Where is home?
Where is home?
Being in three different countries over the last couple of days I got inspired by the question of “Where is home”. Here is my point of view on this topic and I would love to learn more about your opinion.
How to define "home" as an expat
Last Thursday I hopped on a plane to visit my parents back home in Germany. One of the bigger gifts for Mother’s day. I spend a day in Rejkavic on my way to Euopre watching wales and getting a glimpse of the life in Iceland. Next stop was Germany to surprise my family and the reaction was always the same: Everyone kept staring at me for an eternity, speechless and in a state of shock. It took a while till they realized that this is no joke and that I am actually standing right there. Although we are in constant contact via facetime etc. it is still different to be actually right here. It is great to be back for a week and indulge in this old lifestyle of mine when I was younger.
There is a famous German song which also gets in my head when traveling to another country from Hannes Wader (“Heute hier, morgen dort”/ “Today here, tomorrow there”)
“Heute hier, morgen dort
Bin kaum da, muss ich fort
Hab’ mich niemals dewegen beklagt
Hab’ es selbst so gewählt
Nie die Jahre gezählt
Nie nach Gestern und Morgen gefragt”
Today here, tomorrow there, hardly I’m here when I’ve to go away,
I never complained because of that.
I’ve chosen it like that myself, never counted the years,
Never asked for yesterday and tomorrow.
The German singer Hannes Wader has written this song referring to his tour life. It speaks to me as being an Expat is sometimes similar. Especially when it comes to serial expatriation. As an Expat I try to live in the moment as much as possible. This can be quite a challenging goal. It is always hard not to compare, not to miss some parts of the other country and one common thing in my life will always be to miss loved ones as my friends and family are spread around the world. As an Expat you will always have a wandering mind and home will become difficult to define. It is not a city anymore and even not a country. Living abroad for more than a year now even a culture does not feel like home anymore as there are some new facets I have adopted from the culture I am living in right now. From all the places I have lived in, this small town in Germany might feel the most like home as most of my childhood memories are here. However, memories are always part of the past and my mind is currently more shaped by present experiences.
"As an Expat I try to live in the moment as much as possible. This can be quite a challenging goal."
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"It definitely requires the need to explore something new again and again and to challenge the status quo"
Therefore, home is not a physical place for me anymore but a place where I feel like home no matter where it is located. Living together with my husband is the only constant in life. To feel comfortable in this lifestyle maybe requires some special motivation or character trait. It definitely requires the need to explore something new again and again and to challenge the status quo. When things settle down and become easy I start to feel the urge to change something again. When my learning curve starts to decrease I want to learn something new. When my home is fully furnished and decorated I start to think about moving somewhere else to start all over. For me personally, this has nothing to do with the need to escape from something. It is more my personal experience of how moving outside your comfort zone can enrich your life and I am just too curious to stay. This might change in a different age, professional state or when kids are a part in one’s life but for now home is where I am and where I come home in the evening to discuss the adventures of the day with my husband.
What is home for you?
What is home for you? Do you exactly know where you will be in the next couple of years? Do you live with a long-term plan or from day to day? Would love to learn more about your experience and view about this. Let me know in the comments below.
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More Monday Thoughts:
When you are moving abroad it’s funny how many small things in daily life start to become a big event. For me visiting the gynecologist was one of these moments. In this article, I describe a little bit of my routine visit last week to give you some insights on how different our cultures are in these daily life situations. For my male readership: I know that’s TMI, but if you are curious keep on reading 🙂
A couple of days ago I found myself in the endless circle of checking my Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, google analytics and then back to Instagram. And in no time, the day was over and I did not manage anything on my todo list. At the same time, I felt restless, tired and exhausted. How can that be? I decided it can’t be like that from now on.
‘Expat Syndrome’ is a condition whereby many expatriates see mostly either the best of their own nationality and the worst of the locals, or see the opposite.” My opinion on comparing cultures and what I learnt as a German in America.