I sat and watched the houses pass by – familiar yet different. The people getting on and off all had faces I’m sure I once knew. The greyness I remembered, that’s for certain. The metro station, the one I’d stood at 1000s of times, looked like it hadn’t changed. But I couldn’t be sure.
I played in that street as a kid, of that I’m certain. But again, it’s not how I remembered it.
My return home to England after living in Korea and travelling for two years was not how I’d expected it. I wanted to experience everything I once called my daily life, to eat the food I used to eat, to visit the bars I liked to frequent, and to see the faces that mattered most. The latter was easy. The people, I quickly realized, were exactly as I’d remembered. I’d missed them.
Newcastle, my home city, seemed somewhat different. Or rather, I was different. I noticed the beauty in things I once took for granted. I stared at things I’ve walked past and ignored for years.
I enjoyed this new perspective on things. I felt optimism about the city I’d fought so hard to leave. I couldn’t get comfortable, though. I’d be returning to Korea in 2 weeks. My time left in Korea was also limited. A month after returning, my wife and would be setting off for Indonesia to learn the language.
I remained in a surreal bubble throughout my brief return to England. I couldn’t see myself living there, that hadn’t changed. But I no longer saw it as a dreary alternative to being on the road. Travelling, photography, and languages are what get my blood pumping. The challenge of the unknown, of doing what people tell me isn’t wise, of pushing myself to achieve things that as a younger man I never would have thought possible. The next 3 years of languages and travelling – that’s when the journey begins. However, we won’t forget to pop by home to say hello once or twice, of course.
The Tyne Bridge
Iconic in Newcastle and that first thing I wanted to see when I got back home.
The view from Grey’s monument. I used to sit here watching the people pass by.
Built in 7bc, and destroyed repeatedly by the Danish.
Tynemouth Priory overlooking King Edward’s bay.
Sunset on a cliff overlooking Whitley Bay.
The River Tyne
The River Tyne – again, iconic amongst the Geordies.
My Beloved Newcastle United playing at St. James’ Park
The pedestrian tunnel is part of the Tyne tunnel. An underwater tunnel that connects North Shields and Jarrow. You should hang around this place at night.
Returning to Korea
These are pictures I took on my return to Korea.