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

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.


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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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19 thoughts on “Who Said We’re Only Allowed to Call One Place Home?

  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. Kirsty says:

    This post really resonated with me. I always say home is wherever I say my backpack but, despite not having had our own ‘home’ in the UK for almost nine years, whenever we go back to England we always we’re going home! Although I enjoy a lifestyle of no fixed abode, I think there is something deep-rooted about belonging somewhere or being from somewhere. I also find it really irritating when the response I get to the question “where are you from?’ is along the lines of “man, I’m not from anywhere…”. Yes, you are!

    But if home is where the heart is, then mine is scattered in places all over the world Places where I feel very ‘at home’ in and that we re-visit regularly to put down, albeit, very temporary roots.

    • Steph says:

      So beautifully put Kirsty and I’m so delighted the piece resonated with you. I think a lot of longer-term nomads know this feeling and it was definitely on my mind to put it out there. Home is anywhere you feel safe, happy and peaceful I think. The sense of familiarity, family and friends helps, but isn’t always essential

  4. Sonja says:

    Love this!!! I’ve been thinking about this lately too and have at least 3 draft posts about it haha. Just moved back to the UK after a year in Spain and a year in Australia, but originally from New Zealand. It’s all very complicated! I think we can have many homes, and no one should tell us we can’t 🙂

    • Steph says:

      Absolutely, Sonja, you’ve got it in one. Sometimes life can be confusing enough as a nomad without us having to pick and choose the one place to call home. Let’s share the love out I say!

    • Steph says:

      Wise words indeed Sajjan, thank you so much for sharing them. Home can mean a lot of different things to different people, so it’s great to learn of others’ perspectives 🙂

  5. Michelle says:

    I started having two homes when I moved 500km to go to university many moons ago. Since then, I have always had dual home-ality, and do find that I have to explain it to people. I have been known to call 3 places home particularly after just moving. When I return to my previous home to visit friends, my new home and then my childhood/family home making the 3. I love that, to me, I can call anywhere I am, where I have some connection home.

    • Steph says:

      So brilliantly put Michelle and so great to hear from others who are in the same boat. The more homes the better I say! Thank you for sharing your story with us and hope you enjoy happy home times, wherever and whenever they may be 🙂

  6. Leontien Reedijk says:

    “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.”

    A lonely place, or a place of total freedom? A place that can be the starting point for anything we can dream up, no ties holding us back, no restrictions weighing us down. For me, home is where I can make a nice cup of tea, but I believe I have already mentioned that before.

    • Steph says:

      What a wonderful comment Leontien. You are absolutely right – the lonely / free dichotomy can be a slippery one when it comes to calling somewhere, anywhere, home – but the tea certainly helps! Alsways the tea! 🙂

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