Ten years (or so) on, I’ve revisited one of the places in my life that I feel has shaped me as a person – unbeknown to my naïve self, when it seemed more important to play on my game boy, or ‘do something fun!’, Or even leave the beach because of being bored, being in the countryside and its fresh air, was one of the best things my parents ever decided to do with my sister and me.
At twenty-four, I miss the fresh air; the sound of nothing when you wake up in the morning, the smell of burning wood from the surrounding cottages, seeing fields of green tumble in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of escape; the feeling that although the city offers everything you could ever want, the countryside offers tranquillity. It never dawned on me, my little fiery, argumentative and stubborn thirteen-year-old self, how much I would appreciate this world within the world I live in currently.
It’s easy to leave the cottage with no makeup and with no real effort made to what I choose to wear; at thirteen, I wanted to look like I ‘belonged’.. I’m not even too sure what kind of thought that was at that age. Where could I have belonged? This was the countryside, not the playground. I got grumpy when the walk was too long, I stomped my little trotters at the thought of going to the antiques shop, or even to the local pub for dinner. Now, I’m waiting back at the cottage, patiently anticipating my family’s return so that hopefully, we can revisit the antiques shop over the river, and make an afternoon trip to one of our favourite towns. What I would also give to eat at the local pub, every single night.
Surrounding yourself within a fast-paced environment, and being part of a fast-paced, ever-changing industry, is one of the reason why disappearing to the countryside ever so often, has become a dream (rather than a dislike) of mine recently. When the atmosphere is peaceful, with no sirens or late-night music, and the air feels fresh and pore-cleansing against my skin, I look back at my thirteen-year-old self and think, I’m grateful that I was dragged here in the first place.
Location : Umberleigh, Devon.