‘Home’

I’m very lax when it comes to using the word ‘home’. If I was staying at a hotel overnight and just finished dinner outside, I’d absentmindedly say – ‘let’s go home’. I moved to Canberra from Brisbane almost three years ago, but whenever I go back to Brisbane, I always refer to it as ‘going home’. Nevertheless, I still tell others that my home is in Canberra, and I have even changed my car registration.

Can a person have multiple homes? And when does a house or a place to stay actually becomes home?

Lately, I’ve been wondering about this, mainly because of homesickness. Oh there, i did it again – homesick for which home? I’m talking about Brisbane, where I spent all my adolescent life, the warm and inviting city that I know like the back of my hand. The familiar streets, my favourite shops, those oddly comforting buildings. I miss my parents’ house and our street, with an impressive display of vibrant jacaranda flowers in mid-Spring. I miss the local Asian grocery stores and restaurants, which to me are like old acquaintances. I miss the Brisbane CBD, where I spent most of my time going to uni, going to work or just simply wandering around. I miss the humidity that people from other cities just love to hate, but it’s a perfect excuse for a dip in the pool. But most of all, I miss my family and friends.

No matter how long I stay in Canberra (or any other city for that matter), it’s not going to change what feels like ‘home’ to me. I can throw the word ‘home’ around like a ragdoll, but in the end, there is only one home. So yes, it’s only a matter of time before I go back home.

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