That phrase popped into my head as I was getting ready to start the long journey back to Milan on Wednesday. I saw my life as a coin, with the two different sides representing the two different lives I had - the one back home where I grew up, and the one in Milan. It's difficult writing about home without it being bittersweet. This time was my first visit back in just over a year and a half, and though not much had changed since the previous visit, I still felt like a fish out of water. For the first two days back I felt incredibly homesick, I kept thinking about what I'd left behind in Italy. I'm a soppy old fool anyway, but taking off from Milan Linate on the way to Heathrow I was in tears. Who knows what the person sitting next to me was thinking!
The reason I was going home during the summer was for my best friend's hen party. It was two days in Tenby, on the Pembrokeshire coast. To be honest, I was a little bit wary of going on a hen party after living in Italy for over five years - I imagined waking up on the Sunday with the world's worst hangover! But there was nothing of the sort. We had a lovely weekend on the coast, with fish & chips and a lovely Chinese meal, a cracking game of rugby, and an afternoon on the beach. The weather, as with the rest of the week, was amazing. I was even brave enough to dip my feet in the sea! And I got a tan - in Wales!!
The rest of the week was spent catching up with family, friends, and shopping! My hometown of Carmarthen is now unrecognisable compared to the town I grew up in. As with the UK in general, many shops have closed down, but there's also a new shopping centre which I would've loved to have had as a teenager! I made the most of the sales, especially as I'd missed the beginning of the sales here in Milan, and I got some great bargains!
It was lovely being back in the country, surrounded by green fields. I loved the silence, barely any traffic, no people around. It meant that I slept so well! And with the sunny weather everything was just that much more beautiful.
Before I knew it my week was up and it was time to go back to Milan. It's a very long journey for me because I have to fly from Heathrow, around 10 hours door-to-door. Before we left for the airport my aunt made us a stunning fried breakfast, just what we needed before tackling the motorway up to London!
Even though it was difficult at times, I still had a great time back home. It was lovely catching up with my two friends who I've known since pre-school on the weekend, and I felt quite pampered at home with my mam. My next visit home is just under two months, and I'm sure that trip won't be quite as difficult!