After 11 relatively peaceful days back in the UK I made a huge mistake; I went for a walk in the countryside surrounding my hometown. I know you are now expecting to see pictures of me in hospital having been gored by a large bull or shot by a farmer for trespassing on his land and I agree it would have made a better blog post but none of that happened. The mistake was merely going for a walk on a gorgeous spring evening; I’d forgotten how beautiful it was here and suddenly I find myself missing my homeland a lot more than I had before. I have 4 days left now until I fly back to my far warmer and busier new home in Boston and I’m now rather less keen to leave.
It was one of those evenings when everything seemed perfect. The flower filled fields, a vivid blue sky and gently rolling hills as far as the eye could see. The landscape was painted the kind of vivid emerald green that you normally only see in paintings inside Irish pubs and the only noise I could hear was birdsong and the gentle bleating of livestock. There are a lot of cows in Devon and even the inevitable moment when I draped my trainers in fresh cow dung because I wasn’t looking was shrugged off easily. Until I got in the car that was and I had to open every single window because that smell can ruin a journey faster than a hitchhiker who hasn’t bathed for a month.
New England is beautiful, don’t get me wrong but I miss the simple rural beauty that I left behind in my corner of England. I honestly don’t think that there are many places more beautiful on earth. I know that local pride is a powerful thing; I’ve even met someone who was from Birmingham who loved his awful wasteland of a city but take my word for it, Devon is beautiful. I miss the rolling hills, the wild moorland and the country pubs where you can reward yourself after a walk with a cold drink or five. Even the narrow roads that are only wide enough for one car where you get stuck for 5 hours behind a tractor going 7 mph become charming when you are homesick.
I think the thing to take from this is the lesson that you shouldn’t take anything for granted. For nearly 30 years I lived in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, surrounded by beautiful countryside with the sea rarely more than 10 miles away and I didn’t fully appreciate it until I left. There are still places less than 25 miles away from my hometown that I kick myself for never having visited. I’m going to make it my mission to enjoy the best that New England has to offer (and it does have a lot to offer) because who knows one day I might leave there too and I might even feel the same way about New England as I do about Devon.