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The sense of ‘settling down’ never appealed to me. In fact it would terrify me, because for me, to settle meant that the living of life would be over. Image Credit: iStockphoto

Moving house is something I’ve always believed should be done every few years. The strenuous, often stressful, endeavour allows one to brush away the cobwebs, clear the mind and start afresh.

However, this seems to be a view shared by few, yet it’s one that has always coloured my life. This life view has led to excitement, travel to far-off countries with new landscapes, new starts and new, interesting and amazing people; I wouldn’t trade that for anything. These experiences have also made me the open-minded and accepting person I am and have moulded my views and opinions more so than learning about the world through books and on screens.

The sense of ‘settling down’ never appealed to me. In fact it would terrify me, because for me, to settle meant that the living of life would be over. What if I got bored? A psychologist might wonder if I had commitment issues, and I’d be inclined to agree.

My childhood experiences will be the culprit. When I was a child, we moved around a lot, not in a Traveller kind of way, but because my mother was forced, on more than one occasion, to escape an abusive relationship, and we struggled to find somewhere to settle for a while. But when we eventually did, we were happy for that period of time, but the feelings of insecurity and instability had become familiar companions, and despite not necessarily being the most beneficial, became normal to me.

When I decided to go to university in another country, it was partly because it was an adventure and partly because my friends were all going too. It wasn’t that far away, though, and always only a few hours’ travel if I became desperately homesick. But I never did.

Whether it was the moving around as a child or an innate urge to seek out new experiences, since then I’ve moved around a lot, from house share to house share as a student and then to more grown-up, independent living and sharing as an adult. I’ve never actually lived in an apartment or house for longer than a couple of years.

Of course, never having had children, the need to settle was neither thrust upon me, like it is many people. And again, it never occurred to me to seek out this grounding. Only now am I feeling the fatigue of forever moving, never having my own place.

After 40-odd years on this earth, I am only now beginning to long for roots to be grown and to be able to, dare I say, settle somewhere, at least until my credit score can stabilise. I do believe I’m actually ready to stick around somewhere for at least more than a couple of years — I need a break from moving.

Recently, I moved into a new place that I’m hoping will be my home for longer than a couple of years (fingers crossed!), with my own sofa, bed and glorious storage for all the bits — mainly books — that I’ve been dragging around with me for decades; items that reflect where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to all this time. They’ll be my link to the life I’ve had and the exciting times, but there will also be exciting times ahead, I’ll make sure of that. The sense of adventure and exploration still hasn’t left me and there is much more to see and do out there in the great world. The only difference is that this time, I’ll have a home to come back to.

— Christina Curran is freelance journalist based in Northern Ireland.