Musings of a Nomad…

Musings of a Nomad…

I left Nigeria three years ago. First it was for England, now it is for Hong Kong. I have been given an opportunity to receive a world-class education and an amazing cultural experience. Many of my peers back at home in Nigeria either think I am immensely fortunate or completely insane. Yet, the grass is always greener on the other side. They tell me I am having a once-in-a-lifetime experience which will open doors for me in future. I cannot disagree with this in a show of false modesty. This really is a chance that few people get in life. Still, it does not change one fundamental fact.

I am homeless.

I have a house. I have “places to crash“. Yet, I have no home. I lost the only home I have ever known three years ago when I left in pursuit of an impressive degree. When I go back, not much has changed. My parents still live there; the same neighbours still crack jokes about how tall I have grown. But I no longer belong. Abroad, I cannot fit into my new surroundings- my dad says it is culture shock. At home, I have nothing in common with my childhood friends- new ones say we have grown apart. What any of this means is unclear to me. All I feel is that I have been uprooted from all I have always known and now, I am drifting.

This isn’t a search for pity. Making a case that my exposure to these new experiences and opportunities was inflicted on me would be ungrateful at best or even stupid.  I am merely collecting my thoughts: I am coming to the realisation that in order to gain these, I traded my sense of shelter- one of the most natural instincts that a human being has. There is a reason why animals of all shapes, sizes and species return to their burrows, caves or nests. All God’s creatures desire warmth: we all seek to return to that place of safety- the place in which we feel most like our true selves. For the last three years, all I have had are residences. Spaces in which I bided time as I studied and explored my different environments. This is not going to change anytime soon. Only in the penultimate year of my undergraduate degree, I still have a long way to go.

This conclusion is one which I struggle with constantly. The fact that one of the few things I truly value is out of my reach is not easy to cope with. Yet, sometimes, before sliding into unproductive spells of self-pity, I think of my mother. The strongest woman I know has traversed different countries and cities, all in the search for a better life for her family. Many times, she embarked on exhausting business trips to remote places and even left the home and job she was accustomed to in order to marry my father and care for her children. Yet, she remains the source of warmth and strength that she has always been. Wherever she is, she is the help that those who rely on her depend on. Now, I wonder? What really is home? Is it a place from which you derive succour? Or is it more abstract?

I now think “home” can only be found in those whom you love. All these years I thought I missed the little area of Ibadan in which I grew up. In hindsight, I see that what I missed were the connections I made while I was there- connections which have waned over time. What I truly mourn is the loss of these relationships and my inability to form others as meaningful over the course of my study abroad. My mother and her sacrifice, my father and his wisdom, my true friends and their comfort, and maybe one day, a good man and his love… These constitute what I call home. My home is not as complete as I would like it to be right now but it is said that good things are worth waiting for.

So I wait.

15 thoughts on “Musings of a Nomad…” by Funmi-F (@Funmi-F)

  1. After reading this, i don’t pity you; i admire you. It takes inner strength and courage to find one’s identity and place in life, and that is what you are doing. Many people don’t even know they should do that. They simply exist and occupy space.
    You are on the right path. You will DISCOVER home one day and then, you will find it is worth it all.

  2. Truly,there is no place like home as home is where the heart is.
    no matter how far we have gone,we all want to belong somewhere when we return,not finding that solace brings that feeling of drifting.
    This is a very true and revealing piece Funmi
    It not only tells a story but teaches a lesson.

  3. This made for a nostalgic read….I really don’t pity you, I actually identify with you, even though I didn’t move out for the country, since 2006 I have lived in three different states. Sometimes I feel like I have no root also, but I believe that someday I will…



  5. Hmmm, I’d probably give my right arm to travel the world right now. But good things are worth waiting for, so, like you, I wait…

  6. I love you(the character). I really do love you. I think this will become one of me fave posts on NS. For some people, home’s ‘it’ for them. Simple, sweet and short. You wrote this very well. Keep it up.

  7. You’re right, home is more than just a location. It’s where your heart is. Hope you find yours soon.

    Good work on this.

  8. Read this on your blog and found it intriguing.. You keep it flowing.. Making it nostalgic, yet hopeful. I like.

  9. All this was very true indeed. This is more than an ordinary musing.

  10. Home, the only place the heart feels at rest in….there’s truly no place like it…I admire you…just keep the wait….

  11. Funmi; as I like to say, all in good time.

  12. Funmi F, I read your story with deep interest as I am indeed in your shoes now. But unfortunately, I have never had a home. Don’t get me wrong. I have people I love deeply and who love me in return, but growing up, I had always wanted to travel the world. I had always wanted to see it all. I remember jumping down from the car after a 3 hour drive on my first day in boarding school. I simply left my parents behind and never looked back till they yelled at me at being so inconsiderate. It sad. I love them but I have always been a ‘son’ of this world.

    So to be honest, I don’t feel lonely. Home is where my head lays.

  13. There’s something of a biting truth in this… will sure be worth the wait.

    Well done!!!

  14. Thanks for the feedback guys. It’s nice to write something and feel like people out there get what you are saying.

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