The concept of home is like a relationship… The country you were born is your family. You love them, you want to spend time with them, but you didn’t really choose them. But you can choose someone to spend your life with, your husband/wife/partner, just like you can pick the country you want to spend your life in. Among many people in the world you pick one person to share your life with, among many countries around the world you pick one to make your own and call home.
I always thought home was where I was born and raised, it was almost like home HAS to be where I was born. But not necessarily… you are born in a certain place by destiny, not by option.
The truth is… I always felt an outsider growing up. My parents were not from the place I was born, I speak differently than most of my friends (almost like an accent in my mother tongue!), I ate different food, didn’t have a large family around me like most of my friends. I was always an outsider, I always felt like I didn’t fit in.
It never particularly bothered me. I dealt with the jokes, I’ve adopted other families, I’ve made amazing friends. I enjoyed all parts of it.
It took me a lot of strength to leave it all behind and move “outside the bubble” to go to school in another city… then to give the first step out of the country to study abroad… then to give an even bigger step and accept a temporary job in a farther strange country where the culture was the opposite from mine. From that point on, I knew I had to keep going, and so I sold the few things I had to move somewhere new – new country, new city, new everything. No friends, no family, some language skills. And then everything became easier…
It became easier because I found a country that I felt at home. I found a place that even with an accent, eating different food, with no family… I was still feeling like I was at home. I loved every part of it. The culture, the people, the privacy… I still dealing with jokes about my accent, or when I ask some culture [weirdness] questions, but it does not bother me…
I was fortunate enough to have the strengths to leave my “”home””, and lucky enough to find a place I felt comfortable enough to call home… (No, I don’t live there anymore because job options took me somewhere else, but I know where I want to go back to, and that makes all the difference)
So… Forget the concept of home being where you have family, or a house, or where you were born. As someone once said “home is where your heart is.” Home is where you chose to make home, where the culture fits better with your personality, and you feel like you belong. It may be a different country, different city or a different continent – it does not matter. A lot of people spend their entire life in one place and are happy, others – like me – have to move around to find a place to settle down.
The world is my country, but home is where I have a reason – and the desire – to go back to…
As I always say: “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” -Thomas Paine