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I flew 6,000 miles before I could walk an inch. I moved halfway around the world before I could utter one word. Traveling comes as natural to me as breathing since I have been doing so for all my life. I have stood on the beaches of Greece, chased chickens in the streets of Macedonia, and most recently seen the mountains of Thailand from my window. With all of the places I have seen and after all that I have learned one question still remains; where is my home? I would like to believe that I have two homes, and none of which are the place in which I was born. One home lies in Southeast Asia and the other is 5,000 miles west, in Southeast Europe.

For six out of the first seven years of my life I lived in Skopje, Macedonia. Since I was so young when I lived there, I can’t recollect most of my childhood home. Though I do not remember much, there are a few things that are still very fresh in my memory, one of which is when I would accompany my mother to the market. The market was any child’s wonderland. As far as my eye could see there would be rows and rows of fruit and vegetables. The vibrant yellows of the bananas and the sweet, decadent aroma of the strawberries always would take hold of the wide-eyed past me. My eyes would then wander on to the giant tubs filled with hundreds of olives all with various ranges of saltiness, color, and size. Further back in the market laid chestnuts which is the memory that sits the freshest in my mind. The warm, dark scents wafting from the chestnuts filled me with a sense of home and coziness, and when I think back I still get the same feeling I had as a child.

Out of the next nine years of my life, I lived seven of them in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chiang Mai is what I consider to be my “now” home. One of my favorite experiences here is when I am in the city during the night. The warm, thick air speaks to my soul, and makes me feel a certain sense of belonging, a sense that is most definitely part of what defines a home for me. The lights of the buildings and the glow of the 7/11s late at night welcome me in a familiar way. I hear the chatter as I pass by the markets which are a tiny bit reminiscent of the ones in Skopje. The sounds of airplanes overhead put me to sleep at night, yelling goodnight in their usual way. Many things about this city are what define home to me.

Although the sights, the smells, the sounds, and the people all play an important part in what defining a home, none of those dictates where my home is.The feeling I get when I am in that place or recall memories from that place really dictates where I call my home. Home to me, is where the heart longs to be.



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