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Why I live where I live - Home is not just a place, but anywhere you feel at home

Since moving to Canada, my life has been an incredible journey of exploration and self-discovery. I've had the privilege of calling several provinces of this vast and beautiful country home - Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and most recently, British Columbia.

Back in Austria, my life was a picture of stability. I had my own apartment, my job, my family and a close circle of friends. But since my childhood, Canada has captivated me with its breathtaking landscapes and diverse culture. I have always longed to explore this vast country, to see it all.

This curiosity led me to take a leap of faith and embrace the nomadic life. Wandering was both a rewarding adventure and a challenge.

Every decision we make in life comes with a series of hardships. I gained a lot of freedom, but at the cost of stability and uprootedness.

I have found myself thinking about what it really means to "arrive" somewhere. Personally, I’ve come to appreciate the freedom to move and explore. This realization took some time, as I grew up in Austria with the idea of settling in one place. European culture often emphasizes deep roots and a sense of permanence. However, I have come to understand that I am different. I appreciate the possibility of having multiple homes, of building connections to different places, without being tied down to just one.

It's not about replacing one home with another, it's about expanding my horizons and enjoying the beauty of diversity.

Today I want to celebrate the two wonderful home bases that are close to my heart:

I have my Austrian home in the south, close to Italy, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and tranquil lakes. It is a place deeply rooted in my heritage.

I also have my Canadian home in the beautiful Ontario countryside, near a lake almost as big as Austria, where the roads go for hours just straight. It’s a place where you can enjoy the endless open space. It’s also a place where I have family - and a place where I’ve built incredible memories and close relationships with people from all walks of life.

These two homes represent different facets of my identity, and I feel so lucky to have them.

They remind me that home is not just a place, but anywhere you feel at home.

Life has a funny way of making us think that home is just your address, your bed, your cozy corner.

Yet, as I look around and reflect on the bonds I've formed, the friendships I've nurtured, and the places I've ventured, I am reminded of a profound truth: home is not confined to four walls or a specific geographic spot. Home, instead, is a feeling that transcends boundaries and welcomes you with open arms. It's that sense of comfort and belonging, where you're free to be your true self without judgment or pretense. Home is where laughter flows freely, where memories are etched into your heart, and where you find solace in the company of loved ones.

Home can be the cozy coffee shop where the barista knows your order and greets you with a smile. It can be the park where you walk the dog, and the trees feel like old friends. Home can be a group of friends who are there for you, offering unwavering support and understanding.

But home can also be found in unexpected places. It's the new city you've moved to, where every street is a new adventure, and every face a potential friend. It's the joy of learning new cultures, embracing the unknown, and making memories in places you'd never thought you'd call home.

So, when I think about home, I'm reminded that it's not just a place; it's a feeling. It's wherever you feel that warmth, wherever you can be yourself without judgment. Home is everywhere you feel at home, and it's a reminder that the world is full of opportunities to find your own unique sense of belonging.

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