Is “home” a place or a feeling?
That is something I’ve begun asking myself lately. Two continents, six cities, and ten years after I first left my home country, I’m only beginning to find comfort in discomfort. Visa after visa, I’m forgetting what a Sunday lunch ritual with family feels like and learning to let go of material possessions that exceed my 20kg luggage limit.
This is the reality of being sent into the “world of opportunities”, with nothing but hope, the spirit of adventure and the expectation of a better life. On one hand, your upbringing makes you feel like you have to remain grounded and true to yourself, yet along the way you’ve been stripped of any culture, taste or smells you once referred to as home.
As the years go by, you find yourself in a continuous state of change, and change becomes the only thing that is constant in your life. The journey opens your mind and makes you question every ritual you ever practiced. Every part of you starts to become uncolonised as you acclimatise, and eventually you discover that your true self lies somewhere beyond your comfort zone. Deep within you, right at the core of your inner being, that place becomes home.
Once you’ve established that “home” is an inner location, you begin to experience the world in a different light. You cannot miss something that already exists inside you, neither can you completely ignore or forget about it. No matter where you go, you can always find yourself home again in a moment of solitude. Even though you may sometimes find yourself without a personal physical address, you will never feel homeless. You make countless friends that become family, and discover through your adventures that the world truly is your oyster.
Now, at the age of 29, I am no longer obsessing about settling down in one place that I can call home. Instead, I want to see 30 new cities before I turn 30. I know that I will discover more about myself through seeing other places, and treat the entire world as my home and not just a temporary study, work or travel destination. I will no longer have one religion or one staple food, but embrace everything the world has to offer. I will share as much of my journey and experiences with those I meet, especially the children, to enlighten them on what else exists outside their home.
If it all sounds like a dream, then we should all be dreamers! I dream of a world without borders and boundaries. There is more peace in understanding one another than there is in fearing ‘the other’.
This article was submitted to World Nomads.