Chester is a home away from home to me.
When I moved here to start University, it was the start of a new chapter. After living in the same house in the same town in the same country for the past 18 years, many would say that a change was overdue. As a result, it became the place where I developed a sense of independence I could never achieve at home, and where I’ve developed the most as a person. Therefore it holds a special place in my heart.
Chester is a pretty place. It’s a place where people will drop by, admire the clock and the walls and the buildings and return to their own homes armed with many bags of shopping. When you live there, you notice more than just the clock and the walls and the buildings. You notice the fleeting sunset dancing over the hills that mark the beginnings of North Wales. You notice the lights and the beauty of the Christmas Markets. You notice the hidden wonders like my favourite tiny bookstore tucked away on the walls.
It’s peaceful and quiet here. Even on a night out you can walk home at any time without glancing back to check there isn’t a shadow looming behind you that isn’t your own. Sure, the main streets can get so busy that the slow walkers make me want to end my days but it will never match the craziness of Cardiff, Manchester or Liverpool.
I can explore here. I can try out new places for myself, discover new wonders that I can recommend to my friends back home while pretending I’m cultured and have the time on my hands to sip obscure coffee in a hidden cafe. I know this city like the back of my hand now, and I can show people when they visit why it is so special to me, and what makes it worthy of the many tourists who take selfies with the country’s most photographed clock after Big Ben in London.
It may not be my true home like Wales, but it feels like a home to me. Thanks, Chester.