In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at http://natureramble.wordpress.com.

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit jocelynesze.wordpress.com if you're interested in more recent writing.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Last farewell to the UK.

It's my last few days in the UK on a student visa. When I next return in May for graduation, I'll be on a tourist visa like most other people. I'm still not feeling the nostalgia very much; perhaps because the next thing coming up in my life is a rather epic 67 day hike through Patagonia. I was quite nostalgic last year when I was leaving for Cambridge, when I was thinking that perhaps I might not have another year in the uk. But I've had a whole proper calendar year now in the uk, and I feel like I'm ready to leave.

I've had a whole cycle of autumn leaves, blackberries, and apples; winter chill, minimal snow, and lots of heating; spring blooms of daffodils, bluebells, and foxgloves; summer rains, not much sun, and pressing deadlines; and back again to the fall with its Indian summer. I've gone on many more hikes and climbs than I did in the previous three years and visited many more quaint English/Welsh villages. Highlights include Snowdonia, Lyme Regis, Isle of Portland, Forest of Dean, and the Yorkshire Dales.

Like many others who spent their university years here, I'll always have fond memories of this country and cheesy as it sounds, always have a soft spot for the uk. Even with Brexit. I don't want to stay here much longer, but I've had an enjoyable, formative time here. It's undeniable I've changed over the last four years, and especially so over the last. But I don't think I've changed fundamentally, and I am very much at peace with myself and who I am.

I've made some very good friends, some I know I'll keep for life, even if we aren't in the same geographic vicinity. I've picked up a slight? Britishness to my (non-Singaporean) accent, and I understand British culture and humour much more. I've had a really good education with opportunities that I would not be able to get elsewhere. And ultimately I'm just really thankful I've had the chance to come here and do what I did, with the full support of my parents.

I talk endlessly about singapore and being a Singaporean and being overseas. I guess I'm now part of the crowd that's 'too foreign for home, too foreign for here, never enough for both' (quote by Ijeoma Umebinyuo). In terms of mindset and values, perspectives and opinions. In some ways I guess I'm ironically labelling myself and putting myself in a box, but part of me just wants to record my thoughts and emotions at this juncture, regardless of how much I might cringe to read it later (or for others to read).

Anyway, it's a whole new world out there, endless possibilities and options if I make the effort/make certain decisions. Honestly, never have I felt more uncertain about the future, or more free. For once, I actually don't have much of a plan beyond this upcoming hike. Even when I took my gap year before starting undergrad, I had a job lined up and plans to fill the coming months/year. It's gonna be an interesting time, I think.

The UK has got some pretty moments when you can actually see the sky. Winspit Quarry.


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