Over the past two years I’ve visited the airport more times than I’d like to count. I’m always filled with that new trip anticipation, but there’s always an element of the unknown, even if you’ve planned the adventure to the very last detail. Landing back on home ground is a whole different story; as soon as my feet walk off that airplane I’m comforted by the unpredictable grey weather that greets me and the promise of a great cup of tea. This post is in collaboration with Heathrow Airport; they are celebrating what Britishness means to you and conducted an anthropological study on what ‘Modern Britain’ means in 2018. We live in such a diverse multicultural country, and Heathrow Airport is a microcosm of people from different cultures and backgrounds which all add to that contemporary sense of Britishness.
I’ve grown up and lived in a place called Surrey all of my life (which is about 40 minutes out of London). It’s a place where the countryside meets suburbia and is mainly filled by commuters wanting the best of both worlds. It’s not necessarily the place I live that fills me with that sense of home comfort but more the little details you wouldn’t find anywhere else but in Britain. I thought I’d share a few things I look forward to coming home to after being away for a while.
It seems like a simple one, but it’s not necessarily about drinking a cup of tea, it’s more about what it represents. A time to sit still in the morning or take a break from my laptop when I’m working. It’s that close friend who rings you as soon as you get back and asks when they’re going to see you to have a cup of tea and a chat. It’s such a British tradition and one that I’ll never get bored of.
Most people would describe the weather in the UK as miserable and at times you could be lucky to experience all four seasons in one day. Having dogs, I journey out for that 40 minute walk in all weathers, but funnily enough it’s a ritual I miss when I travel. There’s something comforting about begrudgingly putting my coat on and walking out the door and sharing that very British chipper exchange with all the other people out walking their dogs in the insane weather. It’s something that clears my head and makes me feel alive, traipsing through those well know woodland paths and then arriving home to the warm is one of my favourite things.
No other city has ever come close to comparing to this beautiful place. It’s the combination of the buildings, the people and how all of these can change as you travel from East to West, and North to South. It’s so rich in culture, taking influences from all over the world and bringing them together in one place. It’s always somewhere that sparks inspiration and motivates me.
The UK has so many influences from all over the world, when I’m travelling I find myself craving things like my nan’s spaghetti bolognese that she was taught how to make by my Italian Grandpa’s sisters, or that take away curry that doesn’t compare to any other I’ve tasted on my travels. It’s the act of cooking a meal for yourself in the evening and having all the things around you that you need to cook, compared to a hotel room tray or evening restaurant shuffle.
It’s that daily visit to your local coffee shop, or reading a few pages of a book before you go to sleep. Travelling is a wonderful adventure that doesn’t encompass any parts of your normal routine. This is one of the reasons why I will always crave those free feelings you get when you travel and I’ll always have that desire to travel somewhere new, but it’s the routine of everyday life that I start to miss after being away for a longer period of time.
I miss the people I leave in the UK every time I travel, my friends who have been my friends since secondary school and my family who at any opportunity will invite me round for a Sunday Roast. If I could take everyone I loved with me, I could travel forever!
Heathrow airport is the gateway to new adventures and experiences, but also the gateway back to everything that makes the UK feel like home to me too.
They’ve also collaborated with Caleb Femi, the Young People’s Laureate for London, to create a piece of poetry that represents the celebration of British culture that you find in the arrivals and departures of Heathrow Airport. Take a look at the video below:
To find out more about Heathrow Airport and Caleb’s collaboration take a look at Heathrow Airport’s blog post here and follow along with the conversation on social media by using #LHRxCaleb.
This is post is sponsored by Heathrow Airport, all thoughts and opinions are my own.