HOME: a concept that commonly refers to one’s place of origin, a place of familiarity and comfort, one that you can call your own.
For those of us who are living as nomads, what is the meaning of home when our souls constantly seek more? When fearlessness reigns supreme and access to distant continents and unfamiliar territory is not an impossible feat, but rather only a few emails or What’sApp text messages away? When we can connect the dots between London, Berlin, New York, Lagos, Sao Paulo or Johannesburg with the blink of an eye, traveling with ease and calling each place home in one way or another. It’s a new-school renaissance, shaped by our curiosities and made possible by the technologies that connect us. It’s the story of so many who have left the comforts of home to create their own definition of what that word really means. This idea is more than a concept, it’s my story.
Three years ago, I made the decision to leave my comfort zone in the United States to move to the United Kingdom. This was fed by a long-time desire to experience life abroad, and before I knew it, one year turned into three, and now here I am preparing to do it again. This fall I move to South Africa, where I am excited to start the process all over again.
Over the past two years, I have started to feel slightly out of place during my visits back to the States. Not quite sure where to fit in, I eventually carved my own place in what I like to think of as an imaginary cloud, conveniently located between both places. It’s something nice and comfortable, located close enough to the ground for me to immerse myself in my current surroundings, but just slightly above so that I could transport myself back when and if needed. So, as I prepare to move farther away from where I started, I realize that at my core, I’m American, but I’ve become more comfortable with my own interpretation of what home means to me. My definition is made up of every encounter, conversation and exchange that I have experienced along the way, mixed with the comfort that I have found in change and adjustment, regardless of geographic distance.
As I’ve struggled to understand what this means for me, I’ve had several conversations with fellow ex-pats who have defined their own sense of home. So I figured what better way to share these stories than right here on Parlour. Each month, we will highlight the stories of the nomads of the world, as they share their definitions of what home really means to them. Hopefully it will serve as a source of inspiration for those who are still searching. Because once it’s realized, there’s nothing like it!
We’d love for you to be a part of the conversation! Are you a nomad who has created your own definition of “home”? We would like to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story.