When does a foreign land become a home? At what point am I no longer a stranger, but a “Londoner”?

London is one of those strange places, like New York, where no one actually seems to be from London; everyone I’ve spoken with has migrated here from as close as Brighton and as far as Bali.

It’s been two months, and London is the only home I have in the world. I’m not on holiday, with a familiar bed waiting for me in a land a thousand miles away. I’m stranded in a country where the only people I can consider friends met me less than five weeks ago, and the walls of my home are blank.

My collection of personal artefacts are wrapped in newspaper, snuggling in boxes lining a shed somewhere in Margaret River. I have only a handful of photos to represent my 28 years of life and only a couple of books and dvds to remember my past by.

At what point will I stop explaining to people that I don’t know where Docklands/ Bankside/ Hoxton/ Bus number 8 is, because I only just arrived, and instead simply say that I haven’t been there yet, without justification of being a stranger in a strange land?

I have found my way – a way – of living. The tube map no longer terrifies me and I can skip through the A to Z without checking the index. I know which supermarket I prefer and which off license sells the most decent and affordable wine in my area. I have a rhythm that belongs to me in every way, and yet I can’t quite bear not to still be a tourist. It feels safer somehow.

If I’m not a tourist, than what am I? I can’t be a traveller, because I’m based in one place. I can’t be an adventurer, because my adventures are no different to those that other people experience, whether they are far from home, or living in the same house they’ve lived in their entire lives.

I still want to get the camera out and take photos of all the interesting and exciting things I see, but after two months the cultural landmarks are no more than old buildings with more history than Australia (it constantly surprises me that there are building here hundreds of years older than Australia’s white history). It’s amazing how fast Big Ben becomes a blur – you can only see it a few times before the excitement wears a little thin.

Is this my home? No – not yet… maybe not ever. In two years time I might still feel like a stranger in a strange land. But am I a tourist? I guess we all are in a way – avidly goggling the sights, whether they be a historic building, a street performer or a car crash… we all like interesting new things.

I feel a little adrift. Excited by what’s around me, but less about the sights as I am about the new life.

In honour of my tour of duty thus far (and because all foreigners should take photos of places familiar and famous from books and postcards) here are my favourite “I’m a tourist on holiday” snap shots.

Big Ben

Millenium Wheel

Pigeons - Trafalgar Square

National Gallery & St Martins

St Pauls

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