Have you ever considered that ‘home’ might not be the place that you were born in, or grew up in? Over the past few years, this question has constantly been on my mind. Personally speaking, I’ve always felt that there was somewhere else out there for me that would become my real home. It’s not that I hate this place I’m living in now. There are many perks and advantages which I would be remiss to not recognise. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s all rosy here. Sure, it’s comfortable but I’ve never been one to settle for comfortable. Combine that with the constant search for ‘my identity’, I find myself always asking myself “Is this home? What am I? Where do I want to go?“. Growing up in Australia, but being ethnically Asian, my identity was always Australian if you’d asked me. But there comes a time when the two cultures clash and you realise one has to come out on top. In a perfect world, the two could co-exist without any quarrels but it seemed to me that in this world, there could only be one winner. Now, I’m not saying that some kind of balance can’t be achieved, and since Australia is largely a migrant country, balance between having multiple cultural identities is no doubt a part of the majority of peoples’ lives. But as time wore on, I found myself gravitating towards one side of the equation, without really needing to make a conscious decision. It just pulled me in. I liked it more ,and I found it more comforting, and it just felt right. That, and for some reason, I felt like I didn’t fit in with the other culture – I also didn’t want to fit in. In some ways, I felt like an alien, a stranger looking in, just temporarily ‘fitting in’.
I knew then, that there was somewhere else out there for me.
The trouble is; wherever I went, I’d still be an alien. I’d be a foreigner to the locals, regardless of where I landed. I think this is an issue that many people face, as second generation immigrants, our parents moved here from far away countries to give themselves, and us, a better (or different) life. Now, it seems like a lot of the second generation are doing the reverse; moving back to where their parents came from, or to another place altogether. It seems like there’s a generation with an identity crisis, as little as this is mentioned in social media, or amongst friends (not a common topic of discussion by any means) – but from poking around the internet and also around people I know, I definitely know this is something on many people’s minds.
Anyway, I went off on a tangent there. Back on track, this leads me to ask myself “what’s the point of going somewhere else when I’ll still end up as an alien?”. The answer, I’ve found, is that it doesn’t matter what my status or identity really is. Because once you’ve found the place you really want to call home, it won’t matter anymore – that kind of satisfaction and comfort is something that comes with finding home. Which is why, at the same time, a lot of people don’t even question it – because they already have home. For those that are still looking for home though, I urge you to get out there and find it. It’s out there, because I found it.
Photo credits: taken by skyline. Feature image (top): 屏鵝公路，墾丁，台灣 (Taken on PingE Road, Kenting, Taiwan), Article image (above): 象山，台北，台灣 (Taken on Elephant Mountain, Taipei, Taiwan)