When do you start to leave Home?

Birmingham Travel Blog

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'No More Ties'... sat in Brum, unkempt, unemployed but under blue skies.
Well.  Here I am.  A 'free' man. "But what's the plan?" Now there's a question.  And now I sit and think a bit because I'll soon be on my way.  Time to get things started.  "What things?"  Why, everything.  The Journey.  I'm leaving Home and it's all a little scary.

I'm sat with a pint of Amstel [note : other beers are available consumers,  this is not product placement to fund my trip...nooooow wait-a-minute, there's a thought!] awaiting the arrival of some lamb kofta and tzatziki in a pub in Harborne, Birmingham.
How do you travel the WORLD?! "Yikes!"
  Harborne has been my favourite stomping ground in my 10 years in the city.  The pub is called The Junction.  An appropriate name I realise.  For I have indeed arrived at a junction; a parting of the ways; a crossroads, call it what you will.  The times they are a changin'...and the main decision's already (FINALLY!!!) been made, so no need to draw the revelation out needlessly.  It's time for The Big One, the 'Once in a Lifetime Trip', the Big Kahuna (what is a Kahuna apart from a burger in Pulp Fiction?), Around the World in...well?.. at least 730 days.  I'm off.  I'm outta here.  Adios Birmingham.  It's been fun livin' in Brum.  Farewell UK, hello tomorrow, goodbye yesterday... time to travel this widest of worlds!

...buuuut not quite yet.
The Junction, Harborne.
  It's not yet time to pack up and leave home.  And when does that process truly begin anyhow?  Leaving home I mean.  Is it sudden?  Is it when you close your door for the final time and turn the key and walk away?  Is it when you place your first step on that plane; that ferry; that accelerator; that train?  Is it not until you first set that same foot on 'foreign' soil... or have you been leaving for a long time now already, not realising it was a journey you were already on, or didn't want to admit to yourself you'd commenced (emotionally at least) sometime ago?  Like two people in a long-standing relationship they both know is over but just don't want to admit to each other.  Important things haven't been in the relationship for sometime.  You're both a little weary.  A little bored, in need of a change.
Some food (and a pint) for thought, as I contemplate what it is to leave home.
..and it's only a matter of time before one of you trumps the other, gets to the door marked 'Exit' first and makes the break (for it), leaving you both in need of searching for another.  For somewhere other.  Me and Home, we've been together a long time.  Me and Home, we're breaking up.  It's over.  Well, a separation anyway.  But am I leaving Home, or has Home been leaving me?  Friends who have moved away, left the country, got married, their little universes (and occasionally bellies) expanding.  Family members much missed and no longer around.  A job that's been jacked in, and a general sense of comfortable directionlessness.  Has my own little universe been collapsing back in on itself for a little while now?

[aside : a little blonde-haired boy bopping along to his earphones in the pub has just spilt his drink ALL over his mom's lap.
It has begun... the first smoking pen-nib of my Global blog-jottings :)
  Man that juuust makes me wanna giggle.  But I don't this time.  C'mon, I'm tryin' to be serious here.]

