In my first two weeks apart of my project, I stayed with host families, but in the third I was placed in a small, dirty hostel above a convenience store in the middle of a tiny town. The group who had been assigned this job the week prior, talked so horribly of the accommodation, the people, and the school that I went in with little to no hope that I would enjoy this week. I was trying my best to make a home away from home and that was quite easy with the host families who welcomed me in like one of their own, I helped them cook like I would do with my mom, and spent time hanging out with the children of the house and gardening and watching World Cup matches. However, in the hostel, I stayed with just the two familiar faces of my group mates and a dozen other strangers who quite honestly made me feel uneasy.
This trip, at this point, had already revived my creativity and passion for writing, so I found myself writing a lot during the nights in this hostel and was often asking myself, “What is home?” It is hard to define, there are people who I consider home and places that are home and things that will always have to be in my home, but home has no distinct face or one location in my definition. I realized quickly that home was what I wanted it to be and what felt comfortable. Like going grocery shopping with your group mates and cleaning the kitchen so you can cook each other meals from your home countries, watching movies in our tiny rooms together, going on long walks to explore the neighborhood.
It didn’t matter where I went in the following weeks because I knew no matter what I could find something homely there to make the discomfort ease away.