Home Away From Home

Another month, another “Stories from The West” post πŸ™‚ This month, Dixie and I are writing about finding “home” away from home.  In this post, I am sharing a reflection of what does home mean to me, now that I am settling down in my adopted country. I hope you have been enjoying our stories so far… and don’t forget to read Dixie’s post too! πŸ™‚

My first year in the US was all about firsts. First experiences, adjustments, and adapting to my newly adopted country. There were a lot of things I found outside of the ordinary, there were a lot of things I did not understand. Did I miss my home? I did, many times, although I didn’t know what exactly did I miss besides my family and friends. For a while, I kept comparing life here and there. When I bought my grocery, I screamed inside when I saw the price of tahu – my favorite. I am fortunate enough to live in Southern California (where Indonesian people is abundant), but I complained at the taste of bakso that I had in a local Indonesian restaurant here (nothing like the bakso that I had in Jakarta!)

To be honest it took me a while to realize that I need to stop converting US$ to Indonesian Rupiah (our income is in US$ and we spend it mostly in that currency too, so why bother converting to other currency?). I need to stop complaining about the taste of Indonesian food, and start counting my blessings that I can still find Indonesian groceries and food rather easily here. Most importantly, I need to stop looking back.

I told myself that I need to start calling this place home. For a while, I did not want to decorate our living space because we are still renting and we have a plan to move. I told myself that this is just temporary, so why bother decorating? But I finally realized that although temporary, I need to make this place home. I may not know what the future holds for us, but for now,  this is home. 

Home πŸ™‚

It’s the same as my situation here. I don’t know what the future holds, but Indonesia will always be a part of me. I can’t keep looking back to my life in Indonesia, instead, what I can do is adding bits and pieces of my life there to enrich my life here. I’m sure it will make my life here more meaningful! After all, this is one of the perks of being an immigrant – you get to have two homes wherever you go, both figurative and literal.

If you are an immigrant like myself, tell me, what does home mean to you, now that you are away from home? how do you find home in your new country? I’d love to hear your stories! πŸ™‚

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16 thoughts on “Home Away From Home”

  1. I think this is my favorite post from the series so far! I can relate to almost everything, especially about not bothering to decorate your apartment because you’re still renting. But decorating makes such a difference, and it’s worth the hassle. Hope everything gets a lot easier after this πŸ™‚

  2. But I finally realized that although temporary, I need to make this place home. I may not know what the future holds for us, but for now, this is home.

    aku suka kalimat ini
    home is wherever with you
    unch unch

  3. Pertanyaan di paragraf terakhir sangat menarik. Kalo aku mau elaborate, sepertinya akan jadi satu blogpost sendiri tentang itu, hehehe. Yang jelas karena sekarang statusnya sudah semi-menetap, aku sudah anggap Belanda sebagai rumah sendiri walaupun masih harus struggle dengan kendala bahasa (bahasa Belandaku masih belom lancar, walaupun udah jauh berkembang sejak pertama datang kesini). Dan aku menganggap Indonesia dan Belanda sama-sama rumah. Di Indonesia adalah rumah tempat aku bisa selalu kembali ke keluarga dan teman-teman, sementara di Belanda adalah rumah tempat aku bener-bener menikmati rasanya jadi orang dewasa dengan sejuta nikmat dan permasalahan orang dewasa.

    1. Hehehe ayo dong kapan2 jadi blog post sendiri Tal, pasti menarik denger ceritamu πŸ™‚ Aku butuh waktu beberapa saat untuk nganggep Indonesia sama Amerika rumah, tadinya sempet “galau” soalnya merasa belom settle disini, tapi liat Indonesia juga kayaknya udah gak “belong”… baru deh akhirnya sadar, there’s nothing wrong with having two “homes” hehe

      1. Ide menarik Ta, nanti ya aku tulis, agenda posting blog bulan ini udah hampir penuh soalnya πŸ™‚ mungkin untuk bulan depan!

  4. Ah, I like this post a lot, Chris! It reminds me of my first a few months here! Though in my case because I was here as a student, all the student activities (read: assignments and exams, lol πŸ˜† ) actually “helped” in distracting me from looking back to the past. Pretty much without really realizing it, I started to call this place “home” πŸ˜€ . Though, I stopped converting everything from euro to rupiah within weeks, haha. I realized it was pointless and if I kept doing so, I would end up not buying anything, and I wouldn’t survive like that, haha πŸ˜› .

    1. Thanks Ko! Iyaa dulu waktu aku jadi student kok gak seberat ini ya adaptasi nya, mungkin dipikir2 lagi dulu banyak tugas dan padet jadwalnya hahaha…. anyway bener banget, kalo di convert terus ke IDR, pusing ya apa2 jadinya mahal banget πŸ˜›

  5. Sampai sekarang aku masih tetep pusing kalau lihat harga2 buah tropis haha mahalnyaaa di sini. Pengen buah naga sampai ga jadi2 beli. Walaupun tetep bersyukur Belanda nih beneran masih lebih gampang cari apa2 yang berbau Indonesia dibandingkan negara2 lain di Eropa. Apalagi tempat tinggal kami pinggiran Den Haag yg segalanya ada di sana.
    Sejak pertama kaki menginjakkan Schiphol saat pindah, aku sudah ga pernah mau nengok2 lagi ke belakang. Sudah kuletakkan semuanya, ga mau berkeluh kesah dan berandai2 yg sudah kuputuskan. Fokus saat ini dan kedepan. Rumah adalah di mana aku bersama mereka yg kusayangi. Belanda adalah rumahku saat ini karena keluargaku ada di sini. Indonesia pun selalu akan jadi rumahku karena darahku berasal dari sana.

    1. Aku yang masih pusing ya lihat harga tahu Den, udah gitu nggak seenak itu lagi hahaha.. aku mau tahu sumedanggg πŸ˜›
      Terima kasih udah sharing Den, aku suka banget kata2mu – Belanda rumah saat ini tapi Indonesia akan selalu jadi rumah juga πŸ™‚

  6. Home is where my little family is (including my dogπŸ˜€). Australia is my adopted home, but Indonesia is still my homeland, where I’d still like to go back every now and then to see my mother, brother, friends, and other family.

    Decorating your home, even it’s a rental one, will help you make it feel like your home, you and your husband. First 2 years might be still hard Ta, but you’ll get through it. Don’t worry, it took me almost 6 or so years to make Australia feels like home. Hopefully it won’t take you that long. xx

    1. Iya Ri, it took me a while to realize that decorating means so much difference! Thank you for the encouragement Ri.. hopefully it wont take long, but even if it will, hope I’ll manage! xx

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