I am currently on the plane flying to London for a few days in the WildKat PR London office. It’s funny, London never felt like home when I was living there, yet flying over from Berlin it does somehow feel like I’m going “back”, maybe not “home”, but certainly somewhere very familiar. I’ve not been away long, but I am sure there will still be things that stand out after having spent a few weeks living in a different country.
Turns out it wasn’t 5th week, only 4th week, but hopefully I’ve helped to ward off the blues for my brother with my quick trip to Cambridge, visiting him in his Cambridge digs. We had a great time at Formal Hall (although Jesus College wins on the food front), and it was nice to meet some of Henry’s new friends.
Being back in Cambridge has brought back lots of memories, many positive, some negative, and has made me feel quite nostalgic. It made me think I’d do things differently if I were to have another go – did I feel regret? frustration? disappointment? Or just a realisation at how much of the huge amount that was on offer that anyone would inevitably be unable to make the most of? It made me feel very proud of my younger brother and the caring, inquisitive and fun gentleman he is turning into.
I couldn’t quite work out if I’d like to do it again or not. The churning feeling in my stomach I used to get when set an essay with a never-ending reading list, having no idea where to start, and the impression that I knew nothing about the subject in hand, is not something I miss. But the opportunity to be in a place of such great learning, surrounded by people who are also (mostly) eager to learn, to discuss, to think, to explore – that is something very special. Particularly when it comes without the inconvenient hassles associated with flat hunting, rental contracts, gas bills, having to food shop and cook after a long day at work, installing internet etc. Having recently moved to a new city, it also felt very comforting to be in an environment where everything is so convenient and all your friends live within relatively close proximity (even Girton isn’t that far away – it can’t be, given I managed to come across it by accident once!) It was hard heading back to the train station – I want to be in Germany, and now that I am on the plane waiting to take off, I feel much more positive and excited, but saying goodbye to Henry, leaving a familiar and comfortable environment with the prospect of returning somewhere where I don’t know anyone, don’t feel part of a community, need to negotiate a flat move, and don’t even have a functioning bank account yet – that was hard. Still, Kopf hoch, as they say; chin up, take a deep breath and push on. Bis bald!
(The food might not be quite as good, but they certainly have some talent in the pumpkin-carving area)