Blog: On Homes

As Donatella is moving furniture around she thinks about what home means.

Moving furniture around is a bit of a ritual that I happen to do often since I’m in Wageningen. Perhaps as the symptom of a need for change, or re-arranging thoughts together with space, or just following practical necessities or aesthetic wishes.

A student room is much more than just four walls where you sleep and study and occasionally clean. I don’t know about others, but 13 square metres are enough for me to get attached to, and to transform into a nest I can call home for a while.

Home’s not a place at all

Today, I moved my desk intending to create a little office corner with a video-conference-friendly background. I think I succeeded. In the past three years, I moved this desk approximately five times, which is a lot considering how small this space is and that I have only two walls available for reshuffling.

Dozens of plants

I look at my room today, after a month away, with fresh eyes. I realise how really me this is, how all the small but numerous changes I made transformed this place into one that makes me feel comfortable and serene. I counted the dozens of plants, said goodbye to the summer martyr of the year, transplanted newly rooted cuttings, cleared dead leaves. I sat back on the armchair, staring at the window. It’s a Sunday; a housemate plays mellow jazz, the breeze moves the leaves of the hanging green creatures. I’m home.


What home means,  changed a lot for me in these years. A home’s not your motherland, a home’s not where your heart is, a home’s not a place at all. You are your own home. You yourself are your own homeland. This is one of the most important things I learnt when I became a foreigner, an ex-pat, when moving to the Netherlands. And this is what I always want to keep in mind for when I’ll move again, change space again, restart again: I bring home with me wherever I am. I’ll do my best to feel at home in all my new adventures.
And you?

Donatella Gasparro graduated recently as a WUR master’s student in Organic Agriculture. This week she started working as a jr lecturer for Leiden University, at the Institute of Environmental Sciences.

This is, therefore, her last blog for Resource. We regret losing her as a blogger, as we enjoyed her writing enormously. Still, we wish her all the best in Leiden. Thank you, Donatella, for sharing your Wageningen student life with us in blogs!

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