HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

You know that home-sick, lump in your throat, feeling you get when you’ve been away from home for a while? Some people feel it after a week, some after a month, but most people understand what it is to be homesick. After spending four months away from what is technically my home, I’ve realised I haven’t felt that feeling once. I haven’t ached to walk around my hometown or craved a good meal from a local restaurant. I haven’t felt sad thinking about life back home or desired to go back once. Don’t get me wrong I miss my friends, family, and my lil puppy (although he’s not so little or a puppy), from time to time, but that’s the only thing I miss. I don’t miss “home”. But maybe that’s because I don’t really have one.

Even though I have just come to terms with this concept of not having a home, I’ve been familiar with the concept for my whole life. When I was 6 years old my family and I moved from Slovakia to Toronto, Canada. I don’t remember much about the move or the transition, other than being “that foreign kid” that was mysterious to my Canadian classmates. I learned the language really well and in under a year of living there I was speaking fluently in English. And considering we moved schools a few times, I made friends really easily. But I always felt like an outsider. For some reason, I never fully clicked or fit in with the culture in Canada. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Canada. It’s an amazing country with some of the friendliest people. Poutines, Tim’s coffee, and tobogganing in 5 feet of snow, will forever hold a place in my heart. On top of that Canada has some of the most beautiful towns, cities, mountain ranges, lakes, and waterfalls, that are the best for exploring. And there’s so much of the country that I still need to explore (road trip, anyone?). So I am really glad and grateful that I grew up there. But that being said, even though I’ve lived there for the majority of my life, it never truly became my home.

I’ve always tried to figure out and change the fact that I didn’t feel like I fit in. I didn’t understand why I felt the way I did, and because it felt so strange saying that the country I’ve lived in for 15 years didn’t feel like home, I didn’t express my thoughts to anyone. But after I moved to Scotland and began living with people from various countries and continents, I realised that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. A few of the friends I made told me they felt the same way, and that those feelings were a big driving force for their travels. Moving from country to country and having your family spread around the world can make your sense of “home” be completely reformed. You don’t feel at home in your birth country, past homes, and even your current home country. Although I’ve struggled with this concept my whole life, meeting people who have these same feelings as me has made me learn to accept it. It’s made me realise that it’s okay to not have a place where you feel completely at home. You can make a home for yourself no matter where you are in the world. You’ll meet amazing people and make lifelong friends all around the globe who will forever hold a place in your heart. After all, they say that home is where the heart is, and that idea of home sounds pretty good to me.

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