I’ve always had a tendency to romanticise aspects of life. I’ve been called airy-fairy, told that I live my life in the clouds, and that I’m naive. I mean, they’re not wrong. I’m constantly listening to music through my headphones so I can feel like I’m a character in a movie. I’m naturally drawn to things that make my life feel like this – change, writing, reading novels, creating playlists for every new experience, and my new obsession – film cameras. I’ve just had my London anniversary (a year since I’ve moved) and in 3 weeks, I’m leaving to travel Europe for 6 months. The finality of my decision has made me think back to the time that I’ve spent here and the concept of beginnings, endings, and sentimentality.

A new feeling / the beginning

When you move to a new place, you start to collect things. Clothes, people, memories. When I was 21, I moved from Perth to Melbourne. It became one of my favourite places – but it wasn’t just because of how beautiful the city was. It was the feeling that came with it – the feeling of having new experiences. Taking the tram to my college campus, reading outside on my housemates’ thrifted couch at 7am, riding my bike to Woolies to pick up groceries and riding back with them in my basket – so full that any wrong turn or bump in the road would cause the bike to topple over. When this experience is over, you move on. Slowly, you get used to growing into a place and then having to grow out of it.


Long-term travel is one of those things that is able to remove you from the life that you are currently living and give you perspective. When I visited home after being in London for almost a year, I realised how many meaningful relationships I had made while I was away. I had a lot of social anxiety growing up and I think that’s the reason that I never went out of my way to meet new people or make new friends. When you move, you’re forced into that – the other option is being completely alone. I learnt how amazing people are and how many people you can genuinely connect with and be yourself around. As human beings, when we meet someone, we all have a tendency to share parts of ourselves with them – who we know, what we love, and how we love. And together, you build something new.

The people we bring with us

Meaningful relationships are what makes life worthwhile. Regardless of how long that person is in your life, put effort into knowing them. I’ve had four real friends while living in London. The first – a witty sapphire-eyed Aussie girl who sews her own clothes, can never say no, and who’s heard more about my sex life than any other friend I’ve ever had. The second – an English angel – someone who shares my love of all things creative and who believes in the magic of the universe. The third (despite our friendship being cut short) was my biggest cheerleader and someone I could share my love of English boys in gilets and quarter-zips with. And the fourth – a girl who overflows with generosity, whose vocabulary consists almost entirely of the phrase ‘to be fair’ and who is just as obsessed with watching sitcoms as I am.

Moving on / the ending

When you leave a place, the connections and memories you’ve made suddenly become much more sentimental. Sometimes it takes leaving to see the beauty of the place you’re in. But the thing is, letting go of a place and the people that live there is what makes it special. If there’s no end then you don’t truly appreciate it, because you’ll always have it. The end is what gives anything meaning. And you take a piece of that place with you. You leave your old self and your old life behind to create something new, and the cycle repeats. You get to look back at the person you were and realise how far you’ve come. And as hard as it is to start over, to become an improved version of yourself and then move on, I hope that cycle never ends. Because where are we really without sentimentality.


Kait x

Cover photo by Lisa Fotios