home is where my stuff is


Living away from home has been a dream of mine for a long time since I was very young. I wanted to learn independence, enjoy solitude and design my own space, and so at the age of 19 I chose to take a plane and move around the globe, settling in Sydney.


Being a flexible person, living in whichever space has never been a problem. Actually I have always been extremely curious and excited when I had to even just go to a summer camp for a couple weeks. So, naturally, I had no melancholy at all for what I had left behind, because I knew that ‘home’ – or rather, where I had been living my whole life – wasn’t going anywhere, and so were my family and my friends.


For a good 6 months, when I thought of ‘home’ I thought of this little village in the South of Italy where my family used to spend holidays for so many years. With its crystal clear water, barren landscapes, flat-roofed white houses and holes in the roads, it was the connection my brain made with the word ‘home’. In lonely moments, I spent my time thinking of this timeless place where my childhood took place and I remembered things I did not even know I knew.


My concept of ‘home’ changed again when I was living in this big city on the other side of the world: I was going out, eating at cafés and restaurants, having long walks along the ocean, being as much as a local I could be. I had a realization on the day I was actually leaving for some months. I was on the train, heading to the airport and thought ‘Damn, it has become my home, and now I am leaving it’. I had learned to love the city, the lifestyle, I fell in love with all its aspects completely, and I wanted to come back there as soon as possible and never leave it ever again. I pictured myself spending my whole life in this gem of a city. Buying an house, having a family, having a stable job – I wanted to settle, something that honestly had never crossed my mind before.


I eventually came back and lived in a share house. I was fine, but it felt different. Sharing spaces has never troubled me at all, but I developed a feeling of unfamiliarity with the things that surrounded me that tens of people had probably used so many times. I remember walking in front of handmade ceramic or vintage furniture shops, and having this sudden sadness falling all over me: I lived in such a temporary place that it made no sense to spend money on things that could have made my space so personal but that I could have not been able to bring back to Italy. I saw the pan I was using to stir fry my veggies in as a total stranger, and so the pieces of cutlery, the sofa, the drawers where I kept my underwear, everything reminded me how not mine anything was.