I was chatting with one of my friends recently and he asked me if I had found a place I can call home.

Honestly, I've been thinking a lot about home lately. Do I want to settle down again? What is home for me? If I decide to settle down, where I should do it? What a place should be like to become home for me? And I didn't succeed at finding answers for quite a long time.

I had no idea about what "home" should be like. I was trying to imagine what it's made of, its design, its size and other technical parameters. I was also trying to imagine its location, country, climate, landscapes. I was researching about life conditions for immigrants and the legal aspects of staying in different countries, trying to find the best. And I was no closer to solving the issue.

Long time ago when I was still a "normal" person and I had a place to come back every evening, I used to visit my friends or relatives and they always said a phrase: "make yourself at home". I used to think it's one of the most stupid things ever. Why should I make myself at home when I'm not there? I have home and I feel myself at home when I'm home. So for me it made no sense. Now this phrase makes my heart melt. You can hardly imagine how much it means for me when some people from the other side of the world invite me to visit, look forward to seeing me, pick me up from the airport or whatever place I arrived, give me the keys from their apartments, show me around, look after me and take care of how I feel, how I sleep, what I eat and if I'm having a good time. It's something more than just giving me a place to live, it means sharing life and personal space with me for some time. So by now "home" for me transformed from a place where I come back every evening to a feeling that my amazing friends all over the world give me by showing their love and care.

Perfect for now, but of course not for a lifetime. For sure I'd like to have a real home one day. But after realizing that "home" is not a place, but people around me, I stopped torturing myself with all those questions I mentioned in the beginning. Now I believe that when it's time, some very special people around me will give me a sign to stop.

SPECTER photography


Inna Nikitina