Some say it’s where the heart is, but is it possible for home to be two places at the same time? For indeed, my heart is in two places. Perhaps even more, as I travel the world, leaving pieces of me each time like a horcrux.
Anyway, I travelled back home to Nigeria the end of last year(2015), and it was much more than I could have expected.
Maybe it’s easy to feel this way given the privilege of being able to cross borders. I’m pretty sure the average Nigerian grinding to earn a living will have something different to say.
However, I’m here to tell my own story as I’ve experienced it.
I was that kid that didn’t cry when I upped and left all that I knew to travel thousands of miles away to a new life. It didn’t matter I was leaving the only bubble that I had ever known. I was going to a better land, one filled with milk and honey. I was glad to be gone.
Fast forward several years later, and I was the girl crying in a college bathroom. The grief had only built up, and poured out when it was ready. I can never forget that day. One minute I’m attending classes, the next, I’m locked in a cubicle drying out my tear ducts.
Another couple of years and a lot of growing, I’ve come to appreciate life in a whole new light.
They say no man is an island, but when you’re on your own, thousand of miles away from your family tree and all that you once held dear, you forget that. You begin to feel like a singular entity, like you have no roots, no where else other than where you’ve begun to call home. This was how I felt until my return to Lagos.
I was home again. Seeing family, both nuclear and extended, relatives, childhood friends, neighbours, school mates, friends of friends, and just plain country people, I began to feel rich(internally) and joyful. I wasn’t lost at sea trying to fight the sea monsters in a new world, I was reminded that even if I had began to feel at home there, I still had a home. A jagged or sometimes problematic one, but a home nonetheless.
My experience being back in Lagos is almost indescribable. I believe the pictures, and several other posts I’ve made on the trip belly how I felt about being back. It was pure joy reminiscing with friends and family of things past, experiences we shared, pouring through pictures and learning more about my childhood and family; and even meeting up with new friends I had connected with on social media was an incredible gift.
Travelling to different parts of the city that I had never been to because I left when I was quite too young to gallivant was amazing. Seeing the life I had fled with new and discerning eyes was brilliant. Of course there were the annoying tid bits, but I basked in the sheer beauty and awesomeness of it all.
Through the blackouts, the sweltering temperatures, and cunning taxi men, I gulped it all with relish.
I’m back to the other home now, but Lagos still holds my heart. So indeed, where or what is home?
We migrate to strange lands leaving the one dear to us behind, but what happiness it is to feel at home upon return.
I no longer feel like an island drifting away. I’m glad to still have a home away from home.
I tried to visit as many places as I could, here’s a list of posts to check out for those:
Awesome Things To Do in Lagos!
A Day at Atican Beach
Visiting Lekki Conservation Centre
A Photo Walk in Tema, Ghana
At the Calabar Festival