I always knew that I loved Brighton, my hometown of 21 years, but when I met Martina, I was in such a whirlwind, that leaving it behind didn’t even occur to me. I just knew that I needed to move to Florida to be with her.
However, since leaving, I’ve come to realise just how much I miss it. I miss its acceptance of everyone, whether black, white, gay, straight, man or woman: Brighton is an all-encompassing arena where anyone can feel welcome.
I miss its beauty and history: there’s always a nostalgia for one’s hometown, but Brighton really is a cool place with an incredible history, between the Royal Pavilion, the arrival of the railway and the explosion from fishing village, to seaside mecca for Londoners, to modern-day headquarters for alternative lifestyles, fun, sun and beauty.
I miss its architecture: its Regency and Victorian influences that largely went unscathed by the wars are anchored by landmarks like the Royal Pavilion, The Brighton Dome, the Corn Exchange, and residential squares like Adelaide Square and Palmeira Square.
I miss the night life. I was never much of a party animal, but even I could appreciate how much fun it was to be in Brighton. There was always something fun to do and I was always eager to be a part of it and try new places.
I miss the shopping: I don’t much care to shop either, but wandering the shops was always a nice way to spend a day, with the mix of the commercial Churchill Square, the boutiques in The Lanes and the bohemian fanfare of North Laine.
Brighton taught me a lot, and while I always miss it (it is home after all), I miss it quite painfully at the moment. Very much looking forward to going home in a few months – it’s been way too long.