11 Nov 2010

“Home” means different things to different people. Monica tells us what feeling at home means to her!

Feeling at Home… but where? by Monica Cesarato

This is the 12th post of a guest series. We ask friends and colleagues to share with us what the expression to “feel at home” means to them. We believe that to truly enjoy a place, you need to really experience it, to make yourself at home. This means different things for different people, but it is an essential part of our lives, both as travelers and travel professionals. The idea came from a post I published in March and that you can read here.

Where is home?

When Gloria asked me if I could write something for her Feeling at home series of posts, I felt a bit desperate: I just did not have a clue what  I could write about! Why? Well, because as I started to think about the title I realised that I do not feel at home anywhere, really. Whenever I settle somewhere thinking this will be it, after a few years my feet start itching again, I start seeing the bad sides of the country where I live (unfortunately forgetting to look at the good ones) and I get the feeling that I have to get out of there. So panic struck and for the last few months I have been putting off writing something for her lovely blog.

Then last night, out of the blue, just as I was about to go to bed after a lovely evening at a friend’s house celebrating her birthday, I realised that there is a place where I feel at home.

It is not a famous city or a deserted island, it is not in the middle of the lovely Dolomites peaks or a café in Paris, it is not a particular geographical spot at all. No, I feel at home anywhere where there are interesting people to talk to and good food and wine to be shared around. I feel just right at home in a place full of people who are having a great time, discussing anything that can be discussed without getting in an argument, eating any type of food as long as it is good. That is where I feel I belong and where I wish to go back over and over again.

It is not important for me who those people are (even though it is better if they are my friends!) as long as we can share ideas and experiences; it is not important for me where we are – in a small living room flat, in a massive garden, in a park having a picnic – as long as the conversation flows free;  it is not important what we are eating or drinking –could be Italian, French, Spanish, British or American or else- as long as it is good simple home made food.

I realise now why I love so much giving cooking lessons with CookInVenice: this is the perfect combination of all those things above. Nice interesting new people, good food and lots and lots of talking!

And as I think back to when I was much much younger, I realise that this has been the case since I was a child. I used to get always very upset when I did not get to be invited to some of the parties my school mates where organising, and it was always such an excitement for me to go or organise some sort of party-event-picnic.  And this is the same now.

I recently took over the running of our local expat group Facebook page Expats In Venice and I love to organise meet-ups, dinners or else and I am so looking forward to meet all of those lovely new people.

I know everybody knows that travelling enriches you as a person, but I think what really makes travel so important for people, more than the scenery,  it’s the opportunity to get to know so many different human beings, all of them with their own personal bag of experiences and feelings!!!

When people ask me if it is hard to run a B&B, I usually say “Yes, it is not so simple as it looks, but….” and then I proceed to explain to them that the best part for me is meeting someone knew virtually every day of the week, speaking to people from every single corner of our beautiful world, learning something new every day. And the best part is that my children are getting this opportunity too and thanks to this they are growing up being very open-minded and always ready to try new things.

So, I would like to officially thank Gloria for giving me the opportunity to write for her, but above all for making me realise finally that  I do have a place which I can really call HOME.


  1. I can relate, Monica. It’s true, you make your home where you feel the most comfortable. It can be an elusive feeling – and when you do feel it it’s something to appreciate and savor.

    Wonderful post.

  2. Monica, we know exactly how you feel. Your post is great and portrays just how we feel about our little piece of paradise in Le Marche. Some times Mark is so ‘at home’, he doesn’t want to go out and I have to drag him away for a meal or to a festa. Then once we come home, the feeling comes flooding back. Brilliant!

  3. Thank you for leaving a comment, Diana, Sarah and Mark!

  4. I enjoyed reading this post so much because I feel exactly the way Monica writes !

  5. Ah Monica, I feel so much for everything you said! I have lived in 5 countries and I don’t seem to have enough. I am always ready to pakc up and go! It’s just that the mind is young but teh body is getting older(not really old, not yet) and I realize that moving all the time is a huge efffort.

    So I have decided to grow up and stay. After all the world is all the same. There is bad people and good people, bad weather and good weather, and – very important – bad food and good food!

    As you say, teh good aspects of life must be there, somewhere everywhere. One just needs to find them.

  6. Thanks so much for this, Monica. After 13 years of life abroad, and 30 ‘homes’ I know exactly what you mean. At the moment I am working to shed belongings and as I do I see how much home is not all the familiar stuff I’ve dragged with me around the world and set up in each new apartment, but in the daily making of home. The rituals, the people I interact with, the feeling I achieve (or not) of feeling like I am in the right place at the right time, with my kind of people.

  7. Thank you all very much for stopping by and leaving a comment to Monica’s amazing post.

    As far as I am concerned, I have to say that my roots are very deep. No matter where I am, “home” is still my village, where my family is. I have lived in Pisa almost as long as I have lived in Civitella, and yet, that is absolutely still home.

    Funny how these things are different from person to person.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gloria CasinadiRosa, Theresa Travels. Theresa Travels said: RT @casinadirosa Home means different things to people.@monicacesarato told me what it means to her! http://is.gd/gWxSz #travel […]

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