I’ve lived in so many places over the last 27 years that it’s hard to say where my hometown is. The longest I spent in one town/city were my teen years in Newark, England for 8 years, followed by Manchester (minus the hiatus to the South) for 7 years and my 5 years of primary school in Aberdeen, Scotland. I guess I would have to say Newark. Because I moved the least in this town. 2 houses in total. Which for me is pretty damn impressive. That and your teenage years are quite an important stage in your life. It’s where you are shaped, where you tend to become the person you are today.
I will honestly admit that when I lived in Newark, I wasn’t the happiest. I was a lonely kid who’s best friend was my mum and I would retire to the TV room and stay there every day after school. Newark was a dull place to be a teenager in the noughties and I was constantly plotting my escape. There were no high street shops to speak of (apart from New Look, Dorothy Perkins and Etam), no cinema and it was home to one nightclub. Our second house was on a new estate that had nothing and there was no public transport to speak of.
Though it wasn’t all doom and gloom. My last year of Newark was a happier one when I was in my second year at college and went to parties at friends houses. Thanks mum for driving me. Oh and Accessorize opened! I will admit I was excited. I will give it credit though, it made me super determined to get out of there. It pushed me towards Manchester as it was further away and it pushed me to get my drivers license ASAP.
Things have changed a lot since I left 9 years ago. They have a cinema now, ha ha. And our estate where our family house still resides has actually become a small village now with a couple of shops and a pub. Walking around today (last year really, I haven’t been back since Christmas!) I can appreciate the beauty of the place. It’s gorgeous and full of history. The buildings are a mix of centuries past in the market square and there’s lots of cute cafes and restaurants. It’s an ideal place if you’re raising a young family or are retired.
As much as I like my hometown of Newark (now!), my heart will always belong to Manchester – the first place I could truly call home. I fought to get here and I fought to get back. I really don’t see myself leaving. It may have taken moving 25 times but this nomad is here to stay.
What was your hometown like? Did you plot your own escape?