What is the definition of home? (2017 edition)

Old house in Romania
Home is relative not just to ones needs but it’s also subject to the ever changing world around us

Defining “home”

This is not an easy thing to write. By its very subjective and relative nature such a definition cannot be captured in one short article. A book might do it. But I would imagine it would equally be condemned by the majority of its readership for being one-sided or at the very least for unbalanced impartial views.

By virtue of the most common words of advice, and in some cases virile arguments, presented to me over the years the global definition of home is:

“Home is where the heart is”

If you like that notion, or don’t like the raw reality of the world we really live in, please read no further. Be happy with what you have and love it till you die. Consider the rest of this article a one-sided, uncompromising, opinionated and inconsequential mish mash of a lost man’s words.

If however you are mildly curious to my findings. Then I suggest you pluck your own thoughts from my words and culminate such findings into your own definition of home. For the reality is, home is where you make it.

Defining the definition of home

Of all the conversations I’ve had regarding my own journey, most come from two “classes” of modern-day society. One class are the people who have jobs or live in a part of a “moderate/high income society”.

Houses in Granada Spain
Mi casa, es su casa … so long as you meet all the requirements and actually want to live here

Those that might be reading this on their work computer, on a phone, iPad or laptop on a daily commute, or at home after a long day looking for a bit of off time escapism. There are also those who are looking for inspiration for reboots in life or that final push that sets them off a similar track.

The other sector comes from those reading this at home during the day or middle of the night, from a “lower income part of society”. Generally people from this side of things may not be working full-time jobs and are searching for visa information,  jobs overseas, immigration laws and education overseas.

Either way, in terms of the “home” subject matter these are the “type” of people who tend to email me.

There is an interesting pattern to the two “classes” mentioned above. Both come from all nationalities the world over. From the U.S.A to The Philippines I’ve had middle to upper income people from both spectrums ask for the answer to “Home”. Mainly because they’ve had enough of living in their current life’s ways in one shape or another.

I’ve had out of work people from the U.K. to Pakistan asking me how to get out of their rut. Where is there a better place to live? And, I’ve had rich people from France to Honduras ask me where the best place to start over is.

Wealth it would seem does not define home.

Moreover I’ve had all classes from all over the world offer the “Home is where the heart is” solution.

Romanticism is closer than wealth in defining the answer to home.

If there is one global thing we all share, no matter our race, income, religion or beliefs; it is that we all want a place to call home.

The problem starts when we get it. Because we as humans, in general, always want more in some form or another.

What do we need to call a place home?

Let’s start at the very basics here. Clean water. You don’t live anywhere for very long without clean water. Never mind the comforts of electricity, living without water is not possible. Food, shelter, security the list goes on in the basics of home dwelling.

The majority of the world’s population do not have access to these basic things we need to call a place a simple home.

Much like the middle paleolithic period some 200,000 years ago our ancestors were probably faced with similar problems. Droughts, famine, disease, climate or even war would have meant entire human colonies moving to new regions just to survive. Though in some cases, quite possibly, someone may have had the notion that there were better pickings or shelter further along a river or coast.

So even from our origins we have always sought out the very basic necessities in setting up a home. Or possibly places that have had more than enough resources for us to live on and grow with the minimum of hardships.

Staying put

That is not to say the entire colony would have left. No, the old, young, sick and indeed even some smart people would have stayed put. For where there are fewer people there are more resources to be had. Some people are happy to make do. Others have no choice. Others more elect to share the burden of helping those less fortunate and so they stay behind.

Then, the next generation comes along, and the cycle starts again.

The basics of home never change

Today is no different when it comes to the basic needs of home. Think of hurricane Katrina in the U.S.A. and the homes that were destroyed. The people who rebuilt them, and the people who moved on. Think of typhoons that hit The Philippines every year. Homes wiped out, and rebuilt every year. And the people who move away to more stable territories both in-country, and overseas.

When India was split in two there was a huge migration of people who looked to move to a place they felt would be better to live culturally. Or, more sadly were forced to leave. In Afghanistan yet more people were forced to migrate to better places due to invasion and war. While in parts of Africa famine and drought removed the basics of home so people frequently move to newer grounds.

