Home. Where is home? What is home? For a good deal of folks, this question is too obvious to even give much consideration to but for those of us who have chosen the expatriate life this can be a bit of a tricky one.
|St Austell, ©2003, Myra Davey|
|Auckland's Sky Tower|
© Kath Liu, 2008
Soon enough though, I started to feel settled in New Zealand. I found connections and started to grow back those roots, little by little, into the soil of my new home. My confidence level was not what it was in Cornwall and so I shied away from clubs and school plays (something I had always been involved in before) and I retreated more into the world of books. Reading became a major source of comfort for me and even though what I was reading wasn't anything of literary note (Sweet Valley High, anyone?) it helped me navigate the treacherous waters of becoming a teenager in a new country. Without anyone to guide me on the intricacies of female interaction, I devoured this sort of book and took mental notes on what sort of things were expected and which sort of things were not. Reading almost became the replacement Aunties I no longer had access to (remember this was the late 90's and email and Skype and Facebook were not there to help me out!)
|Me in front of Taipei 101|
© Art Liu, 2008
So the concept of 'home' for me is a very fluid thing. It is the place I was born and spent my childhood, it is also where I grew up and became a woman and it is the place where I currently live. All of these vastly different places, Cornwall, New Zealand and Taiwan, are all 'home' to me. The 'why' and 'how' changes but the fact that they are all home doesn't. I feel a strong connection to each and every place. This makes me sound splintered but actually I feel enriched. There's something from everywhere that makes me who I am and I'm really grateful to have had the life I have and through it all, I have had books by my side, providing an escape, providing guidance and being at times the one thing I could rely on.
Where is 'home' for you and how have books helped you through some of life's challenging times?