Sunday, April 25, 2010

Where is Home?

I was on Facebook this morning, courtesy of my VPN (and yes, EF'M, you're right - Facebook is an awful timesucker and no one should use it, yet I can't seem to give it up. It's my not-so-secret addiction.).

Anyway, there I was, reading that my friend Danielle had joined a group called "I went to Target to buy shampoo and I spent $150." I laughed and immediately wrote back "If only I could join that group. Alas, no Target in Beijing. When I'm home this summer, I'm pretty sure I'll make up for lost time..."

And then I paused.

I've lived in Beijing for almost three years. I've lived overseas for eight of the last eleven years. And yet, reflexively, I typed "when I'm home."

Where is home anyway? I thought, for now, it was here in Beijing. This is where my kids are, after all. And my husband. And my boxes of holiday decorations, and my sock drawer. Oh, and I'm here, too.

So why isn't this home?


Betsy said... [Reply]

I was a military brat and then married into the military. After 16 years with my husband, I sometimes feel like I don't have a home anymore. I think it is the lack of roots that make a place not home. I am about ready to leave the military and put down some deep roots.

I hope all is going well with your move and that you enjoy your time at 'home'.

Deborah said... [Reply]

because home is in the pacific NW, duh. ;)

Donna said... [Reply]

@ Deborah, you are officially banned from my blog. Goofball.

(but can I still stay at your house this summer with all of my kids and dogs and suitcases?)

@ Betsy - do you even know where to put those roots down if you've always lived overseas? How do you decide?

Betsy said... [Reply]

Our families live almost 2000 miles apart, and neither place feels like home. We have decided to move out west after retirement - far from both families. I figure that after 20 years of moving around, we should finally live where we want.

KarenG said... [Reply]

Sometimes you live in a place for years and it never feels like home.

Jill said... [Reply]

love this... totally feel the same way. no matter where we hang our hat, for some reason I always feel like the USA is home ... and we don't even own a house there!

Shannon said... [Reply]

For me home is Texas where I grew up and where my parents and childhood friends still live, but I think if you asked my kids they would say Kentucky. Even though we have never lived there, they spend summer vacations with their Aunt running wild on her farm. It is one constant in this crazy life.

Walking to China said... [Reply]

It can't be home because lived there knowing that it would be short term. You can't put down roots too deeply when you know the roots will be coming up.
I think that some places feel more like home than others but that home is always where you grew up and where your friends and family are.

Donna said... [Reply]

Walking to China, maybe you're right. I knew when I got here that I'd be leaving in 2010, so I didn't throw any roots down. I'm more of a super-long-term tourist, I guess. With more than a few suitcases.

TravelMom said... [Reply]

Home is where your heart is. And usually, our heart is always with our family.

When leaving Amman on R&R, I always said I was "going home," but then when I got to America, I said I wanted to "go back home," meaning Amman.

Connie said... [Reply]

I agree with TravelMom - home is where your family/heart is. I don't think my husband or I have a specific 'home' place to name, both kids say California, sometimes they say Florida (where they've only vacationed, but I'm a native, so they can claim it), my son tends to say Maryland, our daughter sometimes says Cairo. :D We don't know! One day we'll figure it out. In the meantime, Amman is home.

Anonymous said... [Reply]
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Raymonde said... [Reply]

I still call my parents' house: back home. How weird is that! I then apologize to my husband, even though he does not mind...

Home Sweet Home, I sometimes look where I live and say to myself when did I grow up and have this house...

Where your heart is I guess is where your home is...

Take care making the moving plans. xxx

Jenn said... [Reply]

I've asked myself a number of questions over the past several years. I've been "home" for the past year and yet it still doesn't seem right. My husband has been overseas and though I'm in the house that I grew up in, surrounded by family....I'm still not "home". Strange.

Jessica said... [Reply]

Great post. And know exactly how you feel. Growing up Liam always said home was wherever his parents' furniture was located. I've tried this line of logic, but Baku will never feel like home. There's just that intangible that makes a place home. A strange recipe made up of comfort, ease, familiarity ... of belonging. So even when you haven't lived in the US for years, a part of it will always be home.

Catherine said... [Reply]

When I was in the Marine Corps, we always said "home is where your bed is"... after 10 years of moving around from post to post and as an MSG, I was used to moving and now that I've been living in VA for almost 4 years I'm uneasy once again...

Please. Write your own stuff.