So where exactly IS home?

"So little yet so much one knows
Like a frog which grows in a
Knowing not oceans so ever vast
Becomes befuddled by its small"
Classic Thai poetry translated Seni Pramoj

I started globetrotting the day I was conceived in Tangiers, Morocco. And for over half a century I have never stopped. 

I was born and raised in Europe, shuttling between winters in the chilly north and summers in the south in search of warmer climes. By blood I am Dutch, French, Corsican, Polish and Russian. By temperament, depends on whom you ask.

When I was 12, my family moved to Canada, where I got a solid education despite a half-dozen cross-country moves over the next 18 years. Holidays took me coast to coast and down most of the continent all the way to Panama, always by car. 

In 1985 I was lured to Asia, and I lived and worked and loved there for just two years shy of three decades. At the start of 2013, I moved to Moldova to launch a start-up to market test an innovative business model I collaborated to develop. After five years, I returned to Manila. For both work and pleasure I continue to travel around the globe.

All this travel has shaped who I am. The exposure to different nations, cultures, ideas and peoples has increased my tolerance for diversity and broadened my worldview. My adventures have stretched my comfort zone. I can say I was a global citizen long before the term became fashionable. 

So, you might ask, where is home? For Robert Frost, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in.”  I'm not sure that is enough; I have two passports, Dutch and Canadian, and I suppose that means they'd have to take me in.  

It matters to me where I chose to create my nest, my refuge from the world, and that is Manila, despite the interlude in Moldova. How I arrived here is a very long story, perhaps beyond my personal one, linking to a multi-generational family history of migration. And there are countless reasons I stayed, not least because of friendships forged, now ties that beautifully bind.

Still, I am often on the move, scratching my forever itchy feet, always the outsider, my heartstrings connected to so many people and, by extension, places, and thus, while at ease anywhere, I am now truly at home only in my own skin and in the arms of my soul-mate, a Chinese-born Canadian, wherever we may be.

My photo blog is a journey of sharing, what I see, what I think... and I warmly welcome you to view through my lens and join the conversation.
"Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision
for the limits of the world. "
Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 - 1860)


Pat Tillett said...

I always meant to follow the link to this, but always forgot. This explains why you always seem to be on the move. You've seen and experienced things that most people can only dream about (and few even do that). You live your life like it's an adventure. I'm so glad I read this. You are an amazing person...

diane b said...

What a life. I love travelling too but "I still call Australia home".(the name of a song in case you haven't heard of it)

Kate said...

I, too, have travelled but not quite as much as you. It is a formative experience, regardless of one's age.

Your essay speaks from the heart, and I hear you.

Rae Walter said...

A fascinating life story Francisca.

Jo said...

I am so glad you made a visit to my blog so I could find yours.
What an amazing life you have lived, and the travel you have experienced is mind blowing. So many memories you have made.
I look forward to following your blog.

Suzie said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I think I am going to really enjoy following you so that I can travel vicariously - which I do with ease. Your blog is very interesting! Thanks for finding me!

Unknown said...

Hi :) I ended up in your site while googling "Where is Home?" Do you by any chance know what TCK is? "A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background" I just thought that this could really help you :)