The World is my Home

Anne Bonfert

What it means being home in the world but not having a home

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In the last six years I’ve lived in a few different countries on three different continents. I’ve travelled a lot, I worked in a few different professions and build up friendships with people from all over the world.

Living or travelling?

But what does it mean when you „live somewhere“. Is there a description of it? How long do you have to be in a country not to call it to travel anymore but instead to live abroad? Do you have to work in order to live abroad? What if you don’t get paid for your work? Is it then still travelling? Even though you are physically working something. What does living in a foreign country mean?

For me, living in another country means you stay in one place for a while. You have a room or flat you rent and you are intending to stay for a few months. Even if you don’t know how long.

You build up friendships, get a daily routine and do some work. I say some work to include all types of work. I’ve often gotten asked “when will you start a real job?” I hated that question.

Hated it!

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Do you have a real job?

What does one need, to describe the work as a real job? Do I have to become a lawyer, teacher, doctor or engineer because that is what you understand as a real job? Well then, my answer is never. Then I will never get a real job. Most probably at least not.

I’ve worked as a nanny, a sandboarding and rock climbing instructor, as a skydiving photographer and I am currently working on my writing career. Does it mean I’ve never worked, because you asked me when I will get a real job?

Most probably you don’t know how draining these jobs can be. Physically and mentally. But you know what? They actually pay me real money. Believe it or not.

But let’s get back to my point.

“If you think travelling is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal.” — Paul Coelho
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Living in different countries

I have lived in Germany. Most of my life. Until I turned 21. Then everything changed. I became a Nomad. Not intentionally. But it just happened the way it did. I planned to go travel for a bit and then come back home. But I never did. Well, I have been back in Germany since, but I haven’t lived there for more than a few weeks a year.

I lived in Ghana for five months. I lived in a house built of mud somewhere in the north of the country. I called it my home. For the time I was living there at least. And it felt like my home. Because of the people around me. They made me feel like home.

A year later I started living in Namibia. I only planned on staying there for three months, lived there in the end for over four years. I’ve lived in different flats, build up an amazing group of friends and worked in various professions. Namibia became my second home away from home.

Eventually I managed to leave the African continent and moved to Thailand. Where I worked and lived for a year. I had a flat and a scooter to get around. Through my work I met amazing people with whom I am still contact with. Thailand was my home for eleven months. Until the pandemic started.

I had to fly home. Together with my partner. Which home was the question? Due to his passport, it had to be Namibia. Which I didn’t mind at all. Because Namibia is my home. It still is. My friends greeted me with „welcome back home“ when we arrived.

I think I’ve lived here now for about three months this year. Lost track of time during the lockdown. I haven’t worked in these months. At least not for money. I’ve worked in the garden. I’ve done house sitting. And dog sitting. I took friends rock climbing. Just for the fun of it.

And I am about to move again. To my other home. Germany. Where I will have to quarantine myself for two weeks. In my own home. But I don’t have a home. I mean surely I do have the option of staying at my parents flat.

But I don’t have a real „home“.

I do not own a house. A flat. Or even a car. I do not own any of these. Anywhere in the world.

“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” — Matthew Karsten
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My belongings are everywhere

Do you know what that means? My stuff is all over the world. When I lived in Thailand I had a backpack with clothes and a suitcase full of my sports gear with me. That was it. That was all I had in my „home“ in Thailand.

But I also have a few boxes with clothes and more sports gear in Namibia. In my other home. And I still have a cupboard full of stuff at my parents’ place. In Germany.

Everywhere where I live I have something with me. But everything I own is never in one spot. And I have a feeling it never will be. Because I am home in the world. Because I have plans to live in more places, where I haven’t been to before. Because I love seeing new countries and different cultures.

And I love my nomadic lifestyle. But this lifestyle also includes not having a home. Not having one place you call home. Not having one place where all your belongings are. Not having one place to go back to.

But instead I have many places to call home. And having many places to go back to. Having many places where you have friends. And friends are the factor of calling a place home or just a travel destination. The moment you have friends around you, you definitely lived there long enough to call it home.

“Home is not where you are from, it is where you belong. Some of us travel the whole world to find it. Others find it in a person.” — Beau Taplin
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The world is my home.

Thank you to everyone who is making this happen. Thank you to everyone who is calling his house a home for me. You are the reason why I never get homesick. It’s the people who give you a home. Not the material things like owning a house. People give you the feeling of being home. At least that is how I feel.

I feel home whenever I have friends around me.

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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.

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