Where is ‘home’ anyway
We just returned from two weeks holiday in Australia. I noticed in the lead-up to this break that people would ask me “are you going home for Christmas?”
For the last two years, we’ve returned to Australia for two weeks over Christmas. Not for any religious reasons as such. It’s more that this has traditionally always been our summer holiday time. And, being an expat here in Dubai, it’s a time that mainly Westerners of the Christian tradition take off.
Truth be told though… we really just like the excuse to take a holiday when the weather in Australia also happens to be perfect. It helps too that most people we know are also on holiday.
But when people as me that question about ‘going home’, I never quite know what to answer.
‘Home’ is a funny term. There are so many ways you can interpret it.
‘Home’ can be the place where you grew up. In my case, I grew up in Canberra. And whilst it’s pretty, I met lots of great people there, and it was a nice easy place to grow up, I could never consider it home.
The place makes my skin crawl now. It starts from when the plane comes into land and I see the mountains encircling the border of the Territory. It feels like flying into a lions den.
Those of you who know me know there’s many reasons why I cannot stand the place, but I digress. The point is that even though I spent over 30 years there, it does not feel like home.
So then, what about Brisbane? This is the place I lived before moving to Dubai.
Does Brisbane feel like home?
Well, from the second we walked off the plane, I had some seriously happy vibes running through my body.
You walk out of the airport, and breathe in the thick, humid air, lush with the scent of frangipani flowers. My skin feels hydrated for the first time in months.
Every day in Brisbane is like one little joy after another and I’m reminded constantly what a beautiful place Queensland is. I have crazy reactions constantly as I am:
- staring at the clear, bright, cornflower blue sky
- squealing with delight at the storm front forming on the horizon with clouds that look like they have built kilometres high
- running outside to dance around in the first few pitter patter of raindrops and sucking in huge breaths to enjoy the smell of the impending storm
- paddling with all my might to get onto the first clear, blue wave of the day and bodysurfing all the way in until I’m getting sandrash lying on my belly on the shore
- strolling through the rain forest and enjoying the trickling water, touching the delicate ferns and stroking huge palm leaves at each step of the way
- wandering through art galleries and museums and enjoying priceless artwork and fun activities, all without paying a cent
- ordering slabs of hickory smoked bacon with breakfast
- coffee made with love and care you can taste
- ordering wine whenever I feel like it
and one of the best…
- the joy of being able to plug in the hairdryer in the bathroom and actually dry my hair in front of the mirror!
Believe it or not, all the items on this list are things you can not do in Dubai.
Don’t get me wrong. They do their best to imitate some of these things here, but there’s nothing bigger, brighter, greener or wetter than Brisbane in summer. And the summer storms?? Don’t even get me started on how fabulous it is to hear the booming thunder and see the flashes of lightening as everything cools down from the heat of the day.
But back to the original question. Is it ‘home’?
Well, much as I love going there, seeing all my friends and family and every experience on the list above, somehow it still doesn’t feel like home.
I can imagine going back and living there one day, but I don’t refer to Brisbane, or Australia that matter, as ‘home’.
So what is ‘home’ to me? The big sandpit of Dubai?
My answer to that is, sort of.
The biggest thing that Dubai has allowed me to do is spend more time in life connecting with my little family. The lifestyle here is easy. We have a fabulous helper whom we love like one of the family, and she runs the house for us. This means that when we get home after work and on the weekends, we can focus 100% on just being together as a family.
I have never had so much un-hurried, relaxed, regular time with my beautiful little ones.
And Lovely Hubby and I get a date night every week. It’s a sacred night that’s never compromised. And it has meant we’ve been able to stay connected in a way I know would have been way more challenging anywhere else.
So whilst Dubai as a place may not be the perfect city in terms of the environment, it has taught me one very important life lesson.
Home is where your family is!
I am so grateful to Dubai for highlighting this simple fact in a way no other city probably could.
I feel blessed everyday that I have Lovely Hubby, the Little Chubs, and Miss Sparky right here with me to experience all life has to offer. And I know that, whatever city or town we end up living in, that will be home. Home is not a place, it’s a feeling!
Like and share if you agree and if you’ve found your ‘home’ forever!
Here’s to more adventures together in 2018!
Love and hugs and have a great week.