Maid in England | Reflections

I’ve been back in my home country of England for ten days now, and we have hit our half way mark already. We make it over from Seattle only about once every two years and then 2-3 weeks go by in a flash. Half way means that my man has just gone back to Seattle (so he can get back to work), and it means that the rest of my time will evaporate way too fast…
I’ve been living in the States for just about 19 years now, from exchange student, to college student, to movie-maker, and now mama and photog. That’s a long time, a long history. But I’m always homesick for England, as much as I love my adopted city of Seattle. So when I come back here, I start wondering what my life would’ve been like had I stayed, how it could be if we moved back, and I appreciate the little things so much more.
I love how so much stays the same, how the countryside is still pristine, how London still speeds ahead in the midst of all that culture and with its historical landmarks all intact, how I can feel at home as soon as I land.
They say you don’t appreciate something (somewhere?) until it’s gone; I suppose my absence from the UK has made my love for it grow. I can hear now the echoes of those who say ‘well, why don’t you just move back then?’. That’s a big move and it’s not easy. There’s a lot to consider when you make a huge move, and this time I have a family to consider, animals who would have to sit in quarantine, belongings to ship, new immigration dealios to contend with…the list is long.
I don’t travel much anymore, alas, and while these may be akin to someone’s vacation/holiday photos, they hold more sentimentality for me. They aren’t just travel photos or a documentation of ‘been there, done that’; they are pieces of me, things that I hold in my heart.
When you adopt a new country as your home, you still hold pieces of other places you have lived close to you. Born in England, but raised chiefly in Hong Kong, those countries are a part of me. And I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for close to 20 years now, longer than anywhere, so then I wonder how I might feel should we move back across the pond at some point.
This is the first trip back here to the UK where I have been struggling with emotions that are saying I wish I could stay, if only it weren’t for some friends back in the States, my beloved animals and a slice of the amazing Seattle. I see the excitement in my 5 year old of being surrounded by family here (family on both sides are in the South East of the States and in England, so all of them are far).
I had far less fear when I made the move over here when I was 20…I have different fears for myself and my child today. I’m impressed by those who can take the leap of a big move; my parents did that with us when we moved from England to Hong Kong, when I was just 4, and my brother was 2. My life would be very different today if my parents hadn’t been so bold, and I feel so fortunate that they did what they did.
Great changes happen when you make bold decisions and take risks (calculated or otherwise!).
What I must do at the least when I return to Seattle, is have us at least move house, amongst other things. Being away gives me perspective on the things that are to be put on my
‘action’ list, so while a big move back here may not happen just yet, I do now at least have renewed energy for quite a few things…and I plan to go home with a fair amount of English chocolate and sweeties to tide me over…until next time.
Some iPhone moments from me to you…
Cheers from England! Xo ~ K

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Vancouver Venture | Reflections

Well this little photog got to get out of town to Vancouver BC briefly this week – a very rare occasion – so no cleaning, child disciplining, dog-walking, or kitty-litter-scooping were done for a whole 48 hours. I didn’t even break open my laptop, do any photo-editing or check my email. Divine.
I did get to take in a lot of amazing sites in Vancouver, a city I’ve not been to in years, and had some precious adult time with my honey. Entirely too many photos were taken: I brought along my DSLR, plus my little Yunon 35mm, and couldn’t resist buying a Lomo ActionSampler, which takes 4 small shots in 1 second, exposed on one 35mm frame. And of course there was my trusty iPhone in my hand at all times for photo-taking too. Yep, too many.
There were photos I wish I could have taken though; I don’t mean the required scenic shots, the landmarks, or even catching a sunset (there was a gorgeous one last night)… Driving through what can best be called the ‘sketchy’ part of town, Chinatown, I couldn’t help but be struck by the part of the city that most people try to avoid. We only went there via taxi (advised by several that walking would be a really bad idea) to get to a gig for the band Redd Kross, which my man has been following for about 20 years. Over just a few blocks, and those were just a few over from the heavily-touristed Gastown, we saw glimpses of the dark recesses of urban life, the addicts, the homeless, the sick, the vagrant, the lost and hungry. Dark, dark streets.
I only say I wish I could have taken those photos (and I wouldn’t be taking my camera out there at 11pm) because I think it’s easy to forget there is a not-so-pretty side of every city, but that is very much a part of it. It’s sad and scary, and can be downright depressing but there are countless stories there to be told, ones that for now I’m not brave enough to tell with my own camera.
Anyway, I hope I’ll be back in BC again soon. Here are a few of my cell phone moments. Enjoy the view!
xo ~ K

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