Friday, 23 September 2011

Defining "home"

Home is where the heart is.” “There’s no place like home!” “Home is where you lay your head.” These mantras have been heard time and again in various contexts. However, as most of you can relate to, the concept of “home” is not quite that simple. All of you who fall under the “title” of “Expat Teen” have different experiences and, thus, have a different perspective when it comes to defining what “home” is. If you’ve always lived in different countries outside of your passport country and/or that of your parents, your answer may be more “complicated” than those who may have only lived in one other country aside from their passport country/country of birth. Even within those distinctions are variations that would be inadvisable to elaborate on here. Regardless of what your experience is, one could argue that there are various smells, thoughts, scenery, and/or people that you associate with “home.” Take a moment to think about that. Regardless of how many places you have lived in the world, chances are that there are certain foods, smells, languages, and other “minutiae” that remind you of places that you’ve lived, places that you may have once referred to as “home.”
So, if your definition of “home” changes, then what do you do when something happens when you feel like you don’t want to make anymore changes with regard to where “home” is? If your family moves around a lot (which is the case for many of you), how do you adjust to going back to what one or both of your parents call “home” when it’s never really been a permanent home for you? And as you get older, how do you reconcile for yourself what type of “home” you will make for yourself? Will you continue to move around? Will you get “antsy” every 2, 3, or 5 years, ready to make a move? Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t. Regardless, what do you do with those feelings? Who do you talk to?
Several Expat Teens contributed their own concerns related to “home” in our, soon to be available, book, Expat Teens Talk. If you are struggling with similar issues, we encourage you to continue to watch this spot for more information about when you can get your own copy of our book. In the meantime, TALK to us and let us know what’s on your mind…

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