Where is your home, babe?
Once I’ve been told by a gypsy I am a wanderer... I didn't believe, just laughed back as at this moment I had 4 countries visited and I moved all (=2) my suitcases back to the home land with a plan to re-establish my life in Moscow after a year of free ride in France.
Only now I understood I always will be a nomad in my restless heart: 42 countries in my “I saw it LIVE” list, going to Antarctica in a week with a plan to leave London for good. But lets start from the beginning…
I was born in Saratov, Russia. If you’re not Russian you need to google it (even if you're Russian, you probably also need to check maps) in order to understand where is it. When foreigners were asking me where is my home city, I was struggling to explain… no it’s not Siberia… no it’s not by the sea… then I just gave up and ended up with 2 answers: Saint Petersburg (where my dad is living) or Russian city 2hrs flights from Moscow, which is true.
My first international travel happened when I was 13 or around it. I didn't travel further than 100km from my home city before. It was a school trip, with no one from my school though. Taking the train to Belorussia, then bus through all Europe, I ended up in Paris. I dont remember much. First 3 days I had a horrible poisoning, visiting two clinics in Poland or was it in Czech Republic (?) with unknown teachers deciding on my fate - shall we send her back or continue. Probably no one wants to leave the dream trip and accompany me back home, so it was decided we will keep going. From those days, I remember only last seats in a bus and driver who was by my side when bus was not moving. By the time we arrived to Paris I was back to real world -3kg (but who is fucking counting kilos when you're 13!) I dont remember Paris… just few highlights… Montmartre under the rain and Sacre Coeur, horror room in Disneyland and gifts that I brought with me including presents for myself - gold ring with garnet, soft toy dalmatian and photos from Disneyland… That’s a nice mix of being a little girl and a young woman, when you’re 13 everything is possible)
Ask this kid with short haircut, wearing first and last jeans in my life & blue pullover with big blue eyes looking around: Can you imagine babe that one day you will live in this city, one day you will leave this city for better life (actually you will leave this city twice), one day you will write this chapter in your own flat in Le Marais. The best in life - you dont know what’s next. The worst in life - you dont know whats next.
I am feeling I am at home on the street of Paris, actually here I have walls and ceilings belong to me, mortgage and 5 years of relationships in anamnesis with the city of love. But only in Paris I realised home is nothing to do with real estate.
I am feeling I am at home when passing the immigration and passports control control in Heathrow after my another flight they are saying “Welcome home, ma’am”. After 8 years of paying high taxes, i believe I truly deserved this. And to say the truth Chelsea and City were not the worst places on Earth, I just grew up and need something bigger than white-collar workers crowd full of bankers and lawyers at Liverpool Pool street station or their wives drinking tea and doing yoga from 10-17 at Sloane square.
I am feeling home (from time to time) when I am in Moscow because of people, long conversations accompanied by vodka & herrings or tea ceremonies if your friend is out of “drinking process” due to pregnancy… I am feeling home sometimes in St Petersburg. I can walk in my home city and watch like a movie about something which is gone for ever… same buildings, same streets, same monuments, just 18 years older, but I don’t belong here anymore, just my memories are catching me quickly.
I am feeling home at Burning man because of freedom, sunrises, music and love that I felt, because I cried when I met and completely lost myself there.
I am feeling home now in Tbilisi, disregarding that I know this city only for 4 months… Because I allowed myself to fall in love, because my heart was broken, because in few months I met people who I will try to keep for life no matter what, because of wine, food or mountains?
But if someone asks me now “where is your home?” I have no answer. Everywhere and nowhere. My answer varies from “Saratov” if i am talking with Georgian taxi driver to “London” if I am discussing potential investments or “Paris” if it’s about shoes. I am lying and saying the truth simultaneously.
Sometimes I am jealous to people with high level of patriotism and nationalism, who knows that his body and heart belong to this particular land. I don’t have it neither to my “county of origin” or country which gave me a green light and “right” shade of red colour of the passport. My citizenships mean less hassle while travelling, expanding list of countries with no visa needed entry. I don’t want to die for land (and truly against a war, any wars). I don’t want to fight for someone’s future, that’s why politics is out of scope of my interests. Maybe it will change in the future, when it will be a time to give a birth, to plant a tree and build a house with fireplace. Maybe it will be in another country, maybe it will never happened. It gives a lot of freedom but at a higher price.