Coming Back Home: The Town where you Never Age

Each week we will be bringing you some hidden gems from around Guildford as part of our ‘Get Lost In…’ feature. Today’s post features Serra’s blog called ‘Passport, Camera- Words in my Mind’, this week entitled Coming Back Home: The Town where you Never Age. Serra’s blog is a description of what it is like to be a foreign national living in Guildford and the different perspective that might give to one that has lived and grown up here in England.

Do you need some fresh air to breathe? Do you need any motivation to start moving again, maybe running or cycling? Do you need to forget crowded subways and remember the joy of walking again? Have your eyes forgotten to see uninterrupted green and are you sighing at pictures in which you cannot see houses due to large trees, or skies full of the brightest sunlight?

This is what I felt, but could not express on the night I arrived back in the UK after a 20 day break in my homeland, Turkey. I was feeling peaceful in the fresh-smelling taxi, which had come to the airport from Guildford to pick me up; sharing it with a very handsome lady, wearing a baby-blue jacket and talking lovely.

The night was clear and I could see the stars through which I had landed just a few minutes ago. It seemed it had rained and stopped. We passed through the roads, following the cat’s eyes and I watched the dark silhouettes of the trees on both sides, sleeping, undisturbed since there were no city lights around. Still, they had grown with the spring whilst I was away and in that moment, I realised how lucky I was once more.


I was amazed with the natural parks and sleepy pubs I saw out the window, promising myself to visit them in the summer and then I remembered the cosy houses outside of town as we went past them at night. Their gardens, the blooming trees and the awakening plants covered the road like Walls of Green; all had been sparkling in the early morning light 20 days ago as I made my way to Heathrow.

The town was not sleeping on this fair night as music from the clubs on Onslow Street was still hanging in the fresh air. I added some noise of my own to that while dragging my luggage on the pavement. The birds were all sleeping in the branches above me; they always go to bed early.

Now I was at the door of my apartment, ready to start living in the UK again. However, this time it was different, not at all like the first time I came here last year. This time I was coming back ‘home’.

And the next day, nature was ready to welcome me back with those fragrant flowers on the bushes and the proud trees that have been ruling the skies since April. Walking back home from campus was such a great joy, one that I had missed whilst I was away!

If you are tired of grey buildings, apartment blocks, smoke, pollution, cars and concrete, then you’ve come to the right place; Guildford. As my mum says, “You’ll never age there.”

Serra Topal