I was born in Dartford, England. We lived in Wilmington, 25 km south east of London. My family moved to Australia just before I turned 7. And as soon as I arrived here I felt like an outsider. In time I would realise that my place of birth was only part of the reason. But at the time I reacted by discarding my English-ness. I did my best to lose my accent. I happily subscribed to the local view of an irrelevant mother England.
I had a casual interest to go back but it never materialised until 2010. And as soon as we arrived, as soon as I opened the curtains of the hotel on that first morning it felt like coming home. The intensity of that feeling and the sadness when we left took me by surprise. Since then I have been slowly reacquainting myself with my homeland. Wondering what it means to be English.
This trip will be my fourth time back to the UK. So far I've spent the most time in London, my favourite place in the world. But this time I've decided to venture further afield. To discover other parts of my homeland and hopefully connect with a broader dimension of the land that is in my blood. To explore my heritage.