Home and What It Means

Me and my friend Sam Morse at breakfast at Chez Elle in Kansas City, MO, June 15, 2017. Morning before departure.

Street names – they’re an integral part of life. We use them to get home, to pick up friends, to get to breakfast dates. As I drive the roads of Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lee’s Summit, and Kansas City for the last time for two months, I know that these roads feel like home. Poets often write about how our own hearts are roadmaps; with love being the ultimate destination: the final home.

But really, what is home?

As I have prepared to leave home for two months, I’ve done a lot of thinking on it. Home is relative. Home is many different things, all at once. It’s a physical house, it’s a metro, it’s a city, it’s a person, it’s a family, it’s a state of mind. Some people spend their entire lives searching for home and never find it.

I am leaving behind all of these things for what promises to be one of the best times of my life. For the next two months, my homes will be hotel rooms, hostel beds, train cars, airplanes, my cousin’s apartment, my dorm in Edinburgh, and Airbnbs in Germany. Home will also be the people I am with: my cousin in Nice, my friend in Paris, his family in Normandy, my classmates in Scotland, and my friends and family I keep in touch with here in Kansas City.

I’m sitting here with Sam outside Chez Elle, listening to the birds, chatter, and the whirring of fire sirens. This feels like home. Life is moving forward, and my life is taking me in a direction that, at this moment, I cannot even fathom. I don’t know what to expect when I get to France, when I get to Scotland, or when I get to Germany – everyone I encounter tells me, “You’re going to have the time of your life. It’s going to be amazing.” And I smile and nod, absolutely terrified. I am approximately 2 parts excitement, and 1 part, “what have I gotten myself into?”

I’m ready. Until August, Kansas City.

Victoria Davidson is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City double majoring in History and Foreign Languages and Literature with a German emphasis. Victoria is spending July abroad with the faculty-led UMKC Honors Summer Program in Scotland.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.