Where Is Home?
I am happy to be back home in Dubai after spending a few weeks at another place I call home: Turkey.
I was just meeting with a neighbor who is moving back to her home in Texas – where I grew up. I have not lived in Texas for over 25 years. After leaving in my early 20s and having lived abroad for about 25 or more years now, I have an evolved sense of home.
However, if I have to define home as one place, I can’t.
There are many things about Turkey, where I lived for 8 years, that I love and feel like home to me. And, there are many things about Dubai that are home: this is where I work, where my son was born and where I live now.
I am always thoughtful when I meet someone moving “back home” because it’s such a loaded question when someone asks me, “Where’s Home?”
Finding Home After Leaving Home
Ironically, I got a lot of clarity on this topic as I was listening to Brene Brown’s “Dare To Lead” podcast, and her interview with Charles Duhigg yesterday. They started talking about personal narratives.
As you all, (or ya’ll) know, I am a big Brene Brown fan. She’s a Texas girl who reminds me of a lot of things of that time in my life. And as if she were in my head earlier this week she said, “I wonder if the narrative in your 20s, around transformation, is finding a sense of home after leaving home?”
What?! She so eloquently said what I could never articulate. But of course she did – that’s why she’s Brene Brown.
Feeling Settled in an Adopted Home
Many of you reading this, like me, live in a place that is your home away from home. This has even come up in some of my coaching groups before. Expats sometimes feel like they are not settled because it feels very temporary.
The longer I live in an adopted home, the more I think it is so important to find, or create that sense of home no matter where in the world you are.
How to Create a Sense of Home
There are a lot of ways that we create a sense of home:
- Finding routines
- Making friends
- Joining social groups or activities that bring us joy
- Decorating as if you are going to live there for a while – even if you aren’t sure you will.
Don’t have a temporary mindset. Even if you think you might move within the same city soon, make your place your home. LIVE there.
This was the lesson I was reminded of during my travel of several weeks. We were trying to do things (like work) that you typically do in a place where you live. However, we were living as though we were guests. We never felt we could fully commit to anything.
We have some new, exciting strategies to consider if we plan to work remotely next summer.