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There’s No Place Like Home… But What is “Home”?

Written by Micah Xu, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Junior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)

People say that there is no place like home, but what does that really mean? What defines a “home”? What makes that small, three-room apartment or that two-story house something that a person calls their home, and with pride? The answer is simple, and summed up in a quote by the king of rock ‘n roll himself: “Home is where the heart is.” This one quote sums up what home means: it’s where a person can go to feel safe, secure and, most of all, comfortable.

It’s family gatherings over freshly cooked food with steam still rising from the top of it. It’s a messy, stained sweater that smells like cinnamon from grandma’s home baking. It’s where a person can let go of all of the day’s stress and collapse into their bed, feeling secure that they can finally, after feeling that sense of comfort only home can provide, relax and be at peace.

Home is where a person can feel comfortable, and a place where the person can be truly free. Free to go to sleep without their boss staring at them, free to watch hours of shows and entertain themselves without anyone looking over their shoulder.

It’s something that every person desires, and contrary to what some people believe, home can be anywhere. Home doesn’t have to be where a person lives. It can be a place they long for, and every home is personal. Filled with music and laughter or filled with silence and contemplation. Filled with family and friends or with nothing but themselves and their thoughts.

Home means something different across cultures, too. While some people may consider a house their home, some might have different opinions. Perhaps home is the sunbaked, grassy field of their farm, perfect for laying down in. To some it’s the big city, filled with the honking of cars and the sounds of street performers, loud and noisy like it should be.

To some, home isn’t even a place. Perhaps to some people home is where their loved ones are. It doesn’t matter if they are in an idyllic countryside or a loud, bustling city, as long as that person or those people are there, it’s home.

Whatever home means to a person, one thing ties them together: they are comfortable and loved, and sometimes that’s enough. Sometimes all a person needs to pursue the ever-elusive goal of happiness is a place to call home. People to love, a place to live in or perhaps something entirely different. Whatever the case, one thing is obvious: home is where the heart is.