Who Said We’re Only Allowed to Call One Place Home?

By on May 18, 2017 in Musings with 8 Comments

Who Said We Can Only Call One Place Home?

“So where are you heading on your next travels?” someone at work recently asked me.

“Home,” I said.

“And where is exactly is your home?” they replied

“Good question!” I answered.

It’s a funny old thing that notion of home isn’t it.

Something my forthcoming trip back to the UK has really got me thinking about.

After all, when I’m in Australia, the idea that I’m going home means I’m going back to the UK.

To the place where my family live, where I grew up, where my school and university friends are.

Yet when I’m in the UK, I also use the phrase “I’m going home” to talk about my return to Australia.

The place where I’ve lived for the last 4 years, where my job is, my partner is and my stuff is!

So, which one is really my home?

Well, I guess they both are.

Yes both Australia and the UK are my home in different ways.

If we’re talking about home in terms of what our passports say and where our family come from, then my home is the UK.

But if we’re talking about home in terms of where we live and work and have the majority of our possessions, then my home is Australia.

After all, who said we’re only allowed to call one place home?

Yes I’m wondering just who made up the rule that home can only mean one place and place only?

And, more to the point, who said we have to follow this rule?!

If you’re ever travelled, lived away from home, worked away or been an expat, then likely you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Exactly that sense of feeling connected to more than one place, of having more than one home.

And so why shouldn’t be able to have more than home, more than one country or location we feel rooted to or where we want to return to?

If home is where the heart is then why limit our hearts to just one destination?

If you ask me we should be able to have as many homes as we like, just as we can have as many friends or as many dreams as we care to.

I see no need to cut ourselves away from certain places, to rob them of the “home” label if we don’t want to.

When I was living in Central America for example, I remember feeling like I had 3 homes in fact – the tiny island off the coast of Nicaragua where I’d been living for a year, my room in London where I still had stuff stored and planned, at some point, to return to and the Channel Island of Jersey where I’d grown up and lived for the first 18 years of my life.

Yes, I felt like I could call 3 places home at that time in my life.

And I felt very lucky for it too.

In saying that, there’s no point in denying that having multiple homes can have its downsides too?

In particular, the sense of confusion it can create and the questions it can raise about “Where do I really belong?” are common.

Sometimes, instead of belonging in multiple places, multiple homes, it may feel like we actually don’t belong anywhere.

Ironically, having lots of choices over where to call home, can leave us with the feeling we don’t have one at all.

And just like someone lost at sea, this can be a surprisingly lonely place to find ourselves.

In these instances, it’s important to root down as much you can where you are, and to try and build bridges between those different worlds, those different homes, so that they don’t feel so separate anymore.

Yet for all it’s possible downfalls, having multiple places to call home, does come with a wealth of positives too.

Firstly it can give us flexibility in our lives, in our work and in our direction.

It can also give us the opportunity and the incredible ability to interact with a huge number of people and places that might be very different to where we’ve come from.

In turn, this can help us grow in all sorts of ways, not least in our appreciation of where it is that we have come from.

After all, I don’t think I’ve ever realised quite how great the UK is until I lived in Australia and I expect I’ll never quite realise how great Australia is until my visit back to the UK!

So here’s to having 2 homes and belonging in both!

I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way!

Do let me know if you’ve got multiple home syndrome too and how it makes you feel? Lucky or confused? I’d love to hear more …

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About the Author

About the Author: My name is Stephanie Parker and I'm a travel addict! With a background in the arts, I've always enjoyed writing, creating and sharing. This, combined with my love of wandering the globe and a deep-rooted nomadic spirit, led to the creation of Big World Small Pockets. Originally from Jersey, Channel Islands, I'm now based in Australia and backpack the world upside down collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 8 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Elena says:

    This actually hit home (no pun intended 😉 ). We’ve been slow travelers for the past 4 years. This means that for 3-4 months we stay in one place and we always call it home. A number of times I noticed a somewhat amusing reaction from our new friends in those places – when I am saying “Ok, guys, now we are going home,” the reply is “but you do not have one.” No, it’s not true. Our home is where we are now. Currently – Stockholm; 3 weeks go – Taiwan; in 2 months – Perth. After that – who knows. But they are all homes :). Honestly, since we started our never-ending journey, I never felt that I do not belong in [enter any place we lived in]. It might take a week or two to get used to, but it always feels like home. I hope I do not jinx my luck 😉

    • Steph says:

      This is so so true Elena and really beautifully put. Thank you 🙂 I love the feeling of creating new homes around the world, which as you say, after the first few weeks or so can easily be done. And why not? Who makes the rules? We do! Excited to hear you’re coming to Perth, that’s where I’m currently based too. A new home I found a few months ago! Sure you will love it.

  2. Elena says:

    Thank you, Steph :). How long are you going to be in Perth? It would be cool to meet :). We will be in Perth from July 2nd. Actually, we spent 4 months last year in Fremantle, so Perth is sort of old friend 😉

    • Steph says:

      Hey nice Elena, loving returning to see old friends! I am heading to Europe, but back to Freo in July too – would be great to meet then 🙂

  3. Guru says:

    The information you shared in this blog is really interesting.

  4. Leontien says:

    Home is where I can make my own cup of tea…

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