Where is home?
Updated: Apr 3, 2021
Expat bite size inspiration Vol. 3
I would like to start with a question, a question that is posed very frequently in my coaching sessions, especially with expats, nomads and internationals: Where is home? Where do you consider to be your home? Is it where you are right now, where you were born or where you spent most of your adult life? Or maybe you feel at home in many places like me?
While I used to feel confused and out of place, striving to belong, not knowing which way is home, I have now embraced the ambiguity, no questioning, no regrets. Simply cherishing the moment, making the best out of life, here and now.
I was born in Poland but have spent half of my life living abroad, not just in one place but in many different countries where I spent a few years at a go, either studying or later on working and living a normal life. I have lived in the US, UK, Germany, Spain and France so far and visited many other places. Every time I moved to a new place, of course it did not feel like home straight away. It took some time until that feeling of familiarity developed. For instance when I lived in London, I absolutely adored it, but one morning I woke with a strong of feeling that I would not see myself there long term, so I moved back to Germany. While I still love England and would go visit any time, I know living there for good is most probably out of the question.
A home away from home
When I was living in Frankfurt, Germany, the moment I heard myself say 'home sweet home' on entering my flat coming back from a business trip or a holiday, I realised that I was ready to stay put. After living there for a year, I was ready to set roots, however a professional opportunity arose in Spain and I moved to Barcelona which I felt at home in immediately. I did not have to analyse anything, it just felt right from day 1.
Then for family reason I moved to France where I found it extremely hard do develop the feeling of belonging even though I made an effort and used my experience of creating my own home wherever I go. Later on due to the pandemic I moved to Poland with my family and many of my friends and colleagues are surprised that I went back to the roots.
I have been in Poland for 9 months now, that is the longest since 2000. Having left 21 years ago, it is an odd feeling to be back home when the ‘back home’ has changed and so have I and so has my concept of home.
And while Poland feels like one of my homes, it is not because it is my country of birth, strangely enough. I actually left because I did not feel at home here and when I come back 2 decades later, I do. The reason why I find it easier to belong here is because I have identified my ingredients of happiness and I make sure to look for them, create them, recreate them wherever I go. While I used to feel confused and out of place, striving to belong, not knowing which way is home, I have now embraced the ambiguity, no questioning, no regrets. Simply cherishing the moment, making the best out of life, here and now.
The reason why I find it easier to belong is because I have identified my ingredients of happiness and I make sure to look for them, create them, recreate them wherever I go.
What’s your experience? How do you know your new place has a potential to be your new home. What are your ingredients to feel just right in a place, to feel you belong there?
If you feel like you are at a crossroads between countries, decisions, careers, relationships...
Why not replace overwhelm and confusion with direction and meaning to find your home?
Take action and set yourself up for success so that you thrive. Managing is not an option, let alone surviving. The price of not doing anything is way too high. Dare to thrive and book your Discovery Session today: http://www.lucynabolin.com/bookings-checkout/discovery-session-2/book