In Europe famine, pestilence and war have seen great sways of migrants over the centuries. Today it’s an economic migratory process as people seek employment and civil status elsewhere.

Mingle national migratory paths with that of individuals who have sought an equal need to relocate. Death, abuse, finances, greed, mistakes, love, victimization, prejudice, civil liberties the list goes on for solo migratory needs for new homes.

However the basic needs that everyone still seeks remain no different than 200,000 years ago. We seek water, shelter, food and a means to gather all in one place for security and in most cases comfort/prosperity. This is what we call home, even if we do not truly own it.

Advanced “home-a-nomics”

So what happens when we find a place that meets our basic needs, and even exceeds them? We prosper, procreate and acquire. We reach levels of possession that provide us with further security, comfort and finally status.

Therein lies one of the characteristic traits that define us as human beings today.

The more we have, the more we want.

This holds true not just in our possessions, but also our mentality, and status. Wars have been started for less.

Indeed wars have been declared just on the paranoia of losing all that we have built and acquired around our homes.

The truth is that since the dawn of our civilizations we have invaded other people’s homes not just to acquire, but also to secure and protect our own.

Fragmentation of society

Nepalese lady saying namaste
If we leave our own society to find a better one we often become isolated. Trying to find another society that accepts our values may be asking too much …

Without home there is fragmentation. Our society scatters once it has been shattered by war, famine or other means of homelessness. But, we still take our own values and definitions of culture with us.

Immigration has seen this as cross cultural integration. We heralded this a further step on our evolutionary paths during the last century. Only the path has become cracked under the strain of unknowing cultural weight. The merging of cultures in Europe broke in 2011 as leaders there declared that it simply was not working the way they envisioned (source.1 boston globe / source.2 bbc). Indeed even the UNHCR is having similar problems within Nepal with cross cultural marriages leading to high divorce rates (*source: my republica

In the Americas a continent is seeing a social pendulum swing hard as the north struggles under the freedom of a weighty bureaucratic system struggling with economic inequality (source: the economist). While in the south economies distance themselves even further and gently prosper under the similar traits that their Eastern “developing” counterparts embellish.

In Asia the cultural path is being paved more with financial might than moral rights. And the profits are being reaped proving the latter has indeed less regard at this point in history (source: the independent).

Social integration lost in the wind

Given the fragmentation of a home once it is broken up what hope does one have when taking your beliefs into a new land? Social integration for me on a long-term basis was an utter failure. You cannot be someone else other than yourself no matter where you live. Either for yourself or for someone else.

To me the answer to this is simply that at this moment we as human beings are not yet evolved, on a global scale, to truly accept everyone into our own worlds for who they are, let alone give them equal rights.

Without home there is fragmentation

So we move back to knowing that we need a home not just for shelter, but for a cultural foundation. In today’s world if we do not know our culture we do not know ourselves. Or we become lost in trying to be someone we are not just to fit in. So instead we argue and bicker over whose culture is correct on many levels.

Mosque in Kano, Nigeria
In reality can you ever really fit into a different culture? Moreover, can they accept you? For the short term yes. For the long term …

Is it my right to live in another culture and tell them that drinking unfiltered water is bad? Or is it their right to tell me they’ve been doing it for all their lives and I should adopt their ways? I will argue health and medical reasons, they will argue the harsh economics and physical presence of reality.

My home is fragmented. I will lose the argument even if the evolutionary path of wisdom and experience is on my side. This is human nature. I will hold my silence and create my own well to survive. And so a divide will occur and I will always be the outsider. A fragment of another society living in a culture that is on a larger scale most likely also being invaded by a more dominant cultural force with a different set of rules.

Individual extinction is on the cards as a battle for home is fought on all sides. We have indeed, come full circle.

For me my home for now is right here. The fragments of information I’ve gathered are strung together for all to see. And yes, I am well aware that such a web of personalized twine hangs perilously close to a global razor’s edge.

One small snippet for the those seeking not a home but themselves

How often do we feel lost within ourselves? Or have met others who claim to not know themselves anymore. The simple statement of not belonging in a place is a common finding that you might experience when travelling the world or even before you leave. If not, then you will surely meet such a person sooner rather than later.

