My heart is the Pacific Ocean – cold in winter, inviting and cool in the hot summers;
My heart is the palm trees and those cactus plants that sting;
My heart is the beach, where bronzed bodies lie out to worship the sun;
My heart is the 405 freeway, cars humming along both straight and twisted paths;
My heart is the swimming pools, the pool parties and BBQs;
My heart is the silver taco trucks gleaming like jewels as the California sun beats down.
My heart is also the Tube – trains careening through underground tunnels;
My heart is the noise of the London traffic, the double-decker buses, black cabs and white vans that swarm the roads like busy bees;
My heart is the Thames, flowing through the city, going from east to west, from the deepest East End, to the majestic centre, to the green boroughs of the west.
My heart is also my parents’ homeland, a busy capital city nestled between the Andes, a jewel in South America;
The smell of eucalyptus trees,
The smell of street food;
My heart is its lush, green mountains, its snow-capped volcanoes;
My heart is Quito’s colonial centre, designed by the Spaniards, but built by the indigenous Ecuadoreans – both sets of their blood run through my veins;
My heart is my cousins’ voices, their embrace when I visit.
My heart is North and South American;
My heart is European; it is British.
My heart traverses the entire globe.