As many of you may know, I recently came back from an amazing holiday to Mauritius - the motherland, the country where both my parents, their parents and grandparents were born. But, what you may not know, is that I have now become a fully fledged Mauritian citizen! So, I thought I'd give you an insight into what it feels like to call 3 different places home.
First off, I'll let you know where my homes are:
Epsom is my hometown (or if we get into the nitty gritty, West Ewell). It's where I grew up, quite literally, I lived in the same house for 18 years before I moved away to Manchester and my parents still live there. It's the place I go to feel safe, to see family and to feel overwhelmed by love (but, you know, also to go to get the best food ever).
The city that I chose to call home. The place that I ventured to on my own, where I figured out who I am, what I want and have created my own family of incredible friends and a wonderful network. Manchester is the city where I really discovered how to be myself and where I've learnt most of my life lessons and have understood what motivates me and who (and what) I want to be when I grow up.
The motherland. The place I go and feel overcome with warmth, not just the weather but the people, the community and, of course, the rum. The country that welcomes you with open arms, whose history is written into my blood, whose nature astounds me and whose love truly embraces me. A land of magical beaches, wonderful mayhem and the best damn food around.
It would be ridiculous to say anything other than that I feel unbelievably lucky to have 3 homes. It's indescribable to know that you can feel at home in 3 completely different and separate places, each with a special place in my heart and each supporting a different part of me - whether it's my career, my family life or my history.
Having 3 homes means you always have somewhere to go. You never feel as though you're without somewhere to turn, but it also comes at a great cost.
You never feel like the place that you're in in the present is your home and feel like wherever you are, you're not really at home because you're constantly longing for the comforts of somewhere else. In reality, you feel a bit lost, longing for a home comfort from somewhere else or looking forward to the next time you can go back. It's a strange feeling of displacement that unsettles the way you think because everything feels a little bit temporary. (And don't even get me started on the plethora of cultural disparity that wracks my brain!)
I used to say that home is where you're your happiest. Where you're doing what makes you happy and are surrounded by the people who make you as happy as you can be. But, that's almost everywhere I go, I always try to be as happy as I can, no matter where I am. Does that mean that everywhere I go is home? Maybe. Or maybe not, maybe I've not found my "real"home yet. I think the concept of home is such a personal definition that maybe I'm yet to figure out what it means to me.
All I know is that I feel incredibly lucky to be in the position that I'm in and even luckier to be surrounded by the people I have in my life. My life is full of love, full of good intentions and full of people who care a huge deal. I feel constantly inspired and constantly lucky to know that I can count on so many different people.