The person going in search of themselves

Personally, I already know who I am. As such I am not seeking out who I am, nor what makes me tick or why I am un/happy. I found this out years ago. But not everyone is so fortunate nor have they followed a similar path.

In among a midlife crises, a marriage or relationship, even a professional lifestyle one often sees the frustrations of “finding oneself” intermingled with leaving home and going out to find a better one.

I can tell you the un-romantic truth to this right now: You will inevitably return to your original home at the end of such a journey.

In such cases, you were not looking for a “home” but rather a meaning to your own “life’s questions”. A travel experience will often provide you with such answers. Hence you will often end up back where you started.

There’s a greater chance of happiness now as you’ve seen yourself, others and intermingled experiences for better or worse. If you are still not happy at being back then perhaps you are seeking such things as less responsibility in the guise of freedom. In which case it’s still not a “home” you are looking for, but rather answers to who you are.

Find yourself before you try to find home

Is a permanent home abroad so different to what you have now?

Forget one month, six months or even two years. Imagine permanent relocation to greener pastures. Move past cultural or even social integration. Forget work visas or even residential visas, least of all permanent citizenship that few in reality will ever acquire in all but a few “western developed countries”.

Never-mind owning property in your own name from any country other than the one you were born in.

Forget about marrying someone from another land and the many years of bureaucratic tape required to let you live in your chosen country together. Never mind the paragraphs above that they too will now have to endure. And on that note do remember: One person’s paradise can be another’s hell.

Lastly ignore the fact that if you have a tidy sum of money, or political connections most of the above can be eliminated or at worst eased.

Focus instead on the reality of living abroad

Surviving the first two years over with, be prepared to look up from your phone and see the same dull faces on a commute to work. Yes, the surroundings will be different. But when living a monotonous life of survival then most things look the same no matter the location.

Your dreams of home are someone else’s reality

So there you are surrounded by the dull lifeless faces of others on your commute to work. Or alongside you in an office built for another hammering out a days work, all with the same intention of going home to something better.

A paradise island
What’s paradise to one person is the reason to leave for another. Then again if we are not happy with ourselves then that paradise can be just as bad as the place we fought to leave

A television offering escapism. A couple of hours of cable therapy will numb the pain. Living a life through others offers a titular hope that helps us pass into a nights sleep with hopes of a better tomorrow.

The notion of somewhere better cannot help but pass through our minds. We are essentially looking for better pastures once again.

While next door there is a person who fought to escape a war, a drought or the collapse of a political system. They marvel at the running water from a tap. They sit upright in-front of a television they just purchased for the first time. Tomorrow they start a new three month contract for a meaningless job. Yet will marvel with pride at a weekly pay check that will allow the first visit to a dentist for their child.

They are living the life you have from their dreams of yesterday.

It will continue until the novelty wears off and they too look for a form of escapism on a commute to work and when looking at those similar faces or moreover; see yours staring back.

The solution to the definition of home

A home is not the answer to many people’s definition of what it “should” be. We can have ten homes scattered across the globe and jump between each one at random intervals and still, eventually, grow lacklustre with a longing for something more.

In this case, “home” is not what we seek. What we seek is a better life to live in our homes. By leaving such homes without understanding this we become fragmented and lost. If that is the case then all the home searching in the world won’t bring you peace.

The four rules of home

Understand the basics of survival.

Understand that no four walls nor roof will ever suffice unless you know what you want in life.

Understand that once you have a family, it’s not just your home, but theirs too. Live in it together, for each other.

Understand that once you have what you want … you’ll eventually want more. Be prepared.

The final definition of home in 2012

My conclusions in these writings are my own.

Reread the opening paragraphs otherwise it is a fruitless endeavor to conclude on my thoughts.

Throughout these 7 years I know that the thought of home evokes many impassioned emotions on many levels from many people. I wonder why this subject becomes just so impassioned.

There are probably several television series on moving abroad. They are not built for reality, but for ratings. Escapism is a good rating ploy.

As a matter of comfort we generally like, need, and want to define home as:  Home is where your heart is most happy. Home is a place where you are loved unconditionally. Home is where you feel safe and protected. Home is where I am right now.

