Identifying a place as home starts with the question of ‘what makes this place home for a person?’ Common sense would tell us that the feeling of ‘home’ is experienced both through material and immaterial factors. For many people, a sense of home is gained through belongings, for example your own apartment with your personal decorations and your DVD collection. At the same time, home is where you belong to a family, a social group, and a culture; where you speak your native language; and where you spent the most time of your life.
However, what if you are a highly mobile expatriate, who is constantly moving around and changing places? Going on an assignment makes an expatriate leave behind most of his/her belongings; to some extent detach him-/herself from family, friends and home-based colleagues; and settle into a new culture and society. Adjusting to these changes and converting the new reality into a new home is probably very difficult and time consuming.
Hence, may we argue that highly mobile expatriates don’t attach any sense of home to the different places they travel to? Is it Fact or Fiction?
Have a look at some evidence.