Home where?

A couple of days ago I was talking with a friend. Well, okay it has to be said that this person doesn’t know me that well; it was a talk to get to know each other…

Anyway, while talking I was saying things such as: “When I’m home I usually…” “My friends at home…” and more sentences like this, where the word “home” was present.

After awhile this person, knowing I travel a lot and that I no longer live in Italy, asked me: “What do you mean when you say “home”?

At the time I answered Italy: where my family is, where my lifetime friends are, where I lived for 18 years.

But honestly, I thought about a true answer for quite a while.

It has been 2 years now since I lived in Italy permanently; the longest period I’ve stayed there since when I moved abroad is 2 and a half months, last summer. The other times I visit for maximum 1-2 weeks (Christmas, Easter, Autumn break…).
When I’m there for short periods time flies, days are spent eating with my family, going out with my friends, visiting friends whom no longer live in my hometown and discovering what changed from my last visit. I often don’t even have the time to realize I’m actually home, and it’s already time to leave again!

The strange feeling arrived when I stayed longer than the usual 1-2 weeks, because when you have seen all your friends, all your family members are not worried you didn’t eat enough…the “party” is over. Okay, let me be clear: it’s not that after two weeks no one cares about me, ABSOLUTELY NOT (my granny still calls me every day because “she can’t believe I’m home”, my mum still cooks me special food because “where you live now you can’t eat it”, my best friend always comes out with new food places to try, etc.…) but it becomes “normal” and of course people have their own lives: work, sports, school… a routine to think about.

The problem is me, my routine, my routine is not there anymore. My mom and dad go to work, my sister goes to school, my friends have uni classes to follow or work, and I… unless I’m there intra-semester and have to study, am “free”.

On the other hand, there’s me in another country, without my family and lifetime friends, but where my uni is, where my new friends are, my new room which I decorated to feel like home, my new routine, a routine that I’ve built over time.

So, where is home?

The first year I was living abroad I counted the days to go back to Italy, and days seemed to never pass. Now instead, every time I look at the calendar I’m surprised about how fast time is flying and the main reason is because in the place in which I am now, I’m totally happy and pleased (and yes, also because the first time you move out it’s not all rainbows and unicorns…).

But the point is, what I’ve understood:

Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.

And when you feel it, you are in the right place.

 

By the way, this summer I’m going back to Italy again but this time I’ll be working so…. I’ll be busy too!

 

What about you? Have you ever experienced the same feeling? Which are the thoughts that you’ve drawn out of it? I would love to hear about it!

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This post was written by Lisa, an Italian girl globetrotting around Europe, blues&soul music lover and singer, addicted to crafting & healthy food. Oh yes, and in the meanwhile she’s a Marketing student.

Mmmm what else? She’s definitely a morning person, really lazy when it comes to make up and could spend more time in a stationary store than in a clothes one –

She loves sharing thoughts, feelings and reactions so do not hesitate to comment or contact her!

51 Comment

  1. I agree. I’ve somehow managed to live in four different states already, and I’ve decided that home can be anyplace that makes you happy. 🙂

    1. Yes exactly! Happy you can relate not many people understand this feeling!
      Thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂

      1. When you bounce around the country (or world, in your case!), I would imagine this is a perfectly normal feeling. 🙂

  2. I’m sort of the opposite. Last year I moved from Australia to Italy. I still call Australia my ‘home’ because that is where nearly everything and everyone that I love, care for and need are.
    Loved this post by the way!

    1. Thank you! And thank you for commenting, I’m so interested to hear different points of view and in this case it’s even more curious cause your new “home” is my old “home” 🙂 Thanks Lucia!

      1. You’re welcome!

  3. N. says: Reply

    This is so true! Ever since I moved to the US I’ve thought of Pakistan as ‘home’ but this time around when I visited, I got the ‘I’m home’ feeling after I returned to the US! Life is funny like that..

    1. Yes so true! I’m happy you can relate! Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

  4. I think home for me is wherever I feel so comfortable that I don’t have to worry about putting my best foot forward. So my parents’ house still feels like home, but so does my own apartment, as well as the houses of a few very dear friends!

    1. Oh yes, I totally agree! 🙂
      Thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂

  5. For me, it is not a different country but about 1500 kms away from my hometown, a whole new culture, a new language, which I don’t understand. A train journey takes me close to 30 hours and plane fares are expensive for weekend travels, so it is almost the same feeling after 2.5 hours

    1. 2.5 years sorry!!

    2. Glad you can relate and thank you for reading! I belive the distance doen not matter, you are still not in your usual place so you are definitely challenging yourslef! Thank you for commenting Sanhita 🙂

  6. Just as Pliny The Elder said long ago “Home is where the heart is”. That has certainly been true for me. I am a citizen of the world. And as I am lucky enough to travel the world on a sailboat, so where ever I go, I am home.

