I’ve lived in many countries in the 48 years I’ve been on this planet and one of the questions that I have been asked too many times is “where is the place you call home?”
I know for sure the places where I lived that I never called home as I always felt a stranger there: uncomfortable, unhappy, out of place. Two of them was unfortunately my parents’ homes where I lived from age 3 to 20.
I never called home Milan because too much suffering and painful memories are linked to the city in where, however, many people I respect and love live and/or work.
I call home Nervi, the place where I spent countless months with my grandparents when I was a small kid and I call home Fanano, a small village where I lived for many years and still long to go visit my friends or trek on the mountains whenever I can.
I call home St. Paul (MN) even if I spent only few months of hard work there but where I saw the most amazing dawns of my entire life, I call home Bologna where I never lived but worked in a wonderful company, and I call home Dubai, where I am while writing this post on my way back to Italy.
Dubai has a special place in my heart because it gave me the first satisfactions as an entrepreneur 22 years ago, because it is a place where you can work with people of an amazing number of different nationalities, because even if it is extremely rich on the outside, some core values about friendship, respect and ethics are so rooted in the local culture that the foreigners that come here to exploit the fiscal benefits alone can be recognized from miles away.
My house is now in Florence, a city of many more contradictions than Dubai. I cannot (yet?) call it home although I spent there more years than in Dubai. I do like its weather, its art and its proximity to mountains I adore.
I don’t know where life will take me in the future but the feelings I experienced upon returning to Dubai, a city completely transformed from the one I left 12 years ago, tell me that home for me is everywhere my heart beats softer.