Imagine having a brand new Ferrari given to you, the California with it’s sexy curves that just entice you to want to ride in it. Just touching it makes you feel like the most important person in the world, and riding in it…. well riding in it is better than many of life’s natural pleasures. You just get use to the leather smell of the ergonomic seats that seem to fit perfectly around your back and shoulders, almost like the most gorgeous girl/boy was putting their arms around you. You learn how to drive with feel, becoming instinctive of when you needed to change gear or releasing the gas at just the right time to come to a theatrical stop with centimetre precision to a stop sign. Then one day the Ferrari dealership calls to say that there was some mistake with your purchase and unfortunately you are going to have to give it back. They specify an exact day and time, and you spend your remaining time towards the countdown figuring out how anything is going to make you feel so sexy, so confident and feel the same way.
Anyone who has been on their two year visa to the UK would know this feeling, replace the Ferrari with the UK and swap the Ferrari dealership with the immigration office. You start to wonder how anyone is going to understand, or actually really care about what you have done over your two years, because is all honesty you haven’t done much more than just enjoy life, live pay month to pay month and to see how many European countries it is possible to visit without running into an enormous drunken group of Australians from a TOPDECK tour. Essentially you have been living in a dream world, where your only responsibility is to earn enough money to pay for your hostel (I would say house, but with on average about 15 people living in co-inhabitance it would be a push), to pay for the cheapest possible flights where you have to wake up at 3 am to get to the airport in time, purchasing your weekly groceries for under £40 from sainsbury, and if only poundland had a loyalty card program right? Justifying it all by telling yourself that you will be a grownup one day, so it is fine to enjoy your time now. You will be responsible and dedicated to your career and “settle down” in the conventional sense attaining a mortgage that you will be tied to for 25 years and kids you are not going to be able to get rid of anytime soon. But what happens when you get to the final two months of your allocated time in dreamland, to know that justifying excuse you tell yourself is only mere weeks away. No more of people appreciating it when you say how beautiful the Blue Mosque was in Istanbul, or how sensually salivating the chocolates were in Belgium or the amazing sense of cliché romance that comes over you whilst standing on the Eiffel Tower looking out over the Paris city. Instead talk turns to relationship troubles, what is the best way to change a diaper and what a bitch Sandy was for telling Paul that Bridget was cheating on him; meanwhile Sandy was also sleeping with Paul. When you try to slip in a reminiscing moment of you on a camel in the Sahara desert their eyes somewhat glaze over and you realise you feel lost and misunderstood.
So I too now find myself in this predicament. Giving up what feels like an eternity of discoveries, a person who has discovered me and a sense of excitement. Will that come with the new adventures that goes along with returning home? Or possibly will the UK open it’s doors once more? Yes , you may be thinking “it’s just Europe”, what about learning about the people of Africa or volunteering in Cambodia, and it is true. There are many; possibly more meaningful in the relevance of life’s perspectives, experiences in which I too want to be able to say to my children I experienced one day. But maybe I just want a little bit more time in this Dreamland right now.