A Tale : Yeah, so when do you begin to leave?  I guess the process, the decision's different for each any everyone.  On my first day in Birmingham, starting University my family gave me a ring as a gift.  Good luck for my life to come.  An unusual ring made of silver and small threads of 'rope', bought from a shop in Paros, a greek island to match a neckpiece I'd bought there some while ago.  A very touching gesture.  That ring has been with me for the most part of my decade in the Midlands, but late last year I lost it.  Always conscious of the 'rope' getting dirty when eating I took it off and set it aside to chow down on a large guaccamole and cajun-chicken baguette in the Woodstock cafe... delicious and messy!  I left the ring at Woodstock.  I realised later.  I called. "I've left a ring in your reastaurant... have you got it?... YOU'VE GOT IT!?  THAT'S GREAT! I'll be right over!"  The friendly hispanic lady behind the counter, having mostly (I think) comprehended me on the phone had assured me of the ring's presence and safety.  Upon arrival I attempted to explain to her - language barrier permitting - why I was there... she realises, and goes out back to return with my ring.  What she actually hands me is a silver money-clip containing like, at least £400 in notes I swear! ... but no ring is presented.  She's sorry.  She was confused on the phone and thought it was I who had left the money-clip.  "No, no rings have been handed in."  I had lost my ring.  I coulda conned the money-clip, but I didn't (true!).  The kind of people who leave that much cold cash lying around in money-clips probably have interesting and 'efficient' ways of tracking it down.  So no money.  No ring.  Had a small, important symbol of my life in Birmingham slipped from my fingers even as early as then?  My sister also lost a ring very dear to her, and rich in family provenance whilst in a 3 legged pub-crawl at university.  We're obviously not that great at clinging on to home.

But I'm leaving now anyways, and stories and pseudo-philosophising apart, I reckon the start of the journey will entail stepping on to a ferry for Calais, France sometime towards the end of August this year.  I've paid £390 for the privilege of having injections into both arms almost every Monday for the last 6 weeks, so I should hopefully now be immune to just about everything except the Common Cold... and just to remind me of this fact and who's boss, my microbial foes have smacked me with my third bout of the sniffles this year and I'm snivelling as I type "sniff-sniff".

Lots of excitement and adventures on the way my friends... I hope!  Most of which I will attempt to share with you too, so I promise lots of amazing sights, photos, commentary (<-- the latter possibly not so amazing), scenes and reviews to come.  But for now, in my final days in Birmingham, in Blighty, I thought as an exercise in reminding myself in small ways of what I will be leaving behind I would just offer the occasional thought and the briefest of glances at my life as I prepare to close this significant chapter of m'little life to date.

[aside : 'Waterloo Sunset' by The Kinks is playing on the pub stereo now as I set my pen down and return to beer and and watching the world, my little corner of the world, go by.  Over the way from me, a young Asian couple sit, accompanying an Olde Englishe, smartly dressed man in a wheelchair as they take lunch together.  They are a handsome couple.  I cannot perceive the connection that would exist between they and he.  The old man is smiling and conversive... happy to be reminded of the warmth of the company of the young and the pretty? The old man is of that certain generation.  Always to be turned out properly in public.  A shirt, a jacket, a tie and a hat.  He would probably disapprove of my antipathy to ties.  He maybe would not have appreciated me on my final day of work wearing a black tie graffitied with the slogan 'No More Ties' hinting at both my liberation from said garment and my impending divestment of responsibilities.  There is an inexplicable bruise right in the centre of his forehead.  A large, perfect maroon-dark 'O' like a doughnut reminding me of the mark that was left on my cousin's forehead for a day or so when he stuck a toy plunger there and pulled it off again too hard...except this mark is larger.  I wonder what the story behind it is?... my mind wanders...]

It's raining outside now.  I only have a T-shirt on.  It was sunny when I stepped inside.  I hope I brought my umbrella in my bag for England, bless you, you have tricked me once again... and yes, I'm sure I will miss this too.
minerva3333 says:
you couldn't possibly know how jealous i am of you...best of luck!
Posted on: Aug 15, 2008
ckubojiri says:
Enjoyed reading your blog. Very eloquently stated. I wish you well on your travels. I recently quit my job too. Feels great! =)
Posted on: Aug 15, 2008
irmayu says:
good for you, fellow ;)
Posted on: Aug 15, 2008
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No More Ties... sat in Brum, unk…
'No More Ties'... sat in Brum, un…
How do you travel the WORLD?! Yik…
How do you travel the WORLD?! "Yi…
The Junction, Harborne.
The Junction, Harborne.
Some food (and a pint) for thought…
Some food (and a pint) for though…
It has begun... the first smoking …
It has begun... the first smoking…
photo by: eddie8498