Ooh, this month’s travel linkup is an interesting topic indeed. Hmm… What makes somewhere feel like home?
I consider myself an expert mover. I can pack up and shift my belongings in a day if needs be. I don’t find it stressful, I don’t find it emotional, I actually love moving because of the excitement of a new chapter, discovering a new place and it gives me an excuse to re-organise! It wasn’t until Mo and I were packing up to leave our first home back in 2011 that I realised not everyone felt the same.
Whilst I was bustling around all happy and busy being sensible, labelling boxes to load into cars, Mo was less joyous and was actually devastated to leave. It was the first home we had lived in together and we had had many good times there. So whilst I was busy looking into the future, Mo was taking time out to reminisce about the past. I remember worrying that maybe I was cold on the inside? Maybe I had a heart of stone? As I was seriously struggling to find some remorse about leaving.
But the real reason was quite simply because ‘home’ means something totally different to me.
Up until that point Mo had moved house less than a handful of times. I however, well, I’ve lived in 2 countries, 4 cities and moved house maybe 20 times in my life so far. Every single one of the places I have stayed in I still call them all ‘home.’ When I go back to my parents house, they will also always be known as ‘home.’ And then to add to the confusion, near enough every place we have visited on holiday Mo and I always find ourselves falling in love with some element of the trip resulting in us calling our current destination ‘home.’
Growing up abroad has helped me adapt and adjust to life just about anywhere. My habits change, my accent drastically changes (!) and when your facebook is a frenzy of people in all sorts of far-out fantastic destinations, I never worry about feeling alone. Home, to me, is anywhere you feel comfortable, which in my world is dictated by people. That comfort of a friendly face, even if it’s a stranger smiling at me in the street, I get that same ‘home’ feeling. Whenever I’m with Mo, my family, my friends, my cat… just being around them feels like I’m in the right place.
After saying all that, in recent years my thoughts have started to change direction ever so slightly…
Although I still don’t think of the house I live in as my permanent address, I’m still not attached to it and I could, as I’ve done many a time, quite simply up and leave tomorrow if needs be. I still believe ‘home’ is about the people I surround myself with, whether I know them or not. I have however, found a City that my heart genuinely feels love and attachment too.
I’m now in my sixth year living in this Northern Powerhouse and as much as I love travel and can picture myself discovering the world. I feel the animal definition of home is the way I feel about Manchester – ‘a territory where I would return by instinct after having left.’
Just today, Mo and I took a stroll through the city; the diversity and atmosphere around us was instantly up lifting. It’s a city that shares my passions, my interests and I still have so much to learn and discover.
Maybe it’s my age, my priorities, or maybe its the fact that Manchester is such an amazing location for travel. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is, but there’s just something about this great, GREAT city that makes me want to call it my forever home.
Have you visited anywhere and it’s sparked off such a strong feeling in you that considered moving there? Are you an expat, when and why did your new city start to feel like home? Have you ever moved somewhere completely new on a whim? What makes somewhere feel like home? People, places, food?
How to link up your post