Defining the Term “Home”

by Amalia

I have constantly asked people — those who had lived in many countries for most of their lives, how did you define the word home? What was home to you?

And today, I asked the same question to my followers on Twitter.

I, myself, have been struggling to define this word and to pick a place suitable to be called a home.

I lived in Jeddah for 10+ year. This was the place I knew since I was a little kid. I no longer live there but I pay a visit every single year and my parents still live in this city. However, I feel like a total stranger and second citizen whenever I’m in Jeddah. I regarded Jeddah as my home before, but the unwelcoming attitude that I always felt over there made me want to totally retract my thought. Jeddah was definitely not my home. If it was, I would not feel insecure about myself. I would feel connected. But in reality, I am not! πŸ™

Jakarta is the city where my identity comes from. I only lived there for 3 years, but every now and then I try to go back to visit my extended family. Someday, I’ll eventually go back for good. To me, Jakarta is not a home. I do feel connected as my root lies there, but I can’t say I love living in Jakarta. It’s not a place to enjoy life. I find myself constantly complaining when I’m there!

Eindhoven — I’ve only lived there for 2 years. I love it. The people are nice. The experience I had was very exciting. I feel so belong. But somehow, there’s something missing about it. Something that makes me refuse to call it a home. I am not sure what.

So, where’s my home exactly?

A friend told me that she defined home as a place where her parents currently lived.

Mbak Nel thought that a home was a place where our heart was located πŸ™‚ . But I asked myself, where did I leave my heart, again?

Then Mulia said that she didn’t have a place to call home, either! And she didn’t want to push herself to define it! Someday, in some random place, the feeling of being at home will eventually arrive. You don’t have to search for it. It’s not something that we can define. It’s something that we feel.

Ah, can’t agree more! πŸ™‚ I may not have a home now, but I’m sure the time will come when I can finally call one place a home! πŸ™‚