After that final stressful day in Budapest where I managed to get utterly filthy army-crawling through caves, sprinted through the airport twice, and missed my return flight to the United Kingdom at the airport by minutes, I was feeling a little shattered and slightly drunk by the time my plane touched down on the runway in Gatwick airport. It had been an expensive day with catching a taxi to Budapest airport. And here’s a hint at the taxi price, the distance from the city centre to the airport was about twenty kilometres. I then paid for another plane ticket and splurged on a delicious airport gourmet meal with a couple of cocktails as it had been about seven hours since I last ate. Breakfast was a distant memory to my rumbling stomach. The cocktails were definitely a great idea.
It was late at night when my train from the airport pulled into Brighton station. I still needed to catch another bus to my final destination that night. My new home for the next three months. I couldn’t wait to arrive and put my heavy backpack down knowing I wouldn’t need to pick it up again for at least three months. One of the perks of my job as a nurse with the Continental Travelnurse Agency is that the accommodation is all arranged by them. I still have to pay a small weekly rent but it’s only peanuts compared to the whole bill. And no stress about finding a place, or finding someone to take over the rental lease when I finish the contract as the agency takes care of all of that. All I had to do was turn up at the address I’d been given.
This time my new home was in a different part of Brighton called Falmer village. Last time I lived down in the marina which is a really posh lovely part of Brighton next to the sea, and only a short walk from the hospital. Falmer is on the other side of Brighton, and about as far away from the seaside as you can get and still say that you’re in Brighton. I have to admit I did feel a little disappointed by the location. I would have to catch a bus into work every day as it was waay too far to walk. Being by the beach for summer would have also been quite handy. I also discovered when I hopped off the Falmer village bus stop that there were mostly no streetlights in this suburb. Like only on the main road.
It was pitch black and I was following the directions on my iPhone desperately hoping I wasn’t about to get raped or eaten by wild animals. Falmer is the kind of village where the houses don’t have numbers. I just had the name of a house to find somewhere on a street. Well it’s also the kind of village that only has four streets at least. I found the right street with the help of Google Maps and then had to peer at every house looking for the name I’d been given. It was very creepy. And given how shattered I felt by then, I was wondering if I would ever make it to my new home. Eventually I stumbled across the right house and was able to finally put my pack down in my very own bedroom.
My sleep was amazing that night all alone in a big cosy bed.
The next morning I woke up and realised I was in the countryside! It had been so dark and quiet the night before that I really had no idea what Falmer was like. That I now lived somewhere surrounded by beautiful rolling green fields with sheep and horses. And snails. And no seagulls!
This is my street. It’s very green. Notice the lack of street lamps?
Fields! Rolling ones! This view is about one minute’s walk away from my house
See the sheep? Feels like I’m home in New Zealand again!
One of my neighbours
And here’s another. Hello Mr Sheep
Tasty looking grass
Baling exists out here
Isn’t he cute?
Of course there are some inconveniences living on the outskirts of Brighton despite how beautiful and peaceful it is. The minimal street-lighting is one. There also isn’t a supermarket out here or any shops apart from a little farmer store open only during the daytime. I have to catch a bus to get to the closest supermarket, and to get to work. Fast food doesn’t deliver this far out from the centre. And in order to get to the beach, I would need to catch a bus for forty minutes. There is a local pub however which I do have yet to go into. But at least there’s alcohol nearby! My housemates are all students attending a university very close by. But they seem to be the good kind of students that don’t do wild parties and play loud music all the time. Which is handy as with my shiftwork, I often need to have nanna-like bedtimes and sleep during the daytime. But to be honest, party animals simply wouldn’t live out in Falmer. It’s not that kind of village. This is a place where farming folk have lived for years and all know each other by name.
And they sell duck eggs in the farm shop. I didn’t even know you could eat duck eggs!
The village church and pond. This is possibly where they get the duck eggs from
I had just one day to settle in and wander around my new home. I liked that it was a sunny day just to welcome me back to Brighton. And I could do the all important unpacking of my backpack and laundry. Ah nothing compares to the feeling of clean clothes. Something about the lack of a washing machine, the rather high price of laundry service when you do find it, and limited range of clothing while travelling does somewhat lower your standards with how many times you are willing to wear an article of clothing before it truly is deemed too dirty to wear again. Except you do as it’s still marginally cleaner than everything else in your luggage. Investing in quick-drying underwear to enable hand-washing is my advice to travellers out there.
Where I stayed: My new house
Overall: There is no place like home :)