Where is your home? A tough question for those of us who are expats or immigrants, but also for many who have moved around a single country. It’s definitely something that some of my clients have discussed in our sessions. Pico Iyer has done a fabulous Ted Talk on this whole idea looking at how one might define ‘home’.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania in the States and spent most of that time in one house. That is ‘a’ home for me. I moved to another state for university and to live for a while after university. Then to another two for work before moving to London, where I’ve been for 10 years. While I’m both a citizen of the US and UK, I’m not sure that I can call either home at this point. I don’t fully fit in either place in its entirety. So, perhaps, I can call the house I own with my husband, home, which I do when I’m talking about ‘going home’. But if, like Pico Iyer, I lose this home, then is it truly my HOME? No, I think I carry my home in my heart – it’s the people who I love who make where I am my home. So, while with my husband, I feel at home. With my parents, I also feel at home. Perhaps, I can have more than one home. And I think that is quite amazing.
I love the quote that Pico Iyer says at the end of his talk, “Movement is a fantastic privilege, and it allows us to do so much that our grandparents could never have dreamed of doing. But movement, ultimately, only has a meaning if you have a home to go back to. And home, in the end, is of course not just the place where you sleep. It’s the place where you stand.”