaning I don’t hate it, but there are nicer places) I really enjoyed my morning. I began to think about university, and how my previous thoughts were to attend the University of Bournemouth. The excitement that I once had, came back. Suddenly I wanted to move here again. I wanted a new start somewhere that was still quite familiar to me. I was listening to the voices around me, most of them with Polish and Australian accents. It was nice. It kind of felt like I was far away, but yet so close to home.
I now have it in my head. I want Bournemouth to be my future city. My family compare me to one of my Auntie’s, Mary Bray. She was very independent, worked as a Prison Officer and obviously, never married or had children. When I first met Mary in 2007, I instantly took a liking to her. Not just because she was family, but because she was a very honest and likable person, with a great sense of humor. When she passed away I remember crying for a long time. I helped empty her flat and she had a picture of me on her bedside table, which I have never forgot.
I walked around the city all day. I walked to the beach and although it was raining, it was still incredibly busy. People were in the sea – how I do not know….the water must of been freezing! I took pictures of the colourful sheds and sat down on a bench nearby. Somehow looking out into the sea puts me at ease. The beach feels like home.
It was very cloudy all weekend and rain was very on and off. But it was still enjoyable and I had plenty of exercise walking around the beach and the city.
This trip away gave me all the answers that I needed so urgently. Sometimes you need that time away with nobody that knows you around you. Friends and family influencing your thought process isn’t always a good thing. We must do what is best for ourselves, but only we know the answer to all the questions.
Bournemouth is in my past, and it’s definitely in my future.
A 24 year old from the Midlands, always looking to escape her hometown for an adventure.