Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Waiting for my New Zealand tourist visa to reset, I've been dabbling with nomadic living in the UK. It's been a rather weird Summer full of highs and lows.
Staithes, Yorkshire - Prints Available
I've seen some beautiful places (like the Yorkshire coast... who knew!?), learnt some lessons, and time and time again I've been reminded that I have so many wonderful people in my life. Experimenting with being nomadic has been a really uncomfortable chapter of my life and having friends and strangers open their doors to host me, often for weeks at a time has challenged my beliefs that I'd somehow be an inconvenience.
East Hagbourne Church - Prints Available
Having a house-sit in East Hagbourne has been a life saver (thanks Liz!) and it's taught me a lot. I now know that I'm perfectly happy living on my own. I love the freedom and space! Oh such space! BUT the location is important. I've really missed the easy access to evenings clubs and activities. Not to mention the friends who came with those! Working from home means things like climbing walls, life drawing and yoga are essential for my mental health and I've really felt the lack of them. Self care and combating isolation have been a daily challenge.
RSPB Bempton Cliffs - Prints Available
Not having to pay rent has also been one hell of a perk but that too is double edged sword. I was really looking forward to "being able to save properly for the first time in my life!" but in reality it becomes waaaaay to easy to get away with just doing less work! It's highlighted just how much my anxiety plays a roll in developing new business (or lack of) and I would benefit from pushing this comfort zone just as much as in my adventures. Arguably more so. Even when my outgoings are low and I feel "safe". On that note... if you need an animator or illustrator lets chat! ;)
Aviemore Train Station - Prints Available
Scotland was a strange one. It challenged me in ways that I just didn't see coming. I had a super kind host take me under his wing but with all my key friendships being hundreds of miles south I quickly found myself feeling isolated, I was also surprised and dismayed to discover that when it came to things like "just popping off to do the West Highland Way" or "getting on a ferry and exploring the islands"... I just didn't have it in me. I had wrongly assumed that all my experience whilst stuck in New Zealand had made me super confident in the realm of solo travelling. But in reality I didn't have a choice in a lot of it back then. When it comes to sticking my neck out ON PURPOSE, I've had to face the reality that I'm actually still scared of a heck of a lot! I couldn't book a week of accommodation on a famous established hiking route and it felt like I was right back at the beginning of my anxiety diagnosis. Which is of course nonsense!
St Pauls Cathedral - Prints Available
The hardest thing though, unsurprisingly, has been the ever looming feeling of being displaced. Not having a base to call my own. It's hard to describe but it's as if I don't belong anywhere... and yet kind of belong everywhere all at once. Visiting London, I immediately snapped back into "London mode" and I loved returning way more than I thought I would. Coffees with friends. Local climbing walls. Boardgame nights. It felt "right" and like being trapped abroad had never even happened... until I'd pinch myself and remember I don't actually live there any more. My trips to Carlisle and Yorkshire were the same. Immediately feeling at home in the company of my friends. And then the sadness of remembering it's always fleeting visit. Looking at it in the right light, it's kind of beautiful. To feel at home in so many places all at once, and to have the best network of friends I could wish for. I'm truly a lucky man. But the temporary nature of it all; the living out of two bags. It's also plain exhausting! I'm excited to get stuck into the next six months of travelling (because who needs UK Winter, eww) but in the long run I'm not sure how sustainable it is to be bimbling about. At some point I'm going to need my own roof over my head. Where that will be exactly is anyone's guess!
Saltburn - Prints Available
Thanks for reading! All my artwork is available as prints/mugs/posters etc.
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