"I’m originally from Italy but I moved to the UK a few years ago. I knew that it was going to be a big change, really exciting in the beginning but tougher in the long run. I moved to London first where I was studying and working and then recently came to Manchester for work.
After few years of living here, the things I miss most are the sun and the sea. I’m from Naples, the renowned ‘city of the sun’, but I soon realised that the UK weather doesn't give as many sunny days as I used to get and over the years I've learned to deal with this.
Naples is also by the sea, which meant that growing up I could always enjoy the view of the water and the serenity that brings with it. That gives me peace, which is the same feeling I have now when I come to the canals. When I walk down the steps of the city onto the towpath, memories start to rush back and it feels like being in another place, a home kind of place.
Taking a stroll by the canals sometimes is all I need to get away from the fuss of the city and have a bit of time for me. It clears my mind and the people around here are always keen to chat; it's nice to share my story with others, they are always curious about what I have to say and only here it seems they have time to listen to me or to share with me their stories too."
Niko, Bridgewater Canal