Is it when you speak the language? When you have a group of friends or community you feel a part of? Or is it when you feel more comfortable there than the place you were born?
I recently took a trip to London. Obviously, they speak English there so you could say it was the first time without a language barrier in a while. I felt comfortable navigating the city, despite not knowing the layout or even where I was headed. The people were friendly, food delicious, and sites gorgeous. Still, when I stepped out of the Sheremetyevo I breathed that sigh of relief that you let off at the end of a tiring journey. Navigating the metro, I got home with my eyes basically closed. Hailing a cab from the centre, I easily negotiated the fare and got home to fall aslee-p warm and safe in my own bed.
Tell me, dear readers, does this not sound like home to you? And yet, I always say that people are home, not places. What's more, I always emphasise how I won't be staying in Moscow long. Just passing through (more than 18 months later..). Perhaps it's time for me to reassess my relationship with Moscow from this antagonistic, tumultuous interim to finally acknowledging it as a city of personal growth, love, laughs, and dare I say it, comfort.