Just had a brief thought about this as I was landing in Schiphol and getting a feeling like I was visiting home. What makes the Netherlands feel like home to me?
I have been moving to a new country about every year for the past 6 years for studying, and now I’m acquainted to the process of getting used to new places:
- struggling with the bureaucracy about visa thanks to my Chinese passport;
- arranging studies and housing;
- getting local ID, student card, bus card, library card, bank account;
- have a local sim card, know the best data plan and how to top up;
- slowly learning where things are: cheapest grocery, bus/bike/tram routes, fastest way to class, where good food can be expected;
- making some new friends, this is probably the most important. Sometimes it’s effortless, but other times impossible…
Once through this process, I more or less call a place “home”.
But how long can this title last? Maybe only until more than three of the above becomes invalid, then it becomes “just a place I used to live”.