I moved from New Jersey to New York when I was fifteen years old. Fifteen sounds so long ago, but it honestly feels like just yesterday. After moving for the first time in my life, I lost the identity of 'home.' I could no longer associate 'home' with a physical place or building. It was difficult to call New York my home for the first year I lived there. All I wanted to do was go back to my little yellow house in the countryside of New Jersey. However, as time went on, New York slowly but surely became my new home. By the time I left for college, I was calling New York 'home,' rather than New Jersey. I still cherish the fond memories of my childhood in New Jersey, but that place no longer is my home.
During my first month in Spain, I missed home incredibly. However, I no longer thought of New York when I thought of home, but Calvin College. I fondly reminisced on the layout of my dorm room and the ability to walk into the lobby to see a room filled with friends. It was then that I realized that home is an ever-changing concept, less of a place and more of a feeling.
Though only two months in, I'm beginning to view Spain as the newest edition to my list of 'homes': New Jersey to New York to Michigan to Oviedo, Spain. While I never thought I’d say this, I feel comfortable here now. I can navigate the streets. I have a daily routine. I know the smell of the apartment I live in. I know the color of the elevator door (rusty red). I know the feel of the curves of the doorknob. All these things paint a picture of what I consider to be my newest home.
While it takes some time, know that by the end of the semester, you'll have a home away from home—in a new country too!