Defining “Home”

They say home is where the heart is. And although I agree, I also have to ask: What makes a home?

When I’m in California, I tell people that “I’m going home [to Guam.]” But when I say “home,” I’m probably referring to the Philippines nearly half the time. Now that I’m out here in the tropics, I say “I’ll take care of it when I get home” – home being California.

My parents and sister live on Guam, along with family I grew up with. But I was raised in the Philippines with my grandparents and I still have a lot of family there as well (remember the soccer league of cousins?). But I’ve resided in California for the past decade. So where is home, exactly? Guam, Philippines, California? It’s all of the above. And yet…part of me feels like I’ve yet to find a place that I can truly call home and see a future in.

The people I care about, the memories most tangible in my mind, the places where I’ve left fragments of my heart…they’re all scattered about in myriad cities across the globe. My friend Amy, a fellow travelista, once asked, “Is there really a ‘home’ for you? You seem to fit in everywhere…Guam, Spain, Italy…like a chameleon.” She has a point. Yes, I’m adaptable, but why can’t I commit to calling a single place home?

I think one can have many homes. I certainly seem to have a number of them. But I do agree that I lack an official home that supplants –nay, supercedes– all those that came before. I suppose I’m waiting for a place that fits me rather than me fitting it. I suspect I’ve found such a place, but as that hypothesis remains to be theorized, we’ll save that ramble for another day.