an expat's musings on home

they say that home is where the heart is, but I've left my heart in so many places.

being back in the states right now, approaching my 5th expat anniversary, the topic of home has been heavy in my mind. I like to travel with an open heart, and sometimes it can be a hazard. I've fallen in love with locations all over the globe. places I grew up, places I've lived, and places I've only visited.

the more I travel, the longer the list gets, and the more I realize the question of "where is home?" never seems to have a clear answer.

I used to worry about this. a lot. especially after we first moved abroad. I wondered if I would ever really find a place to call home. I had memories scattered all over the earth -- but I'd never stayed somewhere for longer than a decade. there were so many places I thought I could belong, that maybe I would never belong anywhere.

then I realized, if so many places felt like home... maybe I didn't have to choose. living this expat life, I may never have one specific place to call home. but who says that "home" has to be a house with a yard and a white picket fence? why should it be only the place you were born or raised or live? or even a location at all?

to me, home is not a place. it's a feeling.

home is sitting on the edge of a dock, dipping my toes in the water, holding my morning coffee and watching the mist clear over the lake. it's standing on a rooftop in Istanbul, listening to the call to prayer echo over the Golden Horn at sunset. sipping a glass of wine on a bench at Prague Castle while husband has one arm around me and a beer in the other.

home is baking in the Thai sun with my favorite book on a sandy beach in Railay, turquoise waves crashing on the shore. it's navigating through the tourists to find my special secret spot in Central Park. it's dumplings and drinks with friends on a steamy Taipei night. home is hiking up a mountain trail or through a forest in Taroko Gorge, Milford Sound, or maybe the Olympic Peninsula.

home is a hug from my husband at the end of a long day, a text from a friend checking in, the sound of the keys on my laptop clicking as I write. or, home is just watching TV with my parents while a cat is curled up in my lap.

maybe, home really is where the heart is.

that is -- home is in my heart, wherever I go.

linking up with Follow Your Sunshine, SilverSpoon London, Adventures of a London Kiwi and Kiwi Footprints for the monthly travel link up, 

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