I’ve thought a lot in the last few months about going back to England. I’m going back to what I know well and love and who I know well and love, but I haven’t really found myself saying to anyone or to myself, ‘I’m going home.’
But today I thought about it properly. I was thinking about good friends here that I’m saying goodbye to and so many of them are saying the word ‘home’ in our conversations.
“You must be excited about going home.”
“Your family and friends must be looking forward to having you home.”
“Lucky you, you’ll be home for the summer and it’ll be winter here.”
I’ve noticed they’re using the word ‘home’ a lot more than I am and it’s got me thinking.
I’ve always said that I’m ‘home’ wherever I am living at that time because I have my husband, animals, books, pictures and memory boxes close by. With them alongside me I can be myself. They are home to me.
Home is coming back at the end of the working day, it’s where I can curl up and read, engage, discuss, think and feel relaxed. That’s what home has always meant to me – not a physical place as such, but feelings I have and how they make me behave when I’m in a place, and the people and things I have alongside me each day. It’s about belonging, comfort and love.
New Zealand has been home for 8 ½ years and in 4 weeks’ time, I will be back living in England, my home country. I know it’s going to be different to where I have chosen to be recently and I know it will take time to adjust, but it will definitely be home.