One way to explore your story is to write about the places you’ve lived…
I currently live in Sheffield, England. I lived here as a student for three years between 2005 and 2009. We moved back in November 2013.
So currently I’ve lived:
- 19 years on the Wirral, Merseyside. (I was born there so that was the ‘defacto choice’.)
- 13 years in Sheffield, and counting,
- 3 years in High Wycombe, Bucks
- 1 year in Reading, which I prefer not to think about…
- 6 months in South America, with no fixed abode
- 2 months in Florence, Italy
(Okay the last one is debatable whether we ‘lived’ there, but we did language school and it was more than a holiday.)
Locations are one of the storytelling threads I explore with my clients. I’m most interested to know which places you’ve felt an affinity to.
We do feel an affinity to Sheffield, or we wouldn’t have moved back here. Sheffield is known as the ‘green city’ or ‘outdoor city’. We have approximately 36,000 street trees, which I am slightly obsessed with as the seasons tick over.
At some point soon I’ll have lived here longer than I lived on Merseyside. My kids were born here and are slowly developing more of the local accent.
By contrast, I don’t feel that much affinity for Florence. We spent two months there in 2017 as a working holiday. Before we went I thought the trip would be a life-changing experience, but I came back and realised how much I like trees. (Although I’ve kept on drinking espresso.)
I have a lot of stories about my South America trip, but perhaps the place I felt the greatest affinity for was Colombia.
I share these ramblings simply to get you thinking about the places you’ve spent time, and where in particular you’ve felt an affinity for. There are always stories you can tell about those places. Exploring old photos is a good way to probe those stories and bring the details back to life.