The physical reality is this:

“Home is located in the place you are best at adapting in”

It may never be a permanent abode but knowing what you want in life are the true title deeds of home, take such knowledge and make the most of it based on this foundation.

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This is an additional editorial featuring travel related articles, view points, conversational topics and helpful resources based on experiences I’ve learned from my around the world journey

*additional news source added post first publication

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124 Replies to “What is the definition of home? (2017 edition)”

  1. i love this part, where you wrote:

    Understand that once you have a family, it’s not just your home, but theirs too. Live in it together, for each other.

    TOO True. and honest.

  2. i have lived outside my home country for 9 years and lived in many different places in my own country and home for me is difficult to define….sure i have a nice home in Sunshine Coast in Australia and i like doing the gardening and slowly renovating my house where one of my children live…and it is good to be home where i am the owner and very muchin control….but really i feel the most at home travelling…meeting people and new places and going back to old ones….i think my home is the Journey…and as someone who has lived in another culture for a long time…home also is where you dont feel like an outsider…that is why it is so hard to find another place to call home

    1. But if I’m reading your comment right Paul, you always have a permanent base to return to correct?

      I think there’s a difference when people don’t have a base to return to, and the people that do. At least when they move overseas and try to relocate.

      It might involve a much later article, but it’s certainly a valid point that needed to be highlighted. Thanks for bringing it up.

      1. true dave…i have a home in Australia..but maybe what i am saying is although i have one home and love it ..is it possible to feel the same somewhere else….i have lived and worked in China for 9 years..speak reasonable chinese have a chinese wife and extended family there but i never feel like i am from there….some foreigners openly announce themselves as from some other country where they have resettled..i have one such friend in Nanjing who speaks no chinese and owns a bar there…he tells people he is from Nanjing and told me when i queried him that it was all about a state of mind….but really he should say ..I am from a foreigner enclave in Nanjing and that is my home….not for me ..if i dont feel at home with the locals in their own world then it is not my home and certainly not from where i am from.. and sorry to all those people that dont speak any other language other than there mother tongue..if you cant speak the langauge you are always on the outside……..great topic….reminds me of a great van morrison song…’Cry for Home ‘….that for me says it all

        1. That’s a good point about the “Nanjing man”. I’ve seen this to in many places. Some people are happy to say that where ever their roof is, it’s their home. But as you point out it’s not really as simple as that. A state of mind is great to avoid reality sometimes. And, it’s great to avoid an argument with said person. At the end of the day does the “Nanjing Man” have the right to vote or have a Chinese passport. Or is he very happy to still have another passport. I think we know the answer to this.

          I agree with you about language. If you move overseas, learn the language. I do however think that even with a language learned, there’s still a huge separation between cultures that exists. I’m not sure if you have it in Australia, but imagine there’s even inter state separation there, albeit on a minor scale. An example might be the man from Sydney mocking the man from Darwin who moved there. Again, a lot of that is light hearted. But when far away from home it can get to you. Let alone when in another country.

          There’s nothing quite like knowing a language overseas, making a minor mistake or refusing to eat something local, only to hear a couple of locals laugh about you in their own language over it without knowing you understood. Only for you to fire back at them in their language that you understood what they said. Such things back home might be water off a ducks back, but in a real foreign country like China to an Australian, it can be a big thing.

          Can one culture ever truly fit in to another? I think yes in truly multicultural societies. But in others, I have seen more disappointment in the long-term than success stories. Turn up the music! It helps ;)

  3. A defining article that should only be written by someone such as yourself.

    Truly in-depth in terms of experience and thought. A possible cornerstone on this your home away from future home.

    Personally I’d like to explore the family aspect of home. That which separates our ideals as a unit. A hard task, but perhaps one that’s settled by your notion of personal goals being complete.

    1. Family is a hard one on many levels. But when you hear stories of loved ones being separated for years as one spouse works overseas and the other remains at home to rear their children I often wonder what type of life that really is?

      When talking to the people involved in such relationships, I often get a martyr like reply. Inevitably the one overseas spouse returns home. But has lived in another temporary one for years. It’s like starting all over again.

      In terms of two people moving overseas or a family, it’s easier for short term support. But unless both are committed 100% it can cause problems. And, a lot of heart ache.

