The concept of “home” has always been fluid to me. Ever since I moved away from my “home” of Strathroy, Ontario to attend UBC, I’ve constantly been on the move. This constant moving around has made me question the very nature of what being at “home” means — because where exactly is my home? This seemingly simple question is one I seldom know the answer to. Despite this, one thing is for certain — I am at home in Cape Town.
Cape Town, as a city, is remarkably diverse. People from all walks of life, all religions and all cultures live here — that’s what makes it an incredibly accepting and open city. Anyone can find a home in Cape Town because at least one of every type of person is here.
But what makes Cape Town feel so much like at home to me is not just the place itself. Home is so much more than just a physical place — it’s a state of mind. It is a feeling of safety, warmth and peace. It is a feeling of belonging and comfort. It is knowing that you are where you belong, however temporary that may be. It is a feeling unlike any other and right now, I’m feeling more at home than I have in a long time.
To feel at home — this state of mind I feel so strongly here — I owe a lot of that to the people I’ve met here. When you’re with the right people, those feelings of safety, peace and belonging exist there too. No matter where we may roam, I know that as long as they’re beside me, all will be okay. These people are a part of my home now and they will continue to be even after we’ve said farewell.
So where is home? Home can be anything. With anyone. Anywhere.
Home is Strathroy. Home is Vancouver. Home is Cape Town. Home is with my family. Home is with my friends. Home is feeling safe. Home is knowing that I belong. And although the reasons for the feeling may change depending on where I am, I know that I can always feel at home.