“You really need to buy a large suitcase,” my mom said for the umpteenth time, with a concerned look on her face.
“No, I’ll just make do with the suitcase I have,” I replied with the same answer I’d always been sticking to.
“But you’re not leaving for just a year or so. You’re leaving for good.”
And I thought, so what? I just need to bring my clothes, as many as the suitcase will allow me. I don’t need to bring my other possessions.
I was very sure that my medium-sized suitcase would be just fine. Ever since the plan of moving the UK was on the horizon, I knew I didn’t need to buy new stuff that my suitcase wouldn’t have space for, so I’ve stopped buying things for some time, including clothes, books, and trinkets. I wasn’t attached to them anymore, so I thought I’d have no problem if I had to leave them behind.
I was so sure that I’d be more than happy to leave Jakarta, that I’d drag my suitcase at the speed of light toward the departure gate the minute I bid adieu to this city. Leaving friends and family would be hard, but I’d been preparing myself for it. I thought I was ready.
And then there were farewells.
I’ve been blessed with an incredible bunch of friends, with friendships that have stood the test of time and distance. And in my lowest times, they’re part of the reason why I’ve survived. Unbeknownst to me, when I told them I’d be leaving soon, they started hatching a plan to make me farewell parties.
And this was when all feelings and emotions got me.
I thought I’d prepared myself for farewells, but the truth is, nothing could ever prepare me to say goodbye to the people who are my home. My heart is here and there, just like the people I love. But the good thing is, I’ve also got 2 places I could call home. One is Indonesia where my family, dog, and friends reside, and the other is the UK, the place that once was a home to me, and now is again.
I bought a large suitcase in the end. Not because I was overly attached to my possessions, but because I needed to bring all the gifts my friends and family so kindly gave me.
These are, after all, the pieces of my other home.