Kingston is undoubtedly a lovely area. Pairing the scenery of the Thames with a lively city containing a considerable shopping hotspot, who wouldn’t want to live here? I know I definitely didn’t when I was twelve years old and confronted with the biggest change of my life as of yet. It wasn’t necessarily because I didn’t like Kingston as an area, it was because I had built a home and a childhood in South Africa, despite being born into an English family at Kingston Hospital. Although it was difficult to adapt to, life in Kingston grew on me, however challenging the weather was…

Everyone has a different experience when moving to this area which I now call home. Csenge Koves moved to Kingston from Central London when she was eleven due to the expense of living in such a sought out area. Her first impression was positive, noticing that ‘it was much less hectic – less people, less traffic and more nature, more scenery to calm you down’. Of course, she experienced the negative effects of a move, stating that ‘leaving all the friends I’d ever made behind in Central London then starting in a secondary school where a lot of my soon-to-be peers already knew each other was daunting’ she admits that ‘the first few months were very lonely and friendless but then I made friends’. 

Many people move to Kingston by choice as the area has so much to offer. However, for some moving can become more of a necessity than a choice. Renato Leite moved to Kingston from his hometown in Portugal when he was seven years old. He states that ‘life in my home country was difficult especially with the economy in the bad state it was in’. Many of his family members had previously made the decision to move, and so his parents followed in the hopes of providing him with a better future. Regarding school, he had a similar experience as Csenge, however with the added challenge of a language barrier. He admits ‘it was difficult on the basis that I didn’t know English very well and was forced to adapt to something new so quickly. Missing home was heavy on my mind academically and socially and it was evident for a while’.  Understandably, many children, myself included, struggle when placed into a new, strange culture. However, Renato adapted well and has come to enjoy his new home, as have I. 

Kingston’s beautiful landscapes, busy shopping centre and kind atmosphere will forever hold a place in the hearts of many, as a home.