Friday, January 08, 2010

Is Switzerland home?


Sometimes I feel like I don't know where home is. When I head back to Chicago, I've noticed that I always write "going home" in my Facebook status. But then when I get back to Switzerland, I've also been known to write, "home again". Can home really be both places?

Over Christmas, I watched Julie & Julia. It was such a great movie on so many levels (expat life, Paris, cooking, writing, blogging). In the movie, Julia's husband tells her that home will be wherever both of them are. I think this is a nice approach to answering the question of where home is. 

But still. Even if you believe this, a foreign country can still be hard to feel at home in sometimes. Today over on ACC, I've written a few tips on how to make Switzerland feel more like home. Like getting to know your neighbors and learning the language. I'd love to know what you do to make Switzerland feel more like home.

How do you approach the question, "where is home?" Are we lucky if we feel like we have more than one home? Or is it a curse to love more than one country? 

17 comments:

Carla said...

Well, for me it is really about where my husband and our cat are, so when I say my home is here, I am actually just talking about the apartment we live in at the moment. I guess for a broader definition of home I would have to see myself living in a city for the rest of my life, and I never felt this way even in my home country. I wish to find this place someday, but I am not in a hurry.

Chantal said...

I think home could also mean where one is most comfortable. While I love Switzerland, sometimes I feel like I'm a different person here than I am in my home country. Does anyone else feel like this?

mrsmac said...

Like you, I always say I'm going home when I travel to the US or Switzerland. Which is kind of depressing, because it could be construed as never being at home. But home definitely is where Brian and my girls are!

krystal said...

I'm not sure where home is, I've lived in a few different places so it's up in the air. i recently read 'the geography of bliss' about a grumpy author that travels to different countries trying to find who is happiest...and he talks about the notion of 'home' - and how our generation has such nomadic tendencies, we always think we'll be happier somewhere else, etc so it's hard to put down roots and make a 'home'. He says, "We may be fairly happy now, but there's always tomorrow and the prospect of a happier place, a happier life. So all options are left on the table. we never fully commit. That is, I think, a dangerous thing. We can't love a place, or a person if we always have one foot out the door." I think there's a lot of truth to that - I felt like i was ready to settle down but then we moved to switzerland, so here i am! i don't know if it will be home because we're not sure if we'll stay here forever...so....tough question!!

(www.markandkrystal.wordpress.com)

Chantal said...

That sounds like a good book, thanks for the tip. I think there is a truth to thinking somewhere else will always be better.

krystal said...

yah! I picked the book up because he visits Switzerland and so it's interesting to hear his comments :)

Chantal said...

Ooh, he travels to Switzerland--even more reason to read it!

Amanda said...

We've made a home here to the best of our abilities, but it's not home for us the way San Diego is home. We see ourselves moving back there, so Switzerland is our temp. home. It's more like that limbo or "on hold" state you've discussed in other posts.

Also, for me I don't feel like I'm not myself, but I definitely feel out of my element - like not able to be fully me. If that makes sense...

Chantal said...

I know exactly what you mean about not being able to be "fully" you. I'm especially like this when I'm speaking German!

Kacie said...

Just discovered your blog via expatblog. Good question - a theme of my life. I love having many homes, but I also hate it, and I don't know if I'll ever totally reconcile to the rootlessness of my life!

Chantal said...

Hi Kacie,
Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Glad you can relate. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever have roots too.

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