What does the word HOME mean to you?

I think the word home could have a lot of meanings. I grew up in the same house for the first 18 years of my life. I never moved, was never away from home except for family vacations. That house was my home for a long time. It felt weird the first time I was in college and called my dorm room home. Was it really my home? I suppose it was. I lived there. I had friends there. But then again, I called going back to Connecticut going home. I still called going back there “going home” after I moved to San Francisco. I was once on a plane back “home”, to Connecticut, and the person asked if I was going home or just for a visit. I almost didn’t know how to answer. I was going for a visit back home. But San Francisco was my home now. Even when I was traveling to Israel, everyone was calling that the “homeland”, which I understood only as the “home” of the Jewish people. However, once we landed, our American tour guides said to me, “welcome home”. I guess you could say that “home” is where you feel safe. It’s the base place where you live or once lived. A lot of people say “home is where the heart is”. I even knew someone who had a tattoo of a house with a heart on the inside and said that is what it meant to her. I can believe that. Home is where the heart is if you love being there. I can say that the place I lived in while in Florida for 18 weeks was my home, but I did not love it, so my heart was not there. I think that was the only time I did not really like where I was living. I even liked that I could go to my dad’s apartment on the weekends I was supposed to be there after my parents split. It was a second home. I guess you could say I have called a lot of places home over the years and I think that means a lot. It takes a lot to turn a house into a home. It takes living in it for a long time and putting care into it and really loving it before being able to call a place a home. I am happy to call San Francisco home and I think I will be calling it home for a very long time.

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