Last night over a dinner of Persian food, I was sitting at a table with a number of other interns who have been in Budapest longer than I have. People were from around the world: Canada, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Romania and Spain. The topic of home came up in conversation. For most who were sitting around the table, Budapest is where they call home.
My dinner – Kuku or a Persian frittata served with rice
Someone said that home is where their friends where and since the majority of their friends had moved from their hometown that wasn’t truly home anymore. Instead, they consider Budapest to be their home, where they feel the most comfortable.
This got me thinking. Where is my home? Is it in Vancouver where I grew up? Or Victoria where I went to university? Or is it where I am now, Budapest?
I have friends in all three places. I feel comfortable in all three places. Is it possible to be not be able to identify any one place as a home, but consider all of them as home? I have vivid memories in all three place and they have all contributed to who I am today.
The dictionary defines home as being a geographical area in which a person grew up or feels they belong. Home may also have no physical location—instead, home may relate instead to a mental or emotional state of refuge or comfort.
Vancouver is the place I spent the most time in my life. I grew up there and lived there after graduating from university. I love this city dearly with its glorious snow capped mountains, multiculturalism and general tolerance of everything.
Victoria is where I gained my independence and where started on my journey of discovering myself. Moving out for university was probably the best decision I could have made. For awhile, Victoria truly was home. I had a great group of friends, work, school, and independence.
And now I’m in Budapest. This is the longest I’ve been away from Canada and “home.” I will be here for another year to finish off my contract before I head off to who knows where. For now, Budapest still feels temporary and that home to me is Vancouver. I love being in Budapest and I really like the city, but there is just something about Vancouver (and mostly its about the food). Maybe I’ll feel different at the end of my time here. Who knows? We’ll see.
What about you? Where do you call home?