It’s my guess that most people feel a sense of belonging and community where they live. While they dream of taking exotic vacations to faraway lands, they don’t actually want to move their life to a new place. Growing up on an island at the end of the world in which I could see the pacific ocean everyday from the front of our house, I always felt a sense of wanderlust, a curiosity of the world beyond my neighborhood, city and country. And that is why I have traveled so much, to explore these worlds. To immerse myself in other cultures. Of course, there are downsides to this, one of them being that although I don’t have a strong sense of home (I don’t feel it here, I didn’t feel it much there either), I do occasionally get pangs of homesickness for the wonderful (in hindsight and from thousands of miles away) place that I grew up in.
As the colorful autumn foliage in Seoul fades – the patches of red, yellow, orange and green become duller, sprightly lambs are frolicking about and butter-colored daffodils are blooming in New Zealand. People are braving the icy waves for their first swim of spring, planning their annual summer hiking and camping trips and drinking beer outside in bare feet. I miss walking down to the beach near my mother’s house, swimming in the hot salt water pool. Drinking chai tea at one of the esplanade cafes. I miss being able to walk from one end of the main street to the other in twenty minutes. I miss the public library, the art gallery, the restaurants, the cafes, the fresh air, the rolling green hills, the pristine beaches, my laid back friends who want nothing more than to be happy. Yet, I know that those things would not be enough to make me happy there.
My friend sent me a song, somehow knowing how I felt. It’s by the Kings of Convenience, whom I had never heard of before (further proof of how uncool I am). The last lines of ‘Homesick’ say it all:
Searching boxes underneath the counter
On a chance that on a tape I’d find
A song for
Someone who needs somewhere
To long for
Cause I no longer know
Where home is