    1. Exactly 🙂
      Thank you for reading and for sharing this beautiful thought! 🙂

  7. That’s the perfect explanation of home!

    1. Thanks! 🙂

  8. Flor says: Reply

    Hello! This is such a sweet post, I totally get you. Sometimes it’s necessary to remind ourselves that home isn’t a place but a feeling, and that’s really important to keep us sane hahaha thanks for sharing this story! xx

    1. Thank you Flor for this nice comment and for reading! 🙂

  9. There is a beautiful: home is a feeling. I think this is the concept behind the adage: home is where the heart is.

    A great, heart-warming piece.

    I look forward to more of your posts. Following you now 🙂

    1. Thank you Sharon! 🙂

  10. Totally understand this – home is where you make it! I think I have a few different homes sometimes – my family, my boyfriend, my friends – wherever they are, I feel at home 🙂

    1. Exactly, I feel the same! 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting Jenny! 🙂

      1. My pleasure 🙂

  11. such an amazing post to read !! agree!! I will be moving soon too so could really relate:)

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Glad you can relate and good luck with your new adventure! 🙂

  12. Angie says: Reply

    I know what you mean! After drifting for a while now, nowhere really feels like home for me; although, I still say Seattle is home because that is where I was born and grew up at. My family is there. I lived there for over 30 years before becoming a nomad.

    1. Happy you can relate! I love hearing from other expats so thank you for reading and commenting Angie! 🙂

  13. I love what you said about Home being a feeling. Its an absolutely beautiful thought. – Cezane

    1. Thanks Cezane! 🙂

  14. Home is where my family is. Wherever they are, wherever we move to…as long as we are together, I am home. Lovely post. Have a beautiful day. Koko:)

    1. Thank you Koko! And thank you for sharing your thought! 🙂

  15. I traveled to Thailand over winter break and was staying with people that were essentially strangers (but I became good friends with them). My family was back in the states and I missed them, but I’d never felt so comfortable and “at home” in a different place before. It was amazing and made my trip so much better than it could have been!

    1. That’s amazing! I think feeling in the right place surrounded by good people makes everything more pleasant and enjoyable! Thanks for reading and commenting Andrea! 🙂
      P.S. So jealous you went to Thailand! It’s one of the top place on my list! 🙂

  16. Great post, I’ve struggled a lot with the concept of ‘home’ as an expat too. We went back to the states for 3 weeks last October, and it was a bit weird being on holiday when everyone else had to go to work, and strange to stay in a hotel in the town I used to live in!

    1. Yes right?? I totally understand, it’s a weird feeling!! Glad you could relate and thanks for reading 🙂

  17. I totally agree with your thoughts that “home is not a place, not a feeling.” I have moved around a lot in my life and although I never liked it, I have managed to find a home in each place. 🙂

    1. Ahhh great to read this! Glad you could relate! That’s exactly what I meant! 🙂 Thank you for commenting! 🙂

  18. I can truly understand what you feel since I’m in a similar situation! My home county is India and I’m living in the US currently. Everytime I visit my family, I say to myself I am finally going home. But after sometime I start missing my home here in the US and the life I have here. So like you said, home is a feeling that one has. Lovely post and so happy to come across your blog 😊
    XoXo

    1. Country*

    2. Aww thank you so much! I’m glad you could relate!! Happy we found each other! 🙂

  19. Lovely article. I think it’s very common for anyone that travels to question who they are, who they are becoming and how to renegotiate in their terms all the traditional values such as home. In my opinion, it’s not so much about the answer, it’s about the process of asking yourselves all these questions and that truly shows a sense of maturity. Home is everywhere and nowhere at the same time, it’s where you want it to be at one precise moment. If you love travelling, it means that it’ll change in time. And that’s a beautiful thing.

    1. I totally agree, the process behind it is way more valuable than the answer! 🙂 thank you for reading and commenting!

  20. A thought provoking post! Home is where you choose – not necessarily where you are from, unless you choose to make your life there as well. I think it is where you feel content and comfortable and surrounded by what you love. I’m sure that place will change over time as you travel and try new experiences!

    1. Yes, I totally agree! Thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂

  21. An interesting post!!!

    My personal view is home is where the heart is.. it is any place where you are have a sense of comfort and belonging.

    1. Yes exactly! Thank you for reading and for the nice comment 🙂

  22. Hi!
    Love your thoughts on home. As a former expat, it’s very relatable. I’d love for you to share your travel experiences on Pink Pangea (www.pinkpangea.com). If you’re interested, email editor@pinkpangea.com.

    Thanks!
    Rachel

    1. Hi! Thank you for your nice comment and for the opportunity! It would be a pleasure 🙂

  23. […] I was wrong. As I told you previously in this post, since I spend most of my time outside of Italy now, the feelings I have of home have […]

  24. […] about personal experiences and emotions. If I had to pick one in particular I’d choose “Home Where?” in my expat thought section, in which I explained how my feeling of home changed since when […]

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