What is Home? It’s a concept that I’ve grappled with for very long.
Where is home? I have a fluid notion of it – Home is wherever I choose to make it.
It makes it easier for me to adapt and settle into a new place. Maybe that’s why travel seems like second nature to me. I can just up and leave; make myself comfortable somewhere else.
I stepped into a convenience store to buy my prepaid top-up card. I asked the cashier, “How many dollars is it?” She replied, “Er, sorry darling, I’m not sure, let me check.” “Oh, wait, hang on. How many Euros?” The cashier looked flustered. “Give me a minute, love.” “Wait, I’m back in the UK! How many pounds?” Visibly relieved, she said, “Oh yes! Pounds! It’s 21 pounds.” “I’m so sorry, I’ve lost sense of where I was.” “It’s okay, we all do, once in a while.” I left the store sheepishly.
I took the bus into Liverpool’s city centre and sat behind two young boys. I knew it was rude to be listening in to people’s conversations but that was what I did the entire time – I listened to their speech. Whatever the content was flew over my head but what made me feel at home was the way they spoke. After spending 2 weeks in a land where people spoke minimal English, it felt good to be home.
So what and where is Home?
Right now, Home is in Singapore. In an apartment in Woodlands, in the long hallways of NIE, in my secret antisocial spot in Block AS4 in NUS, in the corner of cafes where I do my work, in the basement Starbucks of Changi Airport, in between bookshelves of the libraries.
Home is where my palpitating heart finds its rest. Home is where memories are made and kept. Home is where my loved ones are close. Home is wherever I am meant to be.
Maybe Home will change in a few years.
Maybe it’s not right to speak of one Home. I have many Homes, all of which serve to make life more colourful and imbued with meanings.
Homes – where I am unapologetically me.