And honestly, it’s kinda a tough question to answer. A tough question for most travelers to answer. I mean, what is home? The place I spent the first 18 years of my life? The place where my parents still live? Well, no because I moved out almost 20 years ago and while I go back to see my parents I don’t have friends there and have nothing to do when I go there. I have to go back there to see my parents, but it’s not a place I’d go if they moved away.
So is my home the place in New Hampshire where I lived for the last 10 years? The place I worked, have a ton of friends and even a cat still there? Kinda. But I no longer have a house, or a P.O. Box and I’m pretty sure legally I’m no longer a resident so it can’t be considered home. I have a lot of friends there, who I definitely miss. But when I go back I’m clearly “visiting friends,” not “going home.”
So if this two places are out, where is home?
The truth is after almost 5 years, my life is here in China. My best friend, and closest friends, are here. My stuff is here. My favorite foods and restaurants are here. And when I go away traveling during the holidays it’s my friends in China I miss the most. My residence is here, my employer is here. So I think in almost every definition of home it’s here in China.
I’ve even stopped craving some of the normal food I thought I would want forever. Stuff like pizza, burgers, sandwiches. Sure, I have them occasionally when I go to a big city, but in general I don’t even miss american food anymore. It just happens when one travels, right? You get accustomed to the new. And it’s been 5 years. If I wasn’t used to it now, I should just pack it in and go back.
But what about Christmas? Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends. Well, I can’t spend it with my actual family, but in our modern world, family is much more than just blood relatives. Even in America I rarely saw my family on Christmas day itself. I have a modern family: Divorced parents, one re-married, a brother with kids and in-laws who want to see them. Christmas is only 24 hours. We’d see each other around Christmas, but on the actual day, pretty rare. Instead I would spend the day with my friends, eating together and giving each other gifts.
This year a few friends came over and we decorated cookies, made christingles (a candle stuck in a decorated orange–British thing apparently), watched Charlie Brown Christmas Special and just had fun with each other. And that’s what I would do if I was in America too. See my friends, eat, hang out and have fun.
So while I miss my family and friends back in America, the only answer I can give when someone asks me if I miss home is, “No. Because I am home.”