In between cultures: where is home?
Being in three different countries over the last couple of days I got inspired by the question of “Where is home” for the typical expat. 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
“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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