Share a story about the furthest you’ve ever traveled from home.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRAVELS.
Well, my story has a little twist to it.
See, I was born in a little country called Moldova. (See below on map).
In 1993, my parents moved to South Africa, taking me willingly or unwillingly along. At that time, I was almost three years old so I didn’t have much of a fight with staying in my country.
I have been living here ever since, it’s been 20 years now & I have come to call this country my home. I know my way around. I have friends almost all over the country. I have my freedom of knowing where I’m going, for how long & when I’m coming back. Yes, this is home.
In 2009, once I was done with school, I went back to Moldova to visit family & work. The initial plan was to move there permanently. I was very excited. This was the first time I would be traveling abroad on my own, & experiencing the country would be like a new adventure. I had difficulty fitting in. I speak Russian, but their language of preference is Moldavian so there was straight away a barrier in communication. As soon as I made friends at my workplace, it was difficult to hang out with them. They spoke a language I couldn’t understand & no one bothered to translate for me. I felt like an outsider.
Then there was the getting lost in the city. In the beginning, I was late for work countless times for getting on the wrong bus or getting off at the wrong station. The frustration was just not subsiding. I couldn’t go anywhere in fear of getting lost & being stranded there until someone offered a helping hand. Problem is if you don’t speak Moldavian, you don’t get a second glance – even if you were born in the country. I couldn’t go out to anywhere without having my phone fully charged in case I needed my family to send out a search party.
Then I think to myself. This is my home country, my origins. & I couldn’t fit less in! Could it be because the culture is completely different from what I’m use to in SA? The people in SA are much more relaxed & prone to help you if you need directions. Could it be because I couldn’t fit in with the crowd, being that my views & way of life were completely different?
After a couple of months, I was home sick. I wanted to see my mom (who stayed in SA), my friends, my pets. Even my old beat up car. I wanted it all back. I begged my mom to buy me a return ticket to SA as soon as possible so I could get away from the depressed place I should have been calling my home.
I’ve realized now that home is not the place you were born. Home is where you make it.
I’m still in SA, & happy with the decision I made to return. Because if I hadn’t return, I wouldn’t have met Byren (my husband) nor had my adorable baby with him.
The choices we make are always for the best. We sometimes just only realise this later on.