Walking the map in my head

Walking along the familiar streets of Norwich, my ‘home town’, while I’m back here visiting family for a few days, and I feel sure that I could turn a corner and be walking along a familiar street in Sydney. Or for that matter, a familiar street in Bordeaux or Delhi or Edinburgh or London or Bologna or Dublin or Kathmandu or Frankfurt or Hereford or Bristol or Paris or Berne.

I don’t get lonely and I never feel as though I’m far away, even when the streets I’m walking are thousands of miles from the streets my family and friends are walking.

Its as though all the places I know are connected in my head and therefore the possibility of walking out of one and into another exists.

Home may currently be in Australia, but I feel like I’m just round the next corner.

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3 Responses to Walking the map in my head

  1. piereth says:

    This is so true. I feel this way about North Essex and the area around Great Dunmow. It’s so familiar to me that I’ll never forget where all the roads go, and I can travel them in my head as I sit thinking. Amazing, the human capacity to navigate and remember.

  2. azahar says:

    I sometimes confuse memories of streets in Toronto and Winnipeg, now that I’ve been away from Canada for about 17 years. Or just memories in general of living there … an old age thing?

    But more recent memories of living in Bristol (though I find I often can’t remember street names from there) are a bit clearer.

    I think you are very fortunate to feel like the whole world is your home, and you’ve certainly travelled a lot more than I have.

    The very first day I arrived in Spain (driving down from England with a friend) I got the very inexplicable feeling that I was finally ‘home’. And that feeling has never left me, even though it was tough getting myself set up here. I’ve never known any other place where I felt so much at home, including Canada, where I was born and lived for 33 years.

    And so I’ve always liked, and related to, this quote from the film director Tim Burton when he was asked how it felt to move to London …

    “I always felt like a foreigner from the beginning of life so when I actually became one, I felt more at home.”

  3. truce says:

    yep, piereth, our brains are unendingly staggering. For instance, how come mine can unerringly wander round the streets of my memory, but can’t remember which direction I was heading when I come out of a shop????

    What a fantastic quote – it really resonates with me, too. I have to say I’ve never felt more at home than I do here in Sydney, so I can relate to what you say about arriving in Spain, Az.

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