15,195km, 21 hours 15 minutes by plane, 32 days by ship. That is the distance between my old life and my new life. 9 hours behind in time and 4 oceans away from my family, friends, job security, sunshine and home. This got me thinking, but what is home? Is home where my heart is with my boyfriend in Kent, or is it in London where my eldest sister has been living for the last 4 years or is back where I just came from with my baby sister and parents, is that where my home is?
I believe, perceptions of ‘home’ do vary depending on culture and backgrounds but really it comes down to the individual opinions. I was raised in a predominately aboriginal community on an island off the coast of Brisbane, Australia. To my godmother Nunna from the Quandamooka tribe, home is the land we grew up on, the land that was stolen. To her and her tribe, they will never get their home back. I asked my roommate what is it like to live from home, be away from home? And what was home to him. As my roommate proclaimed ‘it is wherever everyone sounds the same as me.’
Today in the streets of Oxford I paused at this thought, what is home? I turned the question on the homeless man sitting rugged up in his sleeping bag on the pavement, “sir, you are called homeless, therefore it is perceived that you have ‘less than a home’, but what does home mean to you” his answer was short and sweet, “wherever my hat lands, that is my home for the night”.
Home is therefore not four walls and a roof, it is not always the country to which you come from, and it is not always where your loved ones are. Each of us have different meanings and each of us call different places in the world home. I believe that is what makes ‘home’ so special.
Throughout the semester members of the student committee will take turns to write a blog. It might be about organising the Festival, it might be about something else they are doing in or away from Brookes, it might be thoughts on our theme of home. Check in regularly to find out!