Was it “home sweet home”? Or saying goodbye to my home?
I recently came back from a trip to Europe to visit my parents. My trip was divided into two parts – 4 days in Germany and 4 days in south of France with my mom. The trip was short – 9 days, including travel to be exact – but frankly I found it to be a reasonably good amount of time. I’m not saying that it seemed long because of spending so much time with my parents, but rather because I missed my life in California.
Prior to my trip, I described my 9-day getaway as “going home to visit my parents”. Typically, the question that followed was “where do they live?” and I always seemed to catch people by surprise when I replied with “Germany”. When I got there, I was ecstatic to see my parents at the airport and comforted to have them so close me. It was a great feeling to finally be united with the two people that I’m always used to missing. We hugged at the airport, my mom commented on my short hair, and we gave each other quick life updates as we sat in the car to go back to the house. As I sat in the backseat and watched the city go by, it strangely felt like I was in a foreign city and my surroundings almost seemed…exotic.
My trip made me realize that “home” is where I’m most comfortable in and where I can find love, and that doesn’t necessarily have to be defined as a location. My parents, for instance, obviously fulfill both of those elements, and in my definition, they are my home. They could be in any place in the world and I would still fly there to wherever they are and have a sense of being at home.
Even though I’m not American, I consider California my “home” because I know where and who to turn to in order to find comfort and love. My friends…. My cat… My lovely home in Marina Del Rey… to only name a few. Comfort and love take time, effort and a genuine passion to build and obviously won’t come overnight. But the more time I spend in California and the more love I find, the more I feel comfortable and at home. You know that saying “money can’t buy love”? To me, “money can’t buy ‘home’”.
So, was seeing my parents “home sweet home”? In many ways, yes, because I was surrounded by the two people who probably love me the most in a house that I’ve gone back to for the last 8 years. But was going back to Germany “home”? No – it really wasn’t. Landing back on Californian soil after 9-day vacation was “welcome home”.