There’s No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home

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I spent this weekend in Bratislava – it wasn’t never high on my list of places to travel, but I live pretty close to Slovakia, so I figured I might as well. It was interesting to see the contrast between Slovaks and Czechs – in terms of both language and people. While the city itself was nice enough, as I wandered around I felt if it was lacking something. There were certain streets, while baring no resemblance at all to my home town of Christchurch, that made me miss home – the home that was before the earthquake. Hearing the light and melodic Slovak spoken around me made me crave the sound of the distinct New Zealand accent. As sunset wrapped around Bratislava’s Hrad (castle), my stomach knotted and I realised that this isn’t my home. Europe is comfortable and charming, but so far I’ve  not visited anywhere that rivals the beauty and splendor of NZ.

During my brief visit, I met some wonderful people and we had those conversations that etch their way into your deepest place.  When asked where I plan to settle down, I couldn’t find a certain answer. In fact, I don’t have any eligible places in mind. That might be one of the subconscious driving forces of my travels; the desire to find somewhere that suits me. And maybe that’s the entire reason I travel: because I’m not drawn enough to one place to really commit to it and invest into it – yet.

We made a short trip to visit Devin’s castle and I stood at the top of the medieval ruins, looking out to the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers, a big part of me wished I was looking out to the Waimakariri. Snowflakes lingered in the breeze while I realised for the first time, on this trip, that I’m aching for New Zealand. This time next week I’ll be somewhere in London, on the edge of another amazing adventure. In twenty six days I’ll have my feet firmly planted back on New Zealand’s soil. While I’m really excited to be going home again, I’m looking forward to leaving, too: when something is fleeting you clutch onto it and treasure it more than you might otherwise have.

Devin Castle

I haven’t been in an English speaking country since July last year. I wonder if I’m going to suffer reverse culture shock from being able to approach anyone and have a fluent, fluid conversation with them.  I also wonder if I’m the only one who constantly gets asked for directions, but only in countries that aren’t my own? Today I was asked for directions in Bratislava twice by Slovaks – What?

10 Comments

  • vegemitevix says:

    I completely understand that aching for New Zealand. I’ve been in England 4 yrs this year, and I still feel it keenly. It’s not just people I miss, but the very land itself.

    • Izy Berry says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one – it’s the deepest ache I’ve ever felt. I miss family and friends, but I expected that. Have you been home to visit in the four years? Ps. I’m a vegemite girl, too!

      • vegemitevix says:

        I’ve been back to Nz with Englishman and my three Kiwi kids once in four years, and back to Australia where my family is, twice. That’s the hardest part. If only it was just one long haul flight from here rather than two. Hang in there there’s lots of Kiw stuff and pix on ma blog. vix

  • Sabrina says:

    There really isn’t. I think part of that is that things remind you of experiences and conversations with loved ones. No new place could ever offer that type of connection or comfort.

    • Izy Berry says:

      I think you’re right. Let’s figure out how to invent a shrinking machine, then we can shrink our family, carry them in our pockets and take them to all our favourite places? Good plan?

  • Stacey says:

    Completely agree. Sometimes you just get a complete inexplicable longing for home, and for me it always happens at the weirdest times-not necessarily when I’m alone or sad. The best part about going home is looking foward to leaving though! Oh by the way it looks like we almost know each other lol-you’re friends with my cousin Hayley!

    • Izy Berry says:

      Haha, which friend Hayley? I have a cousin called Hayley but I doubt it’s the same one. Just proves NZ is pretty small. I’m glad you understand me on the leaving part too – I intentionally booked my trip home to be a little shorter than I might have liked, so that it’s amazing and I never once wish away my time there. Eeep! So excited. Thanks for all your lovely comments, nice to have you here, potential cousin 😉 x

  • Stacey says:

    Haha no worries. My cousin is Hayley Smith, I just noticed you posted on her facebook status and I was like “aha I knew it!” I went home for two weeks at Christmas (had a couple of decent earthquakes which spoiled it a bit), but two weeks was definitely enough to see most people, and I was ready to get on a plane again after so much family time lol.

    • Izy Berry says:

      Ah ha! Hayley’s awesome and not my cousin 😉 Christchurch is so small. Feel free to add me on FB if you wanna keep in touch, I’m hoping to meet some more travel focused people on my adventures as I’m almost the only one in my social group. Yeah the earthquakes suck… majorly. Haha yeah, maximum family time threshold reached hehe.

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