Recently I was thinking about the topic of vagueness again, on which I wrote a post in the early days of AKE! From there, my mind wandered to the concept of ‘home’ that I had discussed with some of my students a few months ago, more specifically how I wasn’t sure exactly how this word applied to me.
I gave them a brief outline of my life and asked them where I should/could call ‘home’, as I often come across to new people I meet as a bit slow, taking far too long to respond to simple questions like “Where are you from?” or “Where’s home?”
I was born on a British military base in Germany, though my parents were living in Belgium at the time (if you are in a similar situation, take my advice- don’t lose your birth ceritficate) and spent my childhood moving around between various places in England, Germany, and Hong Kong. During my GCSE and A level years I was living in Kent and then left home and went to university for 4 years in Manchester, where I stayed for a few more years afterwards to work. Most of my friends from that time have since moved on to other cities/countries but a small group still live in Manchester and I go back once or twice a year to see them.
Since then, I have spent large parts of the last 5 years in Krakow (and 7 months in Tallinn) teaching, the last 2 years of which were spent living in a flat with my then girlfriend, a native of the north of the country rather than Krakow in the south.In the summer, I left all that behind to come back to England and start graduate medical studies and have lived in Coventry since early September with 3 fellow medical students.
Since I left home, my parents have moved a few more times and have owned a house near the South coast for about 8 years, though I have never lived in it. I’ll finish with the same question I gave my class – Where is ‘home’ for me?