      For and couple that are non nationals to move to a new country permanently, together they need to be highly skilled and qualified to enjoy and resemblance of a good life and permanent resettlement.

  4. I’ve been following your journey for a while now, and this is one of the reasons.

    To me home is where my family is. What happens when they want to move? Are we now bonded as one? I think so. Our home is our lives. Glad you wrote this.

  5. I’ve always assumed that defining home is a fully subjective matter but your opening few paragraphs brought me back down to earth with a shocking pull. For some, heck most, of the world home merely a place to survive, to LIVE in the least complicated sense of the word.

    Personally, I left “home” (London) in October with no plans to return permanently. Although I will enjoy returning to my family home back in UK, I now look at home as being a house/flat/building I’ve never been to before as we are planning on setting up home in a new country after our RTW trip. It’s strange because I find myself looking forward to this home I don’t actually have yet. This conforms, of course, to your observations about the romanticism we apply when defining home.

    There is a deep sense of irony to be found in your wisdom on this subject seeing as you haven’t been “home” (in some senses of the word at least) for so long…

    Thank you for giving me some food for thought today.

    1. Personally I see a lot of people grasping the idea of getting up and living overseas while wearing rose colored glasses. And, in many respects that’s a good thing.

      Sometimes I do simply think we need to get up and go find the answers we seek. The reality out there is very different though. Can a UK citizen own a house in Thailand for example? In a very roundabout and insecure way, yes. But the reality is no.

      It’s also nice to come back home after a year and say you’ve lived in such places and called them home. But then that’s not permanent relocation at the end of the day.

      Yes, there’s some irony there in terms of me not finding home yet. There certainly have been places I’d like to try. But the reality is more often than not red tape stopping me. The romantics will say “Throw caution to the wind, and just go for it” Great words, but then I’ve met homeless people in overseas countries who’ve lost everything by trying just this. As in UK/USA citizens who sold up and moved overseas only to lose everything in foreign red tape and loopholes.

      It’s certainly a rich and diverse subject matter Bird. I can only write about what I’ve come across and experienced. I’d love to write a Travel Channel style rosy post about living in a country permanently. Aside from inter-regional relocations (Europeans within Europe etc) I’ve only come across a few intercultural marriages overseas where people have actually made it in terms of permanent relocation. And, more often than not it’s not all that peachy in terms of social integration on at least one spouse.

      Now I need a mocha to boost me up! :)

  6. Home is where, coming in from the cold world outside after a hard day’s work, a warm welcome from loving family or even friends, awaits (preferrably with a warm meal too).

  7. This read like a university paper —- in a good way!

    I think home is where you adapt too. It’s a modern world and not ever country will have you. Even in the U.K. if you have been overseas for too long you are no longer eligible for social benefits. Yet migrants are as soon as they arrive. Screwed up world we live in. Better to find a place we can live in and enjoy.

  8. Not sure how to comment on something as epic as this. You’ve taken a dictionary terminology and placed your synopis alongside it. Insightful to say the very least. Thought provoking and with an air of reality many should give a thought to.

  9. so hard to leave a comment on what you’ve written Dave… it echoes answers to some questions that have been lingering in my head… thanks man for sharing your thoughts…

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  11. Dave, if you’re not yet in the process of writing a book, I think you should get a start. You have got a lot of wisdom and thought provoking words about what real travel is all about. This article have gotten me to think of why I feel the need to travel and leave my current abode in a more depth perspective. Keep on writing and safe travels! ;)

    1. May Ann, yes I have a book written. And another on the way. The problem with a lot of articles like this is that people in general prefer to hear more of the romantic story of Jack and Jill moving to Paris and living happily ever after.

      Most media seems to revolve around success stories, if only or a few years. Not the long-term reality of things. Again, I think back to a British couple in the USA for decades, only to have a work visa revoked and sent away. It got little coverage yet it’s what’s really happening out there.

      I’ll keep working on the book/s projects. I think the first book needs a re-write to be more biographic rather than travelesque :)

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  13. There’s a quality to what you write that’s more believable than any romance novel for sure. Man meets Woman, fall in love, move to Rome and live happily ever after.

    Do you believe such a thing is possible today? (in a realists world)

    1. Yes that is romantic but I believe even a single man or woman can move to Rome and maybe meet there and live happily ever after meeting each other if it works out of course or live separtly apart and live happily ever after single .either way a home is a “home” and in Rome I bet it should be absolutely beautiful!

    2. Andrea, in reality it depends on where the man and woman are from. IF they are European, they’ll mainly only have to deal with cultural issues.

      If however they are from the USA and want to permanently relocate to Rome. Then they’ll have a lot of obstacles in their way. Nationalization for one, which will take many years.

      Work visas, the higher cost of living in regards to health insurance for a non-national, owning property, and then there’s the subject of having children etc.

      If they have no qualifications or work in Italy, then things are even harder. Let alone if they are from a non-developed country.

      Impossible, no? But, the reality is, it won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination. Again, depending on where they are originally from!

  14. Great post, Dave. We’re still trying to figure it out, but it looks like you’re a lot closer than we are. Still, we’re only 4 years behind you ;)

  15. Observational skills are something you certainly have. Reading over a lot of your literature tells me you’ve really taken this on as a study as well as a way of life.

    Hard to argue with that. I am looking forward to readying some of your replies though.

  16. Thank you for responding. Very impressed by your commitment and kindness by replying to everyone individually.

    As I read your reply racing through the streets of Sydney – a city which is about as far away from my “home” as you can get – I suddenly and strangely realised that home is actually more of a physical and emotional feeling than a purely physical place. Maybe that simplifies the issue but I found a little bit of value in this!

    Hope you found a good mocha and an even better boost! Oh and of course stay clear of that toothpaste. I’m sure your teeth like their “home” well enough to not be threatened by counterfeit goods!

    Bird x

    1. No problems, I’m a bit old school when it comes to comments. I think if someone took the effort in writing a good comment it’s worth at least a thank you, or conversation :)

      Mocha worked … Arm & Hammer tomorrow!

  17. What an intriguing piece of article Dave! As usual, you made me ponder and think about certain things in life, especially about home. But I think there’s no other better way to put it that Home is where the heart is, doesn’t really matter WHERE it is, physically. :)

    1. Thank Mei, as someone mentioned in the comments it’s probably one of the cornerstone articles for the many people that ask me that question of “Where is home?” or where is the best place to live.

  18. I don’t think that’s a problem unless the writer is hoping to attract a big number of readers. Happily ever after themes are so overrated and greatly exaggerrated these days. The media don’t buy what wouldn’t sell. If it’s not somehow tweaked to sound more seemingly dramatic or emphasized then it wouldn’t get a big audience. Those few people that are passionate about traveling as much as writing or capturing everything about the realities that we have to face in this world are worth following their journeys from their blog sites..and hoping I’d be down that same road one of these days eventually.

    1. I agree with the “happily ever after” thing being over rated. Unfortunately the majority of the world does not. As you say if things are not tweaked or simply outright changed to make it more generic for the masses then it won’t get picked up.

      Likewise with blogs. Generic happy land posts/photos do a lot better than real life works. A sign of the times or sign that people are looking for something “nice” after a long days work? Similar to what I wrote in the article above, escapism sells better than realism.

  19. Not at all,where one’s heart is, or not enough: twenty years of trying to adapt to another country, then partially giving up!inside Europe,anyway,lowcosts airlines help,being here and there in two hours,for less then a hairdresser (renouncing to haidresser),but a lot of your life wasted in redtape,doubling it in your own country and in the other one.Sometimes I do envy tourists,noses up to absorb the edges of the buildings, looking at their maps at the same time.They don’t even imagine what there’s behind. Thanks,Dave,to have me realize that after all,I did what I could,but the OTHER Country,is not Home.

    1. I hear you completely Giovanna. “a lot of your life wasted in redtape,doubling it in your own country and in the other one.” Only those that are really looking to live in another country can experience this nightmare.

      The practical side to all this can be a monumental task on so many levels. It’s a near on task for life. I also don’t see it getting any easier in the near future. Go for it while you still can!

      1. It was”Dianne says” that inspired me this comment, but imagine,her view of a possible Rome wouln’t be spoiled by any alert vs.interminable queues for a permit,a visa,a contract,a reclaim…and it’s right so,it’s her life,and maybe,it will go well, anyway. Thanks,Dave,for individualized replies!

