Home is where the heart is

Ever since I left home as a seventeen-year-old, I knew I will not live in a city for over four years. From one city to the other, I kept moving until I reached Bangalore and made it my current home a decade ago.

This city has been mine and I belong here. However, I must confess that sometimes I have the urge to break the jinx and move out to a new life. These feelings have grown stronger over the past one year. 

Around this time last year, VT was offered a short-term assignment in Hong Kong. We were not sure of what it will bring to us. Living apart and then the loneliness that accompanies it. I was willing to stay in Bangalore and carry on with my work. It was rational to continue with our respective careers and take as it comes. However, without thinking of funds, we decided one thing. That I would travel twice in these four months and see how the world looks from the island. That meant time offs and some flexible work arrangements and fortunately, things fell into place. 

Hong Kong won over my heart, the day I landed. I had read about the humidity, the growing population, and the language barrier. But some things just work. There was newness in the air. The sky was the same but the piece of Earth I stood on was different. People were new but the smiles were familiar. I was lost for directions but the traveler in me did not need any. The city was a complete package, customized for me. With VT around, I was not alone. For being able to work, I was busy with tasks at my hand and then on weekends, we had the choice to see this new world. 

I have always believed that the city we live in, shapes us in many ways. Ways that we can’t even imagine. It’s subtle and slow. And only when we are out of the setting is when we feel the change we have been through. 

Living in Hong Kong, I met myself. Surprisingly, this time, I was fascinated by many things I had not known about myself. I learnt to appreciate whatever I had with gratitude. For what was missing, I was willing to let go without any qualms. Living out of a suitcase came easy to me and I learnt that I am not a hoarder. Going minimal was not as hard as I had imagined. And I got to know that creating memories is my favorite past time.

Hong Kong wasn’t home but it felt home. And the night before we were to leave, I could not sleep. I was nervous to come back to India. I was not willing to let go of what I had known and experienced over my trips. Frankly speaking, I had changed. 

I had made a home in a city that was new and leaving home is never easy. It’s not the amount of time I spent but the quality of it. True that home is where the heart is. 

Home away from home.

My work/blogging desk at One96, Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong

Sharing a personal story today and linking to Yeah Write #283 

33 Responses

  1. Eli says:

    That is so true, dear Parul. i have lived in so many different places- and from the bottom of my heart: home is where the heart is – the people you have around you, the feeling, that’s it. Thats all you need. That’s all you could have wished for. Nice written piece, dear Parul:-)

  2. Geets says:

    Hong Kong sure sounds an exciting city. I may travel there this year. And be ready, I’m sure gonna eat your head for all the tid-bits!!! 😉
    Jokes apart, I’m glad you had a wonderful time there and could manage your work and vacation at the same time!


  3. Parul Thakur says:

    Oh yes. I would say that too..thank you, Vishal!

  4. Hong Kong sounds amazing! It certainly sounds like a home you should be in. I’ve been to a few places that truly felt like somewhere I could set my roots down in and settle for the remainder of my days. Sometimes life doesn’t give us a chance to do it, but the collection of memories is priceless.

  5. Ellen says:

    I have moved several times, and you really do learn so much about yourself in a new environment. I think you captured that sentiment well.

  6. Patricia says:

    This experience was really neat I read about. I am in awe of finding yourself in this way in such a different place than what you were used to. Really interesting. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Danielle says:

    Home isn’t a place, but instead a feeling in our hearts. Lovely piece this week 🙂

  8. Beeray says:

    Sometimes I envy people who get to.move around but after knowing how hard it can be, I start counting my blessing that I have a beautiful home. Truly, home is where the heart is

  9. Uma says:

    Very few people get to taste different places and different countries in their lifetime. So, I think we must grab the opportunities when they present themselves. Once we are open to receiving what a place offers, home can be made anywhere. Lovely post, Parul!
    Uma recently posted…The most difficult words to sayMy Profile

  10. Anonymous says:

    So true. The problem with homes is that sometimes you find more than one. Lovely post – you have perfectly captured the anguish of the ex-pat.

  11. A beautiful post, Parul. It gives a wonderful meaning to this proverb.
    I guess sometimes we prefer to be happy in one place, just because we haven’t yet been to that one place which will take our breath away. Traveling can help us find our real homes, where our hearts reside even after the journey is long gone and done! 🙂

  12. I simply loved you way of saying things – ” the sky was the same, but the piece of earth was different”- reading it made me empathise with your emotions at that moment. You have a way with words that I have really liked. Cheers

  13. This is a really lovely piece! 🙂 I’ve moved around a lot and with divorced parents as well, I’ve always had to make a home each time. Living in a share house now, I can call it home too, because it it is the people as well as place 🙂

  14. This is something I can completely relate to, Parul. Strange how some places leave a beautiful mark in your heart and memories, don’t they? And how quickly we adapt to them. Is that because of the company we have or the people we meet or something about the place itself? I think, in your case, it may also be your adaptability and the need to explore. Those things make a difference.
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…The Mirror doesn’t LieMy Profile

  15. Twin Pickle says:

    The love the idea that you ‘met yourself’ in Hong Kong. Home is indeed where the heart is 🙂

  16. Totally agree…some places can feel like home instantly. It’s how we take to it. Does Hong Kong feature in the future?
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…On writer envyMy Profile

  17. I love to visit Hong Kong. I agree with you ….. Home is where my heart is … <3 <3 <3
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Weekly Photo Challenge: EdgeMy Profile

  18. It happens sometimes. Home is after all where the heart is..The initial few days or the move might be scary but we end up finding ourselves in the process. It is my 9th year in Bangalore and I know I can’t live anywhere but here. But again, you never know.

  19. Vishal Bheeroo says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you. It’s not the place we are drawn in but which attracts us and gives a feeling there is something about us that keeps draws the soul in. For me, it’s Mumbai and Pune despite not being born there. Who says home should be the city we were born?
    Beautiful post, Parul.


  20. Rachna says:

    Oh yes, I have experienced that as well. Home is truly where you feel comfortable. Like you, I have lived in many cities for short stints and have felt so at home there, almost feeling that I could live there.

  21. Obsessivemom says:

    That’s true – home really is where the heart is. We may be apprehensive about going to a place but once we stay there and have people we love around us it does;t really matter.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Oops I forgot!My Profile

  22. Rajlakshmi says:

    Hong Kong is a fascinating city. The nights so bright and lively. I loved your blogging workstation. Home is indeed where heart is . Sydney has done that to me. Hope you get to travel to all the destinations you have in mind 🙂
    I think I saw you at the airport that day in HK. We left on the same day and i was sitting on my luggage right in front of you 😉 I had a nagging doubt but I am pretty sure it was you. 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…5 New Things I did Last WeekMy Profile

    • Parul Thakur says:

      Omg! Really?? Why did you not come and check? Gosh and I can’t seem to remember where was I sitting? Raji – so not done :/

      So the flashy life of Hong Kong is one side of the spectrum and though that’s good, I feel more connected to things like the culture, the place and then the mountains. 🙂

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