Most people start growing up and, to use an odious phrase, settling down as they approach their thirties. They start buying property and getting married and getting promoted and having babies and joining clubs and slowly amassing all the trappings of a fully formed adult human being. I appear to be doing the opposite.

I am regressing. In the past six months I have given up my good job, moved out of my rented London room and returned to live with my parents in deepest darkest Kent while I prepare to use a large chunk of my hard won savings, which were once meant to go towards a deposit on a house, in order to travel around South America. Seems sensible enough to me.

On the one occasion I wavered over the wisdom of my choices it was my father who came to my aid.

“It does worry me a little bit,” I said. “All my friends are buying houses and, you know, settling down, I just wonder if maybe I should be doing the same…”

Here he interceded.

“Miranda,” he told me with a look of grim determination on his face, “Let me tell you right now, settling down is enormously overrated.

“Don’t ever be in a hurry to settle down. You have the rest of your life to settle down.”

So that’s me, in a nutshell, growing down and settling up. I’ll let you know how it goes…


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