unexpected home (…i think)

7 days. Only 7 more days to spend eating laksa and chicken rice, only 7 days to walk along the Singapore river, only 6 nights to sleep in my own bed. Leaving Singapore is a super bittersweet feeling; It’s great to finally be going back “home” to the States, but it’s also incredibly sad leaving the Singapore I’ve grown to love. I am positive I’ll be returning at some point in my life, but the Singapore I know will be gone.

I’ve always referred to Massachusetts as my home, despite only spending two years there. Recently however, I’ve been struggling to figure out what I consider home. Is it a place? Where my parents are? Where I sleep? In people? Can home be a place I’ve never been?

With questioning what home is, I question what Singapore is. Singapore is where I live, sure, but lately, I’ve also started to consider it home home. I initially despised this place for tearing me away from the US, but now, it holds a special place in my heart as a country where I’ve grown and changed, a country where I’ve discovered a billion new opportunities, a country where I can’t chew gum or get the latest seasons on Netflix. I guess Singapore is home, but like Massachusetts, it will soon lose the literal part of it’s home title.

Emotionally, Singapore will always be my little red dot, my “home”, just like Lexington, but pretty soon, I won’t be living here, and the only thing keeping it my “home” is the deeply rooted connection I’ve established to Singapore.

These next seven days are the last days I’ll get to consider Singapore fully “home”, both literally and emotionally. After these seven days, being in Singapore will only be temporary. It will be “visiting” home.

Just like every other kid who’s lived out of the country, ‘home’ is a complex, confusing title.

I will miss Singapore. I will miss eating at hawker centers. I will miss fresh soursop juice and even the smell of durian wafting through the streets. I will miss walking from point A to point B, not realizing how close they are, how small Singapore is. I will miss nights out in Clarke Quay. I will miss the constant heat and the indescribable humidity. I will always always always miss the ever-changing skyline, Marina Bay and the Flyer always looming in the distance.

Singapore is the most incredible little city I’ve ever had the privilege to call home. It’s luxurious, futuristic, convenient. Singapore is simply amazing, and leaving it (and the rest of my backyard- the whole of Southeast Asia!) is devastating. This is the first time I’ve ever been upset to move, simply because of the place itself. Sure, I was sad to leave America, but it was definitely the people I’d miss more so than the actual country. I can’t believe I hated this place upon moving here. My feelings towards this place have definitely changed for the better.

Singapore has been quite the experience, quite the adventure. After arriving four days after we found out we were moving, I guess I can consider it an unexpected occurrence. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and a crazy past three years. Singapore has been, and always will be, home.

…Or at least part of it, because, well, I’m still struggling to figure out what “home” even means.

 

6 thoughts on “unexpected home (…i think)

  1. I’m so proud of you, Anya. Such insight and understanding. You open your soul and let us all take a peak inside. I understand. I lived mostly the US but spent so much time in Germany growing up that I didn’t have a clear sense of “belonging”. You will always have a traveling spirit. Just go with it and realize that it is a gift…a gift that will let you really live your life. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so so much, Mrs. Bauer. Your words mean so much to me. Germany must have been absolutely incredible and so hard to say goodbye to, however, selfishly, I’m glad you moved to the States, otherwise we would have never crossed paths! Miss you so very much! xx

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  2. Hi Anya, thanks for the honest post. I am leaving Singapore too. However, I don’t feel as much as you do. Maybe because I will be only 4 hours flight away from Singapore.

    Glad that you enjoyed your stay in Singapore.

    I guess the world is your home. =)

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