It’s been 4 years since I moved to London in 2013.
For the first couple of years it has been really hard. I never was the one who wanted to move from Moscow. I had wonderful life there and was sure I was going to the UK just for education. When I realised I’m actually moving, I became quite depressed. Everything was wrong, all the every day details of my new life felt completely alien. I wasn’t living my life, I was observing it from the outside.
That was when I decided to try and put together all the factors that I needed to feel "home away from home”.
When you live somewhere for 24 years, so many things seem to be natural, like they exist by default. You don't really think, that it took you that long to organically surround yourself with all the beautiful and warm things. Not just friends and family, dozens of favourite places and little corners of the city. You know exactly where to go depending on your evening mood, you have a few options who can join you, if something is wrong you know who to call, the city is covered with the “emotional anchors” - here you were running barefoot under the rain with 30 people from your favourite band’s fan club, here you broke up with the first love of your life, here you took your first “professional” picture..
It’s really hard to start living in a place with which you don’t have any emotional relationships whatsoever.
We as humans are driven to what is familiar, and when we encounter something that is not, we find ourselves feeling lost. We want to feel at home. We need to feel at home.
So I decided to start creating new memories, habits, social circles. I realised, that trying to stay within the comfort of the Russian speaking community was not an option and that the language definitely wasn’t enough to connect me with people. Now I’m so grateful for all the wonderful like minded individuals I met thanks to that move 4 years ago! I would have never met them if I had stayed.
All my professional life is now concentrated in London. I found out to my great pleasure, that creatively I totally belong here. And it actually feels good to have 2 homes.
Home is where I am.