Where is Home?

“When are you going back home?”, “Are you planning to go back home anytime soon?”, they asked at different points. I smiled awkwardly and nodded, ‘no’.

Where is home2I’m not sure they know the location of the ‘home’ they were referring to; it is over 3200 miles away and it costs a lot of money and many hours to travel there; it is definitely not the place I call ‘home’ on a daily basis.

You see, I know they meant no harm when they asked me the ‘home’ questions; however, it got me thinking about where ‘home’ is for me and where others … different ‘others’ … might think ‘home’ is for me and why.

  • Is ‘home’ where I was born?
  • Is it where my parents live?
  • Or where I have lived for many years?
  • Is ‘home’ where I have spent most of my life?

Where is ‘home’?

  • Is ‘home’ the country where I went to primary and secondary schools?
  • Is it the country where I went to an international school?
  • Or the country where I went to university?
  • Is ‘home’ the country where I made my old or current friends?

Where is ‘home’?

  • Is ‘home’ the place where I could freely go to church?
  • Is it the place where I could go out without permission?
  • Or the place where I spent my formative years?
  • Is ‘home’ the place where I grew into an adult?

Where is ‘home’?

  • Is ‘home’ to do with the colour of skin?
  • Is it to do with the texture of my hair?
  • Or to do with the way I speak?
  • Is ‘home’ to do with the clothes I wear … or even the food I eat?

Where is ‘home’?

  • Is ‘home’ where I have the most memories?
  • Is it where I have my earliest recollections?
  • Or where I feel the most nostalgic about?
  • Is ‘home’ where I remember or where I am?

Where is ‘home’?

  • Is ‘home’ where I’ve worked for almost a decade?
  • Is it where I’ve paid taxes all my life?
  • Or where I’ve made the most contribution?
  • Is ‘home’ where I have the most involvement?

Where is home?

I remember when I first arrived in England almost 2 decades ago, thinking of the children of some of my relatives here as Nigerian though they had never been there. I remember walking away from visiting them once, fully convinced that they were definitely Nigerian in spite of them being second generation British. I can’t remember why this was so important to me at that point but I stand in a very different place now.

Unlike their parents I wasn’t born in England and unlike them, I don’t speak with a British accent; even then I’m a fully examined and paid-up British citizen. I met every naturalization and citizenship criteria that was required during my application process, including studying for, sitting and passing the Life in the UK test; never mind my significantly lighter bank account due to multiple application fees. I am not complaining; I chose to become a British Citizen and I’m pleased to be British!

Where is homeI have now lived in England for more years than I’ve lived outside it. I gave birth to my child here and I have invested hours of my life and effort, sometimes at premium cost to my personal life, in the future of thousands of young British people through my jobs over the years.

I can count how many times I’ve been to Nigeria since I left, and every time I’ve gone back I have felt more and more like a stranger; like I don’t belong there. I must say that I don’t exactly feel like I belong in England too, but I feel less like a stranger here; in fact, I’ve always been delighted to arrive back at Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick from trips abroad. I have built a life here, I feel like I know where I’m going here (most of the time, at least). Indeed, I feel like I know England more than I know Nigeria.

Do all these count for anything? Do they matter in deciding where ‘home’ is for me? Sometimes, addressing the ‘home’ question seems very simple, and at other times, so complicated. For example, as far as my parents are concerned, ‘home’ for my little family in England is ultimately Nigeria. I suppose for them, ‘home’ is about my birth place, where I ‘grew up’, and where most of my family are.

I’m not sure what the criteria of ‘home’ is for those who asked me the ‘home’ questions today and it is probably best that I don’t think too much about it.

I also don’t know where Precious Sparkle will think ‘home’ is when he is old enough; perhaps we’ll have this conversation some day and I’ll share this post with him.

However, for me on this day, I must say that ‘home’ is where I’m sitting down typing now, ‘home’ is in South East England, ‘home’ is with my husband and Precious Sparkle.

Perhaps I shall reflect on what makes this ‘home’ for me in another post on another day. Until then, ‘home’ is here. 🙂

Where is ‘home’ for you?

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First-time Mum / Freelance Writer / Thinker / Educator / Business graduate / Improving Photographer / so much more. \\ Recording my mu-m-sings from the South East of England | Sharing lessons from my life's journey to encourage and inspire | Filled with gratitude for my faith, family, and friends.

13 thoughts on “Where is Home?

  1. I do not live where I was born (Essex) or where I grew up (Sussex) and at one point or another those were both ‘home’. People say home is where your heart is and I believe that to be true in some instances. My heart lies with my husband and my children and for now we are all in Hertforshire and so that is home. But what about when my children leave home? Will my heart leave with them?
    Home is what you make of it, I decorate my house to be a happy home and that is hopefully something that will always be true.
    I hope you are happy in your ‘home’. x
    Katy {What Katy Said} recently posted…52 Week Photography Challenge – Week 4- LightMy Profile

    • I lost my reply! 🙁 O well …. Thanks Katy, for dropping by and for your thoughtful comment. Whilst it isn’t always as simply as it seems, I agree that home is where you heart is and what you make of it. How I see home for Precious Sparkle will probably give me a taste of walking in my parent’s shoes :-). Home is definitely a place to be happy and I’m really thankful that I’m happy in mine.

  2. Home is where the heart is, thats my moto. It took me a while to feel part of my village after moving and am still nostalgic of my birth city but I have no ties there now and my home is where ever I feel I want to be, where my heart pangs and yearns of. what a lovely, heart felt post. Thanks for sharing #sundaystars
    Ali recently posted…#MySundayPhoto – Chatting with MummyMy Profile

  3. For me home is where we live as a family, and right now home is Dubai. When we were in London home was london. Even though my mum still lives in my childhood home when we go there I am not going “home” as it’s not my family home anymore, my family is newly created with me my husband the terror and the bump x

    • Yeah … it’s less about the location and more about the people, isn’t it! But not just any group of people either, but rather the ones closest to your heart perhaps. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by; and keep enjoying Dubai 🙂

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