When I moved to Canberra, my fellow blogger mentioned me on his Facebook page: “Now you call Canberra your home.” He wrote this message because I have changed my “Current City.”
I could not make jokes with him about this home-specific question because it got me thinking seriously: is Canberra my home now? What does the word “home” mean for a person who spends most time travelling from one place to another?
Many people, who do not spend much time on the road, define their “home” as a place they were born. Actually, I was born in St. Louis, the place where my father came from, but when I was two, we have moved to Houston, the place my mother comes from. Therefore, it was difficult to me to define home since the very beginning.
Late I moved away from my parents home to enter college in the city of Austin. By the time I was finished with college in 2007, I started my overseas trips. Maybe, Austin would have been the final destination for me, but later I moved to Shanghai to teach Chinese. So, the point is that I come from nowhere.
Others people might say that home is not a place you or your family come from, but where you have chosen to settle. So, is it the address where your newspapers and letters are delivered? What about that sentimental feeling of a place you belong to?
So I decided to leave the place I lived at that moment and spend my summer on the road, figuring out what or where I considered my "home" to be. Is there a better place to understand where your home is than a long trip?
I decided to start my journey with a short visit to Houston, a place where my family is currently living. Home is the place your parents live. That’s right!
I shared my plans with a friend and he didn't agree with me. “Try to be honest to yourself,” he said, “if you have met you cousin, or your father, or your grandma on the street without knowing who they were, and had some tea or coffee with them, do you think you would enjoy this conversation? Would you really like them?”
He had a point. Could I relate to places and people without paying special attention to my individual reasons and social conventionalities?
I love Canberra, I feel accepted and welcome even if I did not spend my childhood here. I would like the Canberra’s status of my official “home”. Also, I would like to become close with my parents and even receive my mail to the address in Austin in the future. But I don’t want to have a permanent home. I have fixed points and friends all over the globe and I feel lucky not be burdened by a single corner.
Home is not a place you come from and not even a place you like to rest your head. It is a signal that you have to hear and follow. Just listen closely!
About the author:
Tracy Baro is a writer and editor. She writes her own blog about travelling and education in general here - http://academic-writing.org/blog
Currently, Tracy makes her career as a freelance academic writer and create custom papers for students covering a diverse range of topics.