Home is where the heart is – 我是哪里人?

This is a question that I have been asked many many times, as I went to an International High School in Beijing. It is funny, the more times I get asked this question, the more I start to wonder. Obviously, I am from Norway. My mum and dad are both Norwegian, at least, as far as I know 😛
This post is not going to make any sense, as it does not make any sense when I ask myself this question. So as you all know, I’m from Norway, but I lived in Beijing for 5 years, during those 5 years I considered Beijing home. Whenever my family and I went to Norway during those 5 years, I would say “We are going To Norway for summer vacation” and when we were going back to Beijing I would say “We are going back home.”  Now, wouldn’t it make more sense if I said “We are going home – home to Norway?” Well, not for me. Ever since I moved to China I’ve been in love with the country, the culture, the traditions, and the food. Do I not love the same things about Norway? I’m sure I do, but not in the same way. Maybe it is because I moved to China when I was a teenager, maybe it is because I never paid much attention to the Norwegian culture, maybe it’s because I was a typical teenage girl, and I couldn’t care less about those things at that time? I don’t know, I don’t think there is an answer to why I call China home. The only answer I can think of is “home is where the heart is.” And I guess, this is the answer that is most accurate when I think about where “I’m from.”  I have thought about it many times, it may be because my family is living in Dubai, and CC is living in Scotland, maybe I just don’t “feel” home yet? I guess, after living abroad like I did, especially during your teenage years, it is hard to say where “home” is. Because you get so attached to a place, and it is hard to let go, especially when you have more friends in the country you lived in, rather than your home country.

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Have you ever been in the same situation before? What do you consider home?

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12 thoughts on “Home is where the heart is – 我是哪里人?

  1. It seems that I called any place home when I stay somewhere longer than two weeks :p
    Now we are living still with my parents and both me and my wife say “lets go home” when we want to go back from some trip. Now I am wondering if my heart is already settled again at my parents apartment because this might be the main reason for the delay of moving into our own apartment which is actually ready for a week now…

    1. Well, I guess living with parents is somehow always going to feel like home? haha. I don’t know, my family is living in Dubai, so I haven’t really lived with them or seen them a lot during the past 2 yrs 😛 Anyways, good luck with the moving, that is when you guys will finally start moving into the apartment! 😀

  2. I’ve had a similar experience to you growing up, moving around a lot. Home is..everywhere and nowhere at the same time. 🙂 I think home is anywhere you want it to be, where you feel good and comfortable. Which is maybe why it’s weird (but feels right) for me to say that Japan is my home, but Tokyo is not, haha! (I’m still attached to other cities I’ve lived here. XD)

    1. Hahah that could be it!! 😛
      Nooo, I love these passports! I wish I could get the blue one though, but oh well I guess the red one is good enough 😀 .. I would never give up my citizenship for anything! xD As much as I love China, I will always keep my Norwegian passport!

  3. I struggle with this question as well. My husband and I have a home in Taiwan and that is our home so that means Taiwan is my home. So I usually end up saying ‘I am Canadian but I live in Taiwan.’ Like I wrote in a post last week, Taiwan is the place that makes me feel more comfortable and I believe that I found my ‘voice’ and true self here as well.

    1. I’ve also been saying that before, but when I moved back to Norway I would say “I’m Norwegian, and I’m living in Oslo, but Beijing is home” haha, and people would get confused because “I don’t look Chinese” and people couldn’t understand what I meant xD haha, I think this is one of the topics I have spent most time discussing with my co workers etc. Thanks for commenting!!

  4. I think home can be either where the heart is or where the people love are. For me home can be anywhere in the world as long as I’m with my family or close friends.

    1. I agree with that, and I guess that is why I don’t know what to call home, because my parents and siblings are living in Dubai, and I’m in Norway, and CC is in Scotland and he’s family in China. haha. So I guess to me, home is where the heart is 🙂

  5. I also think everyone is different in what strikes a chord with them.

    I moved from my small hometown city for uni in Birmingham at 18, stayed there for four years (minus one year in Berlin for ERASMUS), then as soon as I returned from my year in Nanjing made it my priority to live back there in Birmingham, despite a 2 hours commute each way. When asked where my home is I always say Birmingham, and despite upping and moving to China to be with my hubby, and no longer having any physical connections to Birmingham, that’s the place I dream of.

    I’m going back to the UK to give birth the my baby in the New Year and I’m so sad I’m not staying in Birmingham, as all my family are back in my hometown and I’ll stay with my mum. I even have crazy thoughts of driving to Birmingham when I go in to labour just so the baby can have that on their birth certificate!

    1. First of all – Congratulations on your pregnancy!! I had nooo idea! that’s so exciting 😀 So you don’t want to give birth in your hometown? I think I’m the opposite at that one – I wanna give birth in my hometown (not pregnant btw!!) haha. Where are you planning on raising your kids?

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