For a long time I have been thinking about what 'home' means to me. From a very young age I became used to shifting around the globe and that has remained my way of live until now. Home has been more of a feeling rather than an actual place. I never got too attached to a physical house or place and it was more the people that I shared my life with at the time (first my parents and siblings and now my own family) that made a house a home.
If there is anywhere in the world I feel a strong connection with, it would have to be Christchurch in New Zealand. I absolutely love the city and my best memories are in that city. My husband grew up in Christchurch and his family, which I feel very close to, is still there.
Christchurch's wounds were just healing from the September earthquake when on Tuesday 22nd the earth shook again - this time more violently than ever. Precious lives have been lost and the heart of the city has been devastated.
It's effected me more than I ever thought possible. Although I am so far away I feel this huge sense of loss. Christchurch won't be the same on our return and I have so many memories that are directly connected with the buildings damaged. For example we were married in the catholic cathedral, which is severely damaged and we lived in the city centre a stones though from some of Christchurch's most iconic historic buildings.
Jonas Salk once said you need to give your kids roots to grow and wings to fly. And as they are very much still in the growing phase I feel at this point in my life I want to create a home for my children - a physical place that gives them comfort and a sense of belonging.
Christchurch is this place and although our immediate plans to return are now a little up in the air I see our future in this city that will no doubt retain its spirit because of all the wonderful people that live there.
(image: Timo Schneider)