The definition of home is difficult for me, as it is for Pico Iyer in this fantastic TED talk.
I was born in England, but my parents have Scottish and Irish ancestry. I spent a few years at school in Malawi, Africa. I have a New Zealand passport, swearing my allegiance to the Queen when I became a citizen after seven years in Godzone, and I lived for four years in Australia.
I crave foreign, in language and food and experience.
I lust after new experiences. I've travelled all over the world, under and over the sea and I have an itch for movement that needs scratching several times a year.
Iyer talks about home holding a piece of one's soul, which resonates with me.
Pieces of my soul lie in Jerusalem, Oxford and in Varanasi.
Pieces of my soul lie near a waterfall in the Bungle Bungles in Western Australia and in a kelp forest offshore from Dunedin, New Zealand.
Pieces of my soul lie with my husband and my family, wherever they are, and we Penns are great travellers! My husband is from New Zealand, of Hungarian Jewish ancestry. My sister-in-law is Nigerian, and another soon-to-be-sister-in-law is Canadian. We are a global family, for which I am deeply proud.
In recent years, I have shed ownership of possessions, with the aim of making myself more free, to be location independent. For home to me is not tied to a location, but more to people and memory.
Sophie Cayeux says
You are not the only one of your kind. You have articulated it very beautifully.
Joanna, have you ever visited Canada. It’s one big country that is so very diverse. I currently live in Sherbrooke, Quebec. I have seen or lived in all of Canada, except the Yukon, or what used to be the Northwest Territories ( Nunavut) I would recommend coming for a jaunt to Quebec itself–it has a European flavour and you’d get to practice speaking French. Then go to British Columbia and more specifically to Vancouver Island to visit the West Coast, maybe even hike the West Coast Trail. I’m sure you would love it.
Joanna Penn says
Thanks Laura, I did spend some time in Montreal, and next summer, my brother is getting married in Toronto. I would definitely like to spend some more time in the wilder parts of Canada. Thanks, Joanna