As an Expat I have given some thought about what «home» is. Sure, we can look up the dry explanation in a dictionary. Or we can define it ourselves, yea, let’s do that – should be way more fun.
You see, my family and I are Expats in Denmark. We rent a house in a small town north of Copenhagen. The market in Denmark is so slow that investing in real estate here is a complete no-go for us. And even though we absolutely hate the house we rent, we have recently extended the lease period.
Why would we do that?
Pure laziness would be a huge part of the reason why we decided to continue to rent this house. We just can’t be bothered to move – because that is a lot of work and boring.
The proximity to The Karate Kid’s school was also a huge factor in deciding to prolong the lease.
And… The house itself is not why it is home. It’s more about making it home. So we moved in our furniture, our clothes, our stuff. Granted a whole lot of our stuff is still in storage, because this house is way smaller than the beautiful and rather large house we had in Norway. But we have unpacked enough stuff to make this Danish house feel homely.
Although there are things that are connected to certain memories, nostalgia and all that, they are still just things. And without a cat galloping across the floor and jumping up in the sofa just to piss off the dog, and a teenager aggrivating his mom by playing too loud music, all the things are meaningless. Because the memories are still there, even without the things.
It’s not the house and things that make the memories. We make the memories. Yes, we have had many nice family meals around the dinner table. Without the family, the table would just be a table. And when that table is traded out for something new and not worn out, we will still have the memory of those nice family dinners. The table doesn’t matter. It’s unimportant.
What is important? Family. Friends. Pets. Those are my true valuables. That is what makes the home. Not the house, not all the stuff.