The Expat Diaries: Home?

How do you define home?
This might be the toughest question in the world for nomads.
Is it the place you’ve spent the most time?
Is it where you live now?
Is it your favorite place you’ve lived?
Is it where your family is?
For me, home is none of those things, but all of those things.
I often call South Texas “home,” but when I’m visiting it doesn’t always feel that way.
Streets and buildings have changed. Faces have changed.
Sometimes I even have trouble getting into the “locals” bar on my tiny island.
“What do you mean, who am I,” I argue, “Who are you???”
Still, I have an infinitely strong connection to South Texas that can never be broken.
There will always be something calling me back to South Texas- calling me home.
At the same time, something will always be calling me back to Hawaii, Southern California, Galapagos, and now Tanzania.
The voices might be different than the ones calling me from South Texas.
I don’t have relatives in those places.
I didn’t spend the majority of my life there.
Still, there are things about those places that I will never completely feel at home without.
There are pieces of me that I’ve left behind.
And I don’t think I’ll ever be “whole” anywhere ever again.
A nomadic life is one of adventure, discovery, and novelty.
But it’s also one of longing.
For every interesting person you’ve met…
for every mountain you’ve climbed..
for every wave you’ve surfed…
there is one you’ve left behind.
One you miss.
And for every familiar place calling, there is a new one calling.
Because when you’re a nomad,
nowhere is home,
and everywhere is home.

 

Comments

  1. When I go back home I feel like I don’t fully belong but yet its where I am from and have a strong connection to. It is a weird feeling to have when you try and think of where home is and for me I just think where ever my family is will be my home.

  2. I think you totally captured what a lot of current and former expats think/feel at one point or another. So funny how the place where you grew up and lived for so many years can become eerily unfamiliar and no longer ‘home’. You are so right, being an expat completely redefines ‘home’.

    I very nearly booked a holiday to Dar. I haven’t had a chance to read your entire blog yet, but would you recommend it for a holiday? If so, top places to visit/things to do?

    Life+1
    New Post: Favorite Eateries in England

  3. I STRUGGLE with the concept of “home” and getting “home” even though it probably isn’t going to happen for another decade. I want to be OK with not living at “home” but I cant. Ahh, military life. A constant struggle.

  4. I feel this way whenever I return to the UK. The closest I’ve ever got to feeling like I had another home was in Moscow, but even then it wasn’t quite right. Now whenever I head home I feel a little lost – I hope that won’t always be true. I’d like to settle back there one day.

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