That’s the question we – and it feels like everyone else on the island – is asking.
For some, the answer is clear. They’re returning to where they originally moved from. They are seeking the familiar, and the closeness of friends and family.
For others – like us – life in a foreign country suddenly and unexpectedly generates a world of endless possibilities.
In June, I will return to Australia to pack up my beloved house. I say ‘my’ because Rob simply does not have the same emotional attachment to it that I do. Up until building this house, Rob and I were nomadic, happy to pack up our few meagre possessions and move to the next property, sometimes in a new city, sometimes not.
We’ve always prided ourselves on not having an attachment to ‘stuff’ and certainly not a house. That changed in 2007, when we built our current place. I pretty much parked my backside on my deck with the marina view and pledged I would never leave. Apparently, I had found ‘home’.
I knew though. I knew that this sense of ‘home’ was stopping me from taking risks and other opportunities. I’m also now aware that this ‘settling’ was part house and part thinking I’d reached an age where it was just plain stupid to pack up twenty sets of wine glasses and move again.
When Rob first suggested Korea, it’s no secret that around two months of arguments ensued. I was concerned about how I would spend my time in a foreign country – and particularly one I had zero interest in – to how it would affect my career and opportunity for travel. We all now know how that turned out.
The move to an overseas location obviously removes you from your comfort zone. And that’s the point. The combined anxiety, fear and excitement that comes with acclimatising to an extremely foreign environment is ultimately exhilarating. There are times when it is tiresome but on the main, it’s a consistent reminder that you are indeed living.
And once you’ve pushed through the boundaries of doing things you never dreamed you were capable of, you begin to imagine other possibilities, other experiences, lessons, and ways to grow and be in the world.
After twelve months here, talk of the next location seems premature, even though it is somewhat necessary. For a few, there is a need to start kids in line with the new Australian school year meaning they will return home early next year, some seven to eight months before the majority. For others like us, it’s the need to at least know where we will head next and to have some semblance of a plan in place.
What we do know is that there is no going back. At least, not yet. Once I have tethered that last connection to the house and all our personal items are locked away in storage, and boat and cars sold, we almost have no choice but to keep pushing forward.
So, where is home?
That’s simple. It’s anywhere we choose to be.
And for our first 12 months post-project, it’s looking like Melbourne during the commissioning phase.
Beyond that, there are bigger, bolder and more beautiful plans in place.
But why think too far ahead to the next home, when you so love the one you are in.