Leaving home to go home: Thoughts From a Foreign Student

For some reason, this take me by surprise every single year: Christmas.
I don’t know what it is about the fall semester, but it seems to be flying by at the blink of an eye. Just as we’re all caught up in deadlines, exams and getting used to the days getting so much shorter, it hits us: the end of the semester. And before we know it, we start planning trips home for the holidays. For some of us it involves longer journeys with flights and overseas-travels. And I start looking forward to finally being surrounded by my mother-language, my mum and everything familiar and home-y. I tell my friends that “I’m going home”. Yet when I am ‘home’ I talk to my family and friends there about my ‘home’ here.

Christmas to me is always connotated with warm feelings. I think of candlelights, the smell of a lit fireplace and my mum’s hugs. It’s this very cozy and familiar feeling you only get in places where you feel completely safe and secure and you know you can just rest. Yet when I go there, it never takes long before I’m dreaming of being back in my other ‘home’, and there I can relax in other ways, there I can truly be myself without anyone else to interfere as I go about my day.

I know that when I think of Christmas it is my home home I think of. Maybe as we grow older and move about we will always perceive ourselves as people with two homes. Especially as students moving from another country. Dundee is my home because this is where I live my life now, but Denmark will always be my home home. The one place I know I will always be able to go back to and rest if I need to. Moving away from home for the first time, to another country once seemed like a might stranger and now this little city is so familiar to us that we can describe it with the same word as the place we spend most of our life so far. Perhaps the fact that we can differ between the two and still feel as comfortable and content in both places should be a comfort: no matter how different and scary something can seem to be in the beginning, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Dundee has definitely turned into a place I perhaps always will perceive as a home for me.

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