The title may sound so cliche. But I came to realize how true and genuine it is. Home is not a single, constant place. It’s wherever our family and our heart is.
It was our very first trip to Australia as a family, and the first ever for me and my sister. Used to be that we do family trips to Singapore at least 2x a year to visit my brother, but since the start of this year he has transferred to Sydney and have been a lot farther than before. Because of the travel cost and effort required (visas, tickets, and the actual travel time), we decided to do a one-time trip to Australia altogether and spend a longer time there.
Those were a wonderful 3-weeks with the family. Add to that the super-extended family we found in Sydney. My dad has a cousin who lives there with his family. My mom has three cousins there, all with grown kids about my age. A number of our second-cousins have gotten married already and now starting their own families. There goes a mega-extended family, a clan growing by the moment. We even had a weekend trip with a total of 27 people with us, all relatives and their partners.
The importance and influence of the family is a significant Filipino trait, and it extends way beyond the physical boundaries of the country. I’m not sure what other cultures cling to their families as much. And family relationships and the warmth are not limited to the immediate family members, but as far as you could trace your blood relationships.
There was something about Australia that made it feel so much like home. Maybe it’s the fact that I was there with the family. Maybe the extended family added to the homey feeling a bit. Perhaps it’s also the environment that seemed so comfortable for raising a family. Whatever it was, I was drawn and enamored. And honestly, I didn’t want to leave anymore.
Wherever my family is, there my home will be. Furthermore, wherever I will be raising my own family in the future, there my home will be. Our family is all grown now, my brother working outside the country for the past 7 years, and the possibility in the next few years that me and my siblings will all leave the nest and explore abroad or get married, or both. It’s just interesting to imagine the possibilities. I wonder where I’ll eventually end up. Would be nice to have that somewhere be still close to family.