I recently went on a short one-week trip to my home country of Romania. In these last few months I got homesick and I decided that I would visit my grandmother and my city, along with seeing some relatives and family friends. That is what I did : I bought tickets and did all that had to be done, packed my bags and left.
As soon as I got home everything seemed smaller : the apartment, the streets, the city itself was different than what I remembered. Seeing my grandmother was nice and we had a good time these past days, but one thing inevitably struck me : this is not home anymore.
As soon as I booked the flight I told everyone that I was going home. Home. I have now realised that I should have said home country, because my home is not Romania anymore. Yes, it is the place where I was born and raised and I will forever be thankful for the morals I acquired here, but I moved to Italy six years ago, when I started evolving as a teenager and as an adult and that truly left a mark on me.
Living in western Europe changed my goals and broadened my horizons to a point where I think I can do anything I put my mind to. It enabled me to get out of the Orthodox bubble I was living in and form my own opinions. It showed me that there is so much more than I was taught and that I should not care about what other people say, especially my family.
I have also come to terms with the fact that I distanced myself from my grandmother, ideologically speaking, since she is very disappointed in me not being a believer anymore. I have tried to isolate myself from her, because I would not want to say hurtful words about how she is always subtly judging other people, based solely on their faith.
But my home is not Italy either. It is not the place itself that is home, but a place becomes home when I start adapting to it. I have my whole life in Italy, but that does not mean that I will forever live there : I want to study in another European country and build my life all around the globe. That will only happen when I accept that home is made of my own bones and home is wherever I go. It would be arrogant to say that I did not miss my mum this week, but distance does make indeed the heart grow fonder and I cannot wait to be back with her.
I do hope that in the future I will not get homesick so easily, to the point where I cry my eyes out at night, not being able to sleep in a foreign house which was once home. I would say that insomnia is a consequence of being away from the place we so casually call home.
And that is where I am headed.