A small room in the corner of Bangkok

by Nina Wibowo
small bedroom

I cannot shake one particular thought out of my mind.

Last night my friends and I discussed about the concept of home. A simple sounding word yet it has a deep meaning. For some people, home is where they grow up. One particular place that’s been there witnessing every step of their journey. Some others think that home is a place they discover themselves. A place they feel belong.

I shake my head. Both concepts are not quite the same as I feel. Suddenly I feel “homeless”. My mind tries to find another concept. Some people say home is a person. Parents, family, loved ones, pets. But no, not for me. I learned the hard way when I lost my “home” years ago. Ah, I have to have a home. I need to know now. In despair, I force my mind to go back to where it all began.

A small village in the mountains of Indonesia.

A small village in the slope of a mountain in SE Asian country was my first stop. I was born and grew up there. It witnessed my every step until I hit eighteen and it was time to leave the nest. I smile remembering my childhood and all shenanigans I did. The troubles I caused. I was very happy. Not a single care of the world. Yes, maybe that place really was my home.

Then my mind train stops in the next destination: a small island surrounded by beautiful beaches. The first time I lived on my own and where I found out that life was not always rainbows and unicorns. It built me into becoming the person that I am today. Oh wait, this was home too.

Bali beaches

Even more confused, I run and run through my memory lane. I left Indonesia and arrived in Bangkok for my new job almost two years ago. Ah, it felt like only yesterday I stood in line nervously waiting for the immigration officer to stamp on my brand new passport.

Ever since, my journey has been amazing. I rented a small studio apartment far away from where I work. A safe beacon in the corner of a concrete jungle. And every second of it is amazing. How come I have so many homes? What do these places have in common?

The realisation hits me. It is me. Home is where I am because I make myself at home wherever I go.

I feel at home when I travel. When I sleep overnight at airports because of long connecting flights. When I visit my family. When I stay in a budget hostel in a foreign country. Or when I sit on a bench in Lumpini Park on sunny days. And when I get back from my travel, the small room in the corner of Bangkok awaits me.

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