I remember when I was little, my parents had a picture hanging in the hallway. It read, “Home is where your heart is”, and it really confused me. Home is where I live, it’s where my family live, it’s Glasgow, it’s Scotland. As I grew up and spent nights at my girlfriend’s flat, I caught myself referring to that as home when we were together, but I didn’t have much more than a toothbrush there. Is a home just a place where you rest your head some evenings or does it have an intrinsically deeper meaning that we don’t consciously think of?
Dictionaries describe ‘home’ as a place where we live permanently. They don’t explain the common connotations, the things that we think of when we hear the word, which are far more important when I try to understand it. When I think of home, I think of all the people that I’ve ever cared about; my parents, my family, my friends. I think of warmth and happiness and it bubbles up inside of me until I’m forced to smile.
I consider myself very lucky, I have the most supportive and loving parents in the world. They have always believed in me and encouraged me to explore the world. If it wasn’t for them taking me around the globe as a child and a teenager, I doubt I would ever have had the same ambition to travel. Because of the love that my family have shown me, Scotland will always have a special place in my heart and it has given me a spiritual home forever.
Unfortunately, no matter where I am in the world, I’ll never be able to have all of those I care about in one place. My heart will always be broken into a hundred little pieces and spread over every continent, with my friends and family. Some of my best friends are with me in Thailand but some live in Scotland, Spain, America and Canada, to name a few.
Living abroad and travelling has been an enriching experience, but it’s also created angst inside of me and a drive that I should keep going, see more, do more, experience more. Maybe I would be happier if I had just remained in Scotland and searched for jobs there. I doubt it, but there’s always that thought in the back of my mind.
I’ve been searching for home all this time and have always been left with a sense of fulfillment. So, it made me question the meaning of the word and I’ve discovered that perhaps each person has a different perspective, a subconscious understanding of home that only they have.
Trying to take in the cultures of the various countries in which I’ve lived has opened up more ideas to me and I have begun to understand that picture hanging in my parents’ hallway back in Glasgow. Home is where my heart is. But my heart isn’t in one place anymore. In some weird way, it’s everywhere. I sleep well at night knowing that I’ll be able to travel anywhere and call it home. For now, my permanent address is in Thailand, but who knows, maybe someday it’ll be elsewhere. I just hope that my journey continues.