Living Room With Globe

What Does Home Mean to You?

In October, I wrote an article about grappling with homesickness without a concrete definition of what home means to me. I detailed all of the places I’ve lived in the past twenty-one years, and what about each of them felt the most like home to me. While I still struggle with the concept of feeling homesick for nowhere in particular, I wanted to figure out what home means to some of the people who are closest to me. I thought that maybe their answers could comfort, and help provide a little more of a path to finding out what home means to me. 

Katie —

“Home is wherever good people that make you feel loved are. I’ve had many definitions of home that I’ve experienced over my life, but feeling truly accepted for you, as you are, is what home means to me.”

Sarah Jane —

“I moved around a lot as a kid so home was never really a place or a thing for me. For me, home is the way I feel; when I’m at the apartment with all my friends and we’re all laughing at a joke someone just made. Or it’s the way I feel when I’m laying on the stern of a boat watching the boom swing above me and listening to the crew talk about fair trade coffee. Or even how I feel when my siblings are singing along to a song I put on while I’m driving them to practice. Home is about the people you surround yourself with. It’s about contentment, safety, and being accepted. If you’re with people who love you for you, you never feel like you aren’t exactly where you belong.”

Kyra —

“To me, home isn’t the house you live in or the state you’re from. Home could be the beach, sitting somewhere in a lawn chair or even just being in your significant other’s arms. A lot of people say home is where the heart is, and I couldn’t agree more. Home is somewhere you feel safe, happy, whole and complete. For some people, home is the house they live in or the place they’re from. For me, my home is with my partner, just laying in his arms and talking for hours without ever running out of words. Home to me is also somewhere nice and warm, where I feel the breeze move my hair and the sun on my skin, suddenly I feel free. Home.”

Aaron Burden Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Emily —

“Home to me has many different meanings. I feel most at home when I’m driving around my hometown with my closest friends with the windows down jamming to our favorite songs. Home to me is the feeling of hugging one of my best friends after not getting to see her for almost a year. Home is my mom making chicken noodle soup on a Sunday afternoon when she knows I’m not feeling great. Home to me isn’t always four walls and a roof over your head. People always say home is where the heart is and I couldn’t agree more.” 

Grace —

“Home to me isn’t always a place, but more of a feeling. It’s somewhere I feel safe and comfortable whether that means a place or a person. I have been lucky enough to call my house back in Jersey and my school down in South Carolina both home because of the people and friends I see every day.” 

Miraina —

“I would say home is where I feel loved whether that be in a person or a place like I feel loved with my grandparents and in our house that they make feel like a home. I also feel loved by my boyfriend. Austin, that feels like a home in a person, too.” 

The Notebook gif Giphy

People are an accumulation of their experiences. Where they've lived, who has walked in and out of their lives, the books they've read, movies they love, comfort food their mom makes, memories, and everything in between are a part of what makes everyone unique. The idea of home is different for everybody. It's a physical place, it's a person, it's a memory, it's a particular scent that's like a tsunami when it hits. Home is everything to some people and nothing to others. In some way, everyone struggles with the concept. There is no correct answer, or maybe there's not an answer at all. Home is what you make of it. Orion Carloto said it best when she said, "You are your home." I'm still walking my path to figuring out what home concretely means to me, but for now, "you are your home" and every little piece accumulated over the years is good enough for me.