Written on 26th December 2023, from Gurgaon, India.

I’m currently in India, and as someone who doesn’t actively live in the country anymore, it is always a bittersweet experience whenever I travel between countries.

Travelling to India 🛬 - Is a joyride; it evokes the feeling of belongingness paired with the anticipation of meeting my loved ones, eating some good food (not butter chicken), and most of all, being in a place of comfort. It's a place where I’ve messed up umpteen numbers of times and gotten back up.

Travelling out of India 🛫 - Is an emotional rollercoaster; not knowing when I will see my loved ones again evokes a feeling of emptiness, and the short life doesn’t make the departure easy. At the same time, the knowledge that I’ll return to another country that I call home, living the life I chose, makes me feel elated.

All of this begs to answer the question: what is home? ☺️

I went to the mountains recently, which involved a lot of sitting in the car and a lot of time to ponder this topic.

Here are some unkempt thoughts:

  1. It is a place where you can be yourself. A place where you can express yourself without the fear of being judged.
  2. A place where you can be vulnerable.
  3. It is a person who tells you you’ve messed up and helps you while you fix it.
  4. Where you feel motivated to get better (financially/ physically/ mentally) for your home.
  5. It is a safe place where you can exist.

In the recent past (half a decade), I’ve been quite lucky and privileged to build a few:

  1. My best friend turned partner, Sofdog - My life wouldn’t be as worthwhile and fruitful as it is now if it weren’t for her watching out for me. Having tough conversations where we can be vulnerable and express ourselves without feeling judged, all whilst sharing the passion of exploring the world one city at a time.
  2. Mum, Dad & my sister - Even though we’re often a couple of thousand kilometres apart, I’ve never felt lonely all because these three have ensured I’ve always been at ease. They’ve always been there through thick and thin. I am lucky to have grown with such inclusive and progressive thoughts.
  3. Friends - Raquel, Patrick, Emils, Sven, and Zeina - Have played an important role in my life. They’ve helped me max out life whilst being around me when I was hurting or guiding me when I was clueless.
  4. Stuttgart - I spent my best life so far in Stuttgart. I got the time and space to dive deep into my research, all whilst making connections I’ll cherish until the end. However, I’ve moved away from Stuttgart recently. It will continue to be a place that I’ll think fondly of.