Saturday, April 25, 2009

Where is home?

I'm writing this from Spain, where we've come to spend a long weekend. I should be happy to spend some time with friends and family (and I am) but I'm seriously tired and, probably as a result of it, feeling a bit weird and lost. I thought I'd got to a place where I was at peace with being a Spanish in England. I like leaving in England (yes, despite the rain) for lots of reasons and I enjoy spending some of my holiday in Spain.
During the 8 years I've been living in England, I've gone trough different phases. At first, it was hard to live in another country, specially one where I didn't speak the language, and where I didn't understand many of the customs or personality traits. Then, I started to really like England, feeling at ease there, to the point where so many "Spanish things" started to seem strange or even wrong to me. Finally, I enjoyed having two so different homes so close to each other and the fact that I could easily switch from English to Spanish (most of the time).
Now, I'm starting to feel a bit lost in both countries, missing one when I'm in the other, and never completely happy where I am. Where is home? I keep asking myself. I've always thought that at some point in my life I'd go back to Spain and settle down, as my Mum puts it (I think I'm pretty settled in England but this obviously doesn't count for her, since it's in "another country" which means I'm "traveling"), now I'm not so sure. But I don't see myself staying in England either.
I read somewhere that "Home is where my books are", something I completely agree on (because you know that books are my friends). The problem is that at the moment, my books (and many other of my possessions) are in two different places.


  1. I can see how you would feel torn.
    I must say, I admire so much that you're fluent in Spanish and English. I love that you have blogs in both languages. I've been studying Spanish for years. But no matter how much I study I don't feel like I'll ever be fluent. So enjoy this gift ~ these two sides that make up you. Be proud of yourself for moving from one country to another and creating a space for yourself. Enjoy what you love about both of your homes. You'll figure out where you are supposed to be, but you don't have to right now.

  2. Thanks, Lynette! You are right, I don't need to decide now, and I do appreciate my two homes and my two languages, but sometimes, I can help but think that living in a different country from the one I was born makes it all temporary! Silly, I know...

  3. I know how you feel... I moved from a small town in Ireland to London and while the language is the same, a lot of the culture is completely different. And even though I'm married and settled down here, my mum still thinks that sooner or later I'll be back :) I get homesick sometimes but still I couldn't see myself back there for good.

    I just wish I had family in Spain like you so I could go whenever I wanted!

  4. Those are pretty good rules for living. But perhaps you should take it personally if someone calls you a knobhead.

  5. i so can relate to this feeling, tho' most of my books are here now, only a few boxes still left in my parents' basement. :-) i always call it my mid-atlantic feeling since i'm cast out in the middle of the atlantic between the two places, not really belonging to either one. it's a lonely feeling at times, but most of the time, i think it's really unique. and in this world full of individuals, it's rather nice to feel, even just for a minute, that your experience is uniquely yours. :-)

    don't forget your french press!


  6. I think this 'problem' will resolve itself in time BUT as long as we have the internet does it matter so much? (imagine if we didn't - no don't! too horrible a thought!)
    It's good that books are your friends but you have friends out here in the 'sphere' too.
    It will work out B x

  7. @ Angelthreats I guess Ireland and England are quite different, so it must be difficult at times, I´m sure. Ah, mums, they just worry about us.
    @ Julochka I need to find out exactly where my "place in the middle" is. Somewhere in France! Maybe I should move there. I´ll remember the french press and send you a photo with the cozy!

  8. Thanks, Jan! I know I´m lucky to experience two countries, really, but sometimes, I feel a bit unsettled. And I´m very lucky to have friends in both countries and in the blogesphere!
    No, I do not want to imagine a world without the Internet, no way!

  9. I often feel the same way as you do. I've moved over 20 times in my 38 year life...

    ALL my books are with me in Japan, so I call my apartment my home now... but it will probably change again.

    I'm getting used to being on the move now and am slowly understanding that my home is where I lay my head down to sleep...

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  10. I have a few books if the house caught fire (To Kill A Mockingbird (3rd printing), All my Japanese Craft Books, Time of our Time by Normal Mailer, a poetry book written by my father, Harry Potter). Anyway, I love all books, but I do love reading kid's books because sometimes it's fun to pretend to be a kid again and live in their world. My mother is a librarian and my dad reads history novels like a madman.

    Spain -- I remember Loret del Mar quite clearly. I was there a kid. Loved it. Hotel, Pizza, a Spanish Flea Market (picked up a little doll in a dancing dress -- what was that called? not flamenco, but something)

    Anyway, rambling here. I feel torn, too. I'm an army brat, so I'm used to living all over. I sometimes never feel at home anywhere.

  11. It's so nive to hear about so many of you who feel like me! I think it's also other people making me feel as if I don't belong in England, or asking when I'm coming back home when I'm in Spain.


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