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Those of you that have the dubious 'privilege' of knowing me personally will probably be aware that i've never been the most 'home' like of people. Home, though meaning many different things, has always been a slightly strange concept to me (as in the 'it's good to be home' or 'I've been too long now, and want to go home' type of home). I seem to have collected the nomadic/itinerant wanderer gene somewhere along the line: For years when people have asked where home is - if i've actually answered - i've always answered my rucksack: the reasoning being that it's the one constant in my life, so the most home-y thing to me. Whilst i'm comfortable in most places, i've never really felt 'at home' or as though I belong, anywhere, and normally only feel anything vaguely home-y-like when i'm on the move. DB (German Railways) night trains feel more like home to me than Kristianstad, for example, even though i've been theoretically living there for lat six years. I've never had a problem with any of that at all, though accept that as I speed through the years, in non 'core' travel circles, that actually does sound increasingly - and quit e possibly is - very sad.

So you might be surprised to hear that I have been referring to St. Helena as home. I first realised it about 4days before we arrived, when i heard myself say to somebody - i forget who, so I have no idea if they were islander or tourist - "don't worry, it's only 4 days til we're home". I remember having an almost out of body experience after where i kind of argued with myself about what I had said. "Home?!!" I kind of shrieked to myself "what the heck do you mean home?!". Eventually i put it down to whiskey, and decided to ignore it.

But I could do that no more when i said something similar a day later, except with the wording 'Only three days and then I'll be home' was much more personal. At that point, i had to stop and think. Home? St.Helena?! Me??! For all the links that i have there, i couldn't for the life of me understand how the heck I was referring to some tiny lump of rock, 3 days away, which I had never even seen before let alone visited, and didn't even really think even existed, as home. It's not even as if i even have strong current links there: True, my grandmother was born there, but she left in 1947 and has never been back. Yes, she has a brother there that i've never met, but then then again we've had very little to do with her other siblings and their families, even though they live in England (and Ireland) so it can't be that. And whilst my parents talk of it with great pleasure, they have only visited once, for 3 weeks, and over 30years ago. They also talk of Cornwall and even Merthyr Tydfil in such terms. And that sure as heck doesn't make it 'home' for me. Or perhaps it does. Who knows? Honestly, I have no idea, except that i seem to be getting old and increasingly senile, and if Kiki finds me here, i really am royally screwed. Perhaps it is home.


I suppose I have 4 months to work that out.

Posted by Gelli 14:20 Archived in St Helena

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Dear Gelli

I'm planning to travel to St. Helena in October. I've already booked my passage, so will arrive around the 17th Oct., staying for 6 days. I'm curious to communicate with people actually living on the island, and also to find some basic accommodation.The shipping co. has sent me a long list of places to stay but frankly I wouldn't have a clue what they're like.Choosing one would be like throwing a feather in the wind.

Here in New Zealand where I live there is zero info in the public library about travel in St helena. Even the Backpackers' Bible The Lonely Planet hasn't covered it!

Interestingly in the village where I live in NZ, called Akaroa, there are some willow trees which are reputed to be grwn from cuttings taken from the trees surrounding Napoleon's grave at St. Helena. The French settlers who travelled to NZ in 1839 maybe called at St.Helena on the way.

Whatever, I'd be interested to read your comments on the island.


Ian Badger

by ian badger

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