Home is not a place, so what is it?

Finding a new “home” may be challenging, however, as one takes chances, possibilities emerge. It may also be considered an act of transcendence with no short of adaptation and personal investment. It will certainly take longer than expected, especially if you are from a completely different cultural background, speak a different language, or have different beliefs. Everyone knows the alternative to staying still and quiet, fortunately, many act and inspire others to do so.

“You have to act, you can’t lie down, you can’t stop. You need to be able to ask for help, but also be able to help others. Everything is in our hands, we create the future for ourselves and our children. After all, life is the most valuable thing.Bedreha Liubov, Ukraine.

As this fellow migrant suggests, acting is the key, many migrants have to take risks to have a better life and find a new home. In this post, we celebrate their courage and success and explain why home is not just a geographical place, but where one belongs. This article expects to inspire others to look at the brighter side of leaping to their true home.

Stairs made of stone that open the way to higher ground
Image by rdlaw

Home could be a story, not a building.

Sometimes, we only value something when we miss it. Home should be a place of peace, warmth, and comfort. When famine, war, economic crisis, or dictatorship arises, we must leave our homes to search for better ways of living.

Saying that we only value what we miss, and we only miss what we already know. Our family is probably the main reason to find a perfect home, for some probably finding love, dreams, or starting a career. It does not matter the order. Building a house is remarkably unique, however, writing or sharing a story from what you had and what you find in a new place where you call home, it’s completely different.  

Fortunately, it is the small things that make the big ones. Few are helping, however, as long as there is someone, the story continues, in different languages, cultures, and especially in different faces.“Soon after the first time, I went to Lisbon. Because people are kind, warm, and helpful, the country is rich in culture and history, retaining its old world charm yet with every facility needed to be comfortable.” Masuma Lotia, Pakistan.

The hands of two people about to touch
Image by pixundfertig

Past vs Future:


Remember that people do not truly know their roots. Did you know that half of the Mexican population has roots in today’s Mongolia? Probably you are a descendant of a city that was found already abandoned, like the Mayas. Probably your ancestors built the great pyramids or the coliseum, as far as we can imagine they could have been emperors.

How many languages have passed in your long-lived family? What if, for example, your ancestors were from another continent and were famous only six centuries ago? Travelling by ship took a couple of months, not hours, as we take by plane.

Imagine how many nationalities, stories, and histories your long-lived ancestors had.

Home is not a place
Image by voltamax

New home

“When I found people who care about us. Volunteers, and organizations that helped me and my son. When I found friends who experienced the same grief. My son made friends. We started to actively engage.” Bedreha Liubov, Ukraine.

The feeling of a safe place can’t be easily compared with other great sentiments. Feeling at home in a different country is sometimes a long process, your beliefs are different from others. Your points of view and life experiences stop making sense.

On the other hand, your knowledge can be an opportunity for improvement, after all, it is during chaos that humans develop their techniques and technology. Our society has different characteristics around the world. Difference presents a risk of conflict, but in return, it opens without any doubt much space for improvement.

A family at their home
Image by Rajiv Perera

Making a path

Who can give newcomers the best possible advice on finding a home after moving abroad? Of course, people who have experienced the challenges first-hand. That’s why, for this topic, the following quotes from different migrants, refugees, and ex-pats should clarify the title itself:

“Be prepared and active! Learn the language, investigate the administrative formalities and everyday life routine beforehand.” Tatiana, Russia

“I advise everyone to be ambassadors to spread their culture wherever they go” Aly, Egypt

“To understand that life is short, and it needs to be lived, not waited for it to pass” Iryna, Ukraine

“Make a list of the pros and cons of various places you are considering.” Nic Hall, Zambia

“Just do it!” Clara, Italy

Street sign
Image by USA-Reiseblogger

Share your “Home is not a place” story with others!

At SPEAK, we believe that every single person has the potential to help humanity and prevent suffering for those around him/her. This said, we humans, are social creatures, we need each other to achieve higher goals develop new ways of living safe from suffering, and include every single individual in what is meaningful and true. As a community, we desire to amplify the positive effects of every migrant who takes the risk to find a new home.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr

Migrant or not, you can also act upon the world by helping others. It requires active participation and a commitment to making a difference. It is the small gestures that produce the big ones. Be part of our team and help us expand kindness and help to others. Promoting social inclusion has no limits; only benefits may come from it. Find out more on how to do it here! If you liked this article, I encourage you to read others from SPEAK, such as “New in Town? How to Make Friends in a New City?”, “10 Ways to Respect Different Cultures: A Cultural Sensitivity Guide” or “3 Important Things I Wish I Knew About Living Abroad”.

Author: João Sousa

João is an intercultural researcher who loves to write and read. He visited many places throughout the world and joined SPEAK as a Copywriter. Curious about the facts of life and history, he loves every subject ranging from psychology to linguistics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *