We have just returned from a two week holiday in Dubai, staying with my parents. They have lived in Dubai for almost 30 years. We moved there when I was 5 (having previously been in Kuwait) and they are still there now, despite always saying they would only stay for 'another 5 years'. My brother lives there too, though my sister and I are both in England. I went to school in Dubai until I was 18, then came to England for university. After that, I just ended up staying in England. Life just happened like that - I moved to London, had a group of friends that I hung around with, spent my weekends clubbing and pubbing, then at 24 met Adrian, got married, had kids. There was no room for thinking about moving abroad and no inclination to do so.
But people always ask me why I didn't go back to Dubai. The reason is simply that my life had moved on in England and Dubai had changed for me - and not just in terms of the skyscrapers. I didn't stay in touch with any of my friends from Dubai. There wasn't really anything for me to move there for, but it felt that there was a lot I would have to leave behind if I did go.
Yet every time that plane lands, it feels like going home. Dubai now is nothing like the Dubai I grew up in, but it still feels familiar to me. Obviously when you are on holiday, everything seems perfect and I know that if I lived there, life would still have the same ups and downs that it has anywhere. But I do find myself wondering what life would have been like if I had moved back - if Adrian and I had decided after our year out, or perhaps after Freyja had been born, to move there.
I've always felt that I never really come from anywhere. When I was growing up, and particularly when I went to university, where the place you are from seems to be used as the ice-breaker in your first few weeks, I hated being asked that question. My mother is Welsh, my father is Icelandic, I was born in Surrey, grew up in Dubai. I don't really know where I come from.
Now I feel that my home, at least, is in South East London. But when I go back to Dubai, that feels like home too. I slip very easily back into life there and my life in London feels a million miles away.
I don't want to move to Dubai now - my life and my home really is here in London now. Dubai is virtually unrecognisable from the place I grew up in. I know only my family and a few family friends there. The traffic is awful, I'd never be able to drive and it's like living in a building site.
But at the end of every holiday, I still find it very hard to leave.