SOMEONE RECENTLY asked me, “Where’s home to you?” It was a simple question but I had to think about it for a minute. I’ve been in Taiwan for almost four years now . . . home isn’t Taiwan, is it? Or perhaps I don’t want this to be home. Nor do I want to be constantly pining after London when I don’t know when I’ll be living there again, and never to think of the place that I am as home.
“Wherever my husband is,” I told her, leaving us both confused and unsatisfied.
While I would traditionally say ‘London’ was my home, as the city of both my primary and secondary schools and of both my parents’ homes. Having lived in Paris and in Taiwan for the last four years, my concept ‘Home’ has changed over the years.
As most of my readers are aware of, Taiwan is where I’m currently based. It’s quite usual for me to deal with all the strife and shock that comes with total immersion expat life. I actually enjoy having to bust out my Google Translate to negotiate with people every day. I like not knowing what I’m gonna run into around any corner. From sorting out residency papers and visas (the bane of my existence in Taiwan) to negotiating rent and setting up a bank account, nothing is simple, easy or familiar while transitioning abroad. It does get easier, but very slowly. I always likened to personal challenges.So for all the people who think moving abroad is a piece of cake or a long-term vacation, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s a daily battle that almost always leaves you questioning – is this what I really want? while sulking on the Taipei Mrt and wondering how did I get here?But if it is, then all the challenges that go into living abroad make the experience all the more rewarding and memorable. There is not a movie out there that can truly capture just how amazing it is to have that experience under your belt because, it’s one of those “you really have to be there” moments.These are the best moments you can have while travelling, spending the day with new local friends and laughing, getting invited to a family dinner, becoming part of your new community. Living abroad is so much more than a new country, a place to tick off of a bucket list. It’s about the experiences you have and the people you meet.
So I ask myself Where is my home? Is it London: where I was born and raised, but barely ever visit? Is it Taipei a city I’ve lived in for the last 4 years and barely speak the language? Is it Vietnam a place so foreign to me, but is where my ethnic roots lie? Is it somewhere else in mainland Europe like France: where I lived and passionately learned the language and secretly dream of moving to one day?It kinda bugs me whenever I visit or call home I get asked: “When are you moving home?” What home? North London, where I grew up, a city that I feel increasingly alienated from each time I go back? I find that question kind of insulting to the life that my husband and I have built together here – home at the moment is our apartment in Taipei. That might one day change, but it is our ‘Home’.
So where is home for you? Or where are you local? What is it that makes a place ‘home’ for you?
Excuse me for the long post. I wanted to let it all out as it’s the New Year! As seen I’m wearing a fluffly cardi with a silk floral cami that I’ve belted. Belting has been one of my favourite styling tricks recently. I do like to see a defined waistline and especially with unstructured garments.
Thank You For Reading. Have a Wonderful week ahead 🙂