In a class last term on transnational migration and diaspora, we were asked what 'home' means to us. And for the first time in my life, 'home' stretches three continents and within the span of the month of June, I'll have set foot upon all three of them.
There I was in Illinois, a rather dingy little town where the drive from Chicago is met with field upon field of brown - corn or soy, not yet in season I reckon. The university sits within the twin towns and while campustown is relatively pretty (definitely much nicer buildings than my own university), the rest of Urbana-Champaign is unfortunately quite dreary (and a bit dodgy). But this is where I spent 6 weeks of 2007 and more than 2 months of 2006. The surroundings didn't matter, it was the company that did.
And here I am in Brighton, where I feel transient. I feel that I've hardly laid down any roots here. I live here but I'm not really here. Don't get me wrong, I love this seaside town. I love its size and its myriad of lanes to wander through, its great little library, and the kindness of strangers. I love opening my curtains each morning and gazing out at that wide expanse of blue. I love its flowers and the parks and looking out at the Pavilion on the bus to school. But there's always something missing - I suppose part of my heart is someplace else.
At the end of the month, it is back home to Singapore, for a couple of weeks. My sister will be home too so that will be great. And of course, to see my parents. I have so many plans to meet with friends, do lots of eating and more research for my dissertation.
So if home is where the heart is, then my heart is in three places.