Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad

Define “Home”

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Home

What do you define “Home” to be? I found this poster, which defines it as “Home is wherever I am with you”, inferring that because I’m with the family, I am “home”.  That’s one definition. But if that were the entirety, it denies how much all the cultural ways in which home is also all the people around you.

Home to me of course includes my immediate family but also my extended family. It also includes the friends I might see every few weeks. It even includes how certain meetings run, or how my favorite cafe has a particular drink that I love and they know I want it even before I get to the front of the line.

How would you define home for yourself?

Author: nilofermerchant

Strategist. Passionate about igniting cultures of innovation. HBR Writer, O'Reilly Author (published January 2010) of The New How, and former CEO of Rubicon.

3 thoughts on “Define “Home”

  1. Agree with you. When we lived in Malta, we not only became closer as a family unit, but we found that the American family that we met through my manicurist; our produce guy around the corner; the owners of The Trading Post (a mini-Walgreens); the “minder” who would be there when our son would come home from school until we walked in the door (and kept our flat immaculate!); the folks at Mint (our favorite cafe that we frequented every day); the owner and drivers from the transport company the studio used to get us to/from work, and who would get us around when the bus wouldn’t work out for a specific errand. All of them became part of our daily lives. Our family. Even more so than the people we worked with day in and day out! So much so that when we left, we vowed to stay close to our Mint cafe and American friends through Facebook; we had the owners from The Trading Post over for dinner; thanked our produce guy for always having what we needed magically hidden in his small shop; and gave thanks to the owner of the transport company for taking care of us. He was the last one we hugged before we boarded our plane home. So, I would say that our immediate family is our foundation and everyone else we choose to let in are what make a home.

  2. Agree with you. When we lived in Malta, we not only became closer as a family unit, but we found that the American family we met through my manicurist; our produce guy around the corner; the owners of The Trading Post (a mini-Walgreens); the “minder” who would be there when our son would come home from school until we came home from work (and kept our flat immaculate!); the folks at Mint (our favorite cafe that we frequented every day); the owner and drivers from the transport company the studio used to get us to/from work – and who would get us around when the bus wouldn’t work out for a specific errand…all of them became part of our daily lives. Our family. Even more so than the people we worked with day in and day out! So much so that when we left, we vowed to stay close to our Mint cafe and American friends through Facebook; we had the owners from The Trading Post over for dinner; we thanked our produce guy for always having what we needed magically hidden in his small shop; we wrote a glowing recommendation to our Maltese minder for the love and warmth she gave our son and home; and gave thanks to the owner of the transport company for being there for us whenever we needed him. He was the last one we hugged before we boarded our plane back to the USA. So, I would say that the immediate family is the foundation and everyone else we choose to let in are what make a home, a home.

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