I’ve been back home for over a week now. After two months in Europe, I’ve come back to my friends, good drinks, Cheap Charlie’s, amazing food, great weather, and chaotic excitement. Yes, I’ve come back to Bangkok. Though born and raised in Boston, I consider Bangkok home now. When people ask me where I live, I usually say Bangkok, even though I really consider myself homeless, since there’s no apartment waiting for me anywhere in the world. Such is the life of a nomad!
They say home is where the heart is and while Boston is always “home,” it’s more the place I was born and raised. As we grow older and mature, we change, and sometimes the place we grew up in doesn’t change with us. I’ve already written about the joys and downsides of coming back to where you were born, so I won’t delve into that here.
But for me, one of the best parts about exploring the world is seeing all the new places you realize you could call home. I’ve come across many places where I’ve thought, “yeah, I could live here.” (The most recent being Stockholm.) I love that, because it makes me realize that home isn’t one place in the world. It’s not one set location. It doesn’t have to be the place you grew up in. It’s the place where the energy and vibe matches your own.
Thailand is that for me. Living in Bangkok has taught me a lot. I love so many things here: the street food, the chaos of the streets, the traffic, the outdoor vendors, the fact that every night of the week is some new social event, that there’s a place where everybody knows your name. (The expat bar Cheap Charlie’s. Everyone goes there!)
A lot of times people back home get a bit annoyed when I say “Bangkok is home,” as though it somehow cheapens Boston or my friends. Boston is still one of my favorite cities in the world, and I always encourage people to go visit. There’s nothing better than Boston in the fall, eating out on Newbury Street, or hanging on the Charles River in the summer. But going back home reminds me how much I’ve changed and how much Boston hasn’t.
Stockholm, Paris, Amsterdam—these are the cities I see myself in now. These are the next new opportunities for me. They’re where home could be. But for now, when I think of home, I think of Bangkok. For the whole week leading up to my flight, all I could think about was the city, the country, the tropical islands.
And now I’m back for too short a time. On December 3, I go to New Zealand. Two and a half weeks away. In Thailand, that time just flies by. There’s a lot to do before then, and while I won’t be sad leaving the city to explore the world, I already look forward to coming back.