  20. Reading this made me take a hard look at things. It is true we like to escape with romantic thoughts. Or on nice TV shows, book etc.

    But I have to ask you these two questions:

    1. How much time and money does it take to move to a new country? Hard to answer I know. But just from a red tape perspective.

    2. Why are you doing this if it really seems this impossible?


    1. Hi Carl,

      Let me try to answer those two questions as best I can.

      1. Like you say, hard one. From a red tape perspective it’s more expensive than most people imagine. Example: UK tests to become registered citizens. While GBP 50 buys you registration the reality is closer to GBP900 for the test, though it includes your ceremony etc. That’s not including the 5 years of form filling and payments most people have to do before they can get to this stage re visas, extensions etc.. Then add in things like days of work to get these things done plus travel, overnight etc. Now add in the morbid fear of flying out of the country during that time and not being allowed back in, so you simply don’t leave. That’s just a very basic example of becoming a UK national. It differs for every country. But, at the end of the day, the red tape costs in more than one way.

      2. Why am I doing this it seems nearly impossible? That’s easier to answer. Because I believe in myself, and I believe in being happy. For some us the price of happiness is a steep one. We’ve probably already paid more than most know already just to get this far. The rest is water off a ducks back so to speak.

      Again, there’s lots to it, but that should give you a start on the answers!

  21. First off I would like to say that this is a great post. We traveling full time I realized that i need a home base to come back to in order to let myself fully relax and see friends. However, in my travels I’ve found places that just feel like home.

    I the internet net age as barriers and cultures blur this topic will become even more relevant.

  22. Count me among those who will always have a permanent base to return to. Home is where my partner Mary, my daughter, and my dog are. Since I’m divorced and have 50/50 custody, I couldn’t be a permanent nomad anytime soon. But even if I could, I don’t think I would: I enjoy coming home after a trip to my nice warm bed, and having time to reflect on our last adventure just long enough to plan the next one.

  23. LOVED this post! And I totally agree, the definition of home is hard to pin down. There are so many places it can emanate from, you could write and philosophize endlessly. So I won’t get impassioned- it’ll just drive me mad to think in circles. Thus, I like your conclusion of
    “Home is located in the place you are best at adapting in”

    I also agree with the part about needing clean water! LOL. (although you know there are many who find home in places where there aren’t).

  24. Loved this post too ! Home is where your heart is. Where you feel at home, deep inside of you, in your body and soul. I am Chilean, with a Scottish mother, I lived in Brazil and am now living in France. And I am a travel writer. Where is my home ? Everywhere and nowhere. I don’t want to choose. Why should I ? The world is my home. That is how I’ve been raised. It’s normal for me. I feel confortable with that nomadic life. People are often surprised that I don’t feel the need to settle but I feel “confortable” with not having a permanent adress. Having just one base would make me feel in trapepd in a prison.
    Thank you for making me thinking about all that. Your story was really inspiring.

    Francisca Mattéoli http://www.franciscamatteoi.com/blog/

  25. Hello Dave, it’s been short while I am following your post. I agree to your words ” “Home is located in the place you are best at adapting in”
    I have stayed and worked in some great places of different cultures, (Panama, Paraguay, Brazil, Bangkok, U.A.E. Saudi Arabia and travelled to Romania & China for a couple of times.

    But now after marriage and a child I fully agree with your words “Understand that once you have a family, it’s not just your home, but theirs too. Live in it together, for each other.”

    It all changes after one is happily married and has a great son to go back to after a hards work.

    I wish you the best in your future journeys.

    1. Hello Sunil,

      I’m glad you have found “Home with your family!”. Or rather you’ve all found each others homes and are working together to make it the best place in the world for you. I’ve sure your son’s smiling face upon seeing you return from work is worth so much to you and your wife! (take photos!)

      All the best


  26. mine..
    home is the place where i stop searching.

    p/s : i read this article during my exam week and can’t think anything for comment :p

  27. Well said, Dave. A stark eye opener for those craving to find solace in the big, bad (good) world, only to find out the search has to start within their selves. And truth is stranger than fiction. :-)

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Be safe always.


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