For me home is a feeling of belonging. Let me explain.
Living in Mallorca I loved the island and made some dear friends but I never felt I belonged. The weather was great, the way of life and mañana attitude were a novelty at first. But my roots weren't there, my whole way of life was far different to the way they lived and the language was a barrier that I had little time, while working full time, to do anything about. It was down to me to change or for me to leave. I chose to leave. My family were in the UK and while not in one another's pockets it was comforting to know that if I returned to the UK then I would at least be on the same island!
Upon returning to the UK we looked around trying to find somewhere to live. What area should we go to, where could we afford? While waiting for our house sale to complete we looked at lots of different areas.
The coastal areas whilst being by the seaside and having their own attractions just didn't feel right, we didn't belong, and most were out of our price range anyway.
The countryside around the Weald of Kent is the most beautiful I have seen but the areas I can afford I do not want to live in! The areas I would have wanted to live I could not afford.
Northwest Kent where we had lived for 30 years was well out of reach now as prices had risen as the regeneration project was under way.
Then we returned to an area in the southeast to view a couple of properties. Between viewings we had to waste some time and we sat by a sports field just watching the wildlife. I got out and took Freddy for a walk and listened to the birds singing. Blackbirds, starlings, sparrows and finches - just every day birds that I grew up with and a eureka feeling came over me. I was back home! Like someone who had wandered for years and finally returned to their nest I felt I was back where I belonged.
Now the area is not exactly where I was born and bred being a few miles distant but everything was familiar. I could remember things from when I was younger. Oh that's where such and such happened and that's where I did so and so. The familiarity was comforting! I could relax. I knew how the system worked. I knew how people thought or behaved. I was no longer an outsider.
I was home and so I put in an offer on a house which was accepted. There are still the normal searches and legal hoops to jump through but this is the area we have chosen. In the countryside but not too far from the towns. About midway between one side of the family and the other.
Your roots, your past, the memories and the familiarity - they mean more than you imagine - and to me they make a place a home. I belong, I am home.