swimming on …
Today I am wondering why I feel the need always (or perhaps more percisely — up to this point in my life) to move, to swim on to the next thing? Is it in my DNA (people have always moved) or is it something in my mind?
planning versus not
I’m in Valencia, Spain, re-visiting to check on the seed of an idea planted 6 months ago to move here next year. I planned this second visit months ago, before I knew the flat where I live now (in London) would be sold and force me to move … somewhere else (in London) before moving to Spain.
Ever since we got the news about the sale of the flat, I feel like I’ve drifted from certainty about my housing swiftly to juggling uncertainty: I will live in this flat until I move to Spain … to not sure … to certainty that I won’t.
OK, so if not in the flat, then where? On a boat. OK, so what will that be like? And what does this mean for the
planned time line? December seems soon now with this about to be discovered adventure of life on the water. Or not. It may be tedious, dreadful and hard. Then we go. As soon as we can. Or … something entirely unexpected.
Meanwhile I sit in Valencia on lovely beaches, sleep late, dwaddle in the morning over coffee and art, and wonder whether my time would be ‘better’ spent sorting some cupboards in London and preparing to move?
Maybe not. I also really need a break.
leaping to a new mindset
So it’s good to discover that, and have the time to give it deeper thought.
Six chilly London months ago, I could easily imagine living here in sunny Valencia, but my brain now resists fast-forwarding to that idea. I am astonished to realise that I will miss London, and especially, generally the River Lea, and most especially the Hackney Marshes.
Almost too late (but not) I am realising how lucky I’ve been to live a ten-minute walk from a grasslands area called the Hackney Marshes, part of the Lea Valley Regional Park, a green cooridor running from the convergence of the River Lea with the Thames up 42 kilometres to Ware in Hertfordshire.
It is a green area I realise now that I have largely taken for granted.
Valencia in January was hugely attractive in the way a warm, sunny place with friendly residents and excellent food and beverage can be when on holiday and freed from the everday routine of work and dark, cold, dreary winter London days.
Valencia in the summer is a beach in the city (it reminds me of Barcelona that way) and nearby (cycling less than an hour) is the soothing national park the Albufera (think Mediterrian pine forest, sand dunes, fresh water lagoon and beach), and seemingly endless fields planted with paella rice.
Valencia also has its own attractive and unique river, the Turia Gardens, 6.5 kilometres of nature. The Turia River was diverted in the 1960s, after severe flooding, and the old river bed is now a city park.
I have yet to find anything comparable to the nourishing, green expanse of the Lea Valley in Valencia. But I have not been everywhere in the city, nor into the nearby moutains, or further south.
Checking-in with myself I note that I am not having a change of heart, just a change of opinion about the advantages of planning ahead, and greater clarity about the importance of easy access to ‘untamed’ nature to my well-being.
I am still keen to (one day soon-ish) live in Valencia. But moving on to the boat is giving my life an unexpected and sudden burst of excitement and adventure to my (what was becoming routine and boring) life that I didn’t anticipate when I was here in February.
I like surprises. And I am OK with some uncertainty.
So hey ho, here I go: throwing myself over the waterfall of change, going with the flow and looking for a rock to grasp yet still flow.