It’s that time of year again: I’m going home today! Home is Nairobi, Kenya – at least that’s the address I use to fill out the “permanent address” section.
The narudi nyumbani (“I’m coming or returning home” in Swahili) from the title is taken from the song “Coming Home” by Nameless, a Kenyan hip hop artist. “I’m coming home, home where I belong” – except I’m not sure I belong at home anymore. I’m excited to see my family and friends and bask in the glorious Kenyan sun, but it’s a bit strange to think of going home to Kenya. I haven’t lived in Nairobi in 6 years, since 2007, though I have been to visit every year for the Christmas holidays. I’ll always love Kenya, and it will always be the wonderful place I called home for (give or take) 16 years. But I really grew up (well, still growing up) in Boston, London, and Seoul, and honestly feel more comfortable in those places than I do in Nairobi. I suppose it’s because I’ve found myself a community in each of these places that I can really call my own because I’ve chosen to be a part of them.
Then again, I think of my momma’s home cooking, the sun and warmth, and the incomparable Kenyan beaches, and all this angsty musings of home and place that twenty-somethings seem so prone to start to become irrelevant. Narudi nyumbani!