Being a child who has grown up outside of my place of birth, the UK, means that my idea of identity and home is a little different from many other people my age. The place I call home is the United Arab Emirates (The UAE), which is located on the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East and so; my geographical comforts, familiar culture and the experiences that moulded my personality while growing up lie there.
During the summer break this year, I went to Malaysia with my family. It provided me with a series of experiences that took me out of my comfort zone, for sure. From having a Python wrapped round my torso, to walking five kilometres up a one in three hill in torrential jungle rain, to being chased down a hill by a very angry monkey! I’m certain that all these experiences will eventually shape into funny stories one day. Even the more reflective moments of the trip, where it was just palm trees, a hammock and I, these moments were the things I seem to remember most. I feel that the moments where one feels challenged, scared or even completely hypnotised by the sound of the sea are the moments when you grow.
(PHOTOGRAPHY: HAYLEY KING)
Travelling distances always leads me to reflect on my own life back at home, the experiences I have had as well as the people I’ve met. Even though being away from home during the summer means being away from friends, loved ones and in my case 50 degree heat, getting out of my comfort zone in either the mental, physical or geographical sense, maybe even all of them, should be embraced by everyone who has an opportunity to do so. Possibly the best feeling of coming back after time away from it all always induces the “Ahh…Home!” feeling.