It was three years ago, when I left my cold Erasmus city to spend the Christmas holidays in a much warmer place, Athens, surrounded by my family and friends in the cosy environment of ‘’home’’. And indeed, I had a great time meeting people I love and experiencing the ‘’luxuries‘’ of living in a flat, which I had really missed while living in a dorm. The days passed without noticing it and I had to go back to my Erasmus city, which I loved, and to my not-so-comfortable dorm, which I hated. So, I was more than surprised, when after a long trip I reached my dorm room and I felt like home!
Yes, it was true - this little room with just the basics located in this old and a bit creepy building has turned out to be my home, even though I had been living there only for 4 months!
While most people tend to identify home as the place where they have lived for a considerable period of time, there are many other reasons to make somebody feel at home. Home is the place where you can best adapt at, where you feel safe and protected and where your heart is most happy. It can be a place you visit for the very first time, a hidden spot in the city known just by a few, the smile of the person that serves you coffee everyday at your regular coffee place, the smell of your loved one, the hug of your dad, the laughs with your best friend while talking about a crazy night out.
Home is not a place, it’s a feeling. And this feeling can be carried with us everywhere we go.
It’s true that mobility tends to mess up with our idea of home and to bring out the gypsy in us. It’s easier than ever to travel, to move to different places and to change identities, and thus people tend to consider multiple places as their home over the course of a lifetime. People are moving in and out of flats, cities, countries or even continents with ease, changing lifestyles and starting their lives again under new circumstances. The number of people that belong in this incredible floating tribe is increasing and together with them comes the new definition of home. Where you come from is less important than where you’re going. And the “place” you’re heading to can easily become your home, as soon as you feel like being yourself there.
So I invite you all to take a moment and think… When was the last time you felt at home?