For the past five years we’ve been living out of the UK. Away from home comforts, all that is familiar and those we love.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being an expat, I think it’s the best thing that we have ever done as a family. But sometimes, just sometimes, my itchy feet itch a little less and I long for roots and stability.
I don’t want to move house every year. My five year old has lived in five different houses already. I worry that our nomadic life may unsettle the boys. That we may leave them as third culture kids craving the stability of one house. Like the childhood I had.
And yet I know that this is the best thing for us, so squashing down those doubts we get on with it.
Home is where the heart is
It’s cliche but it’s true.
And whilst I struggle with the idea that we cannot permanently alter our rented villas into anything that really screams us. There is no altering of the walls with radical paint jobs – you know maybe a soft cream instead of a magnolia – or wild wall stickers plastered across the children’s rooms.
That the very essence of “us” that can be found within our four walls needs to be able to taken down, packed up and moved on.
It has also led to a challenge. A way to fill our home with memories of different places, of finding unique pieces that remind us of a different time. Our walls are filled with an eclectic mix of photos, prints and the money picture.
Shopping locally in the souqs, the little alleyway shops and the big chains, I’m looking at you IKEA. Shopping at home with what we know and love. And of course, shopping online at the likes of LionsHome.
Looking for the print that makes you think of home, where my eldest was born. The old school map of Bahrain that we discovered in Camden Market. The railway sleeper coffee table that was made before we left Dubai. Hunting through to find the perfect memo board for our house. The cot where both my boys laid their heads as babies. And the nursing chair where I rocked them to sleep.
Making sure that the sentimental pieces find their place. The practical pieces too.
That is the crux of it. Each time we move, we settle, we live, we take a shell of a house and make it a home.
From filling it up with everything that makes us, us. To making memories within the four walls. Home really is where the heart is.
And that is why my home is wherever all three of my boys are. Big and small. With all of the little pieces we’ve collected along the way to make our house ours.