I guess that means I have not really settled down yet

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

I left China to Singapore 2007 and after 12 years later I have established my own family with my husband who is from Australia with our two kids. Though living in an Asian country, I do feel missing home all the time or rather compare things against those back home or anywhere I have been to. I guess that means I have not really settled down yet. And I don’t know where I will be settling down in the future.

Love people - even the 'hard-to-love' ones

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

I have educated myself out of a pattern of 'fixing' others, wanting to please others and into a space of self care, with compassion for self AND others. I have overcome bullying and discrimination in the workplace, made many friends along life's path and disconnected from the toxic people who have come across my meanders. I am eternally curious, love learning, love people - even the 'hard-to-love' ones. I savour the many simple moments of joy in a day, and seek to create and share more of these with others....life is too short to be bitter or miserable.... there are times of sadness usually the loss felt when love of someone so strong has died....and there have been many... I don't wish, I dream and do!

More than a physical move, border crossing allows you to make an entire switch to yourself

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project by Nicola Anthony

Borders. Crossing them, escaping from the place I know, finding myself in this curious and thirsty mood of experiencing difference and freedom in this place where I'm a newcomer. I believe that borders have created these feelings in me since I remember. In the last few years, it almost became a necessity for me to run away from routine by making a move to 'somewhere else'. Some more place to discover, to enjoy with a feeling of having to worry about nothing but the wind on your face. One year ago, I turned depressive. In the last months, this urge to escape from what makes me suffer and I feel stuck in has become more and more pressing, until I moved to Dublin. I wanted it, despite the heartbreak caused by leaving my truly loved ones, the ones I never get bored of. However, if you can escape people and events, a disease is something you can not run away from. Things are getting more manageable, but remain far from being fixed. During the last weeks, I have been continuously asking myself the question of what does a 'move' really mean. I found out that for me, rather than an escape, moves and border crossings are mostly a way of taking some distance and put you in a mood of being ready to learn again, from others, from cultures, from differences, from freedom and experiences. More than a physical move, border crossing allows you to make an entire switch to yourself.

Citizen of the universe

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project by Nicola Anthony

I jokingly call myself a citizen of the universe. Ireland is my third home after moving here more than 10 years ago. Though I love living here, I am not fully satisfied with my life. As I am getting older, I start to feel that I do not have strong roots and therefore do not belong... does this make me sad? Some days it sure does. I chose a hard path - immigration. Did I have some wonderful adventures? Absolutely! I met amazing people along that path and made great friends. But that lack of a sense of belonging keeps bothering me...

My identity which is made up and borrowed and assembled like a jigsaw puzzle

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project by Nicola Anthony

i'm rootless. i carry a passport that has no relationship to my identity, my identity which is made up and borrowed and assembled like a jigsaw puzzles were the pieces just don't fit together. i can't claim a nation, a culture, a language, dna that is 'my people'. i have an irish name but i am not irish - i came here with my husband and i love him and i would go anywhere with him - but my heart beats for a home that i don't have. i want to belong somewhere and i just don't and i don't know how to start. is it something you can even start or something you just born with and know? does it come from the earth of where you were born, the religion of the rituals you perform, the ID you flash at immigration officials, the pubs you drink in?

Always on the move

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project by Nicola Anthony

Always on the move, I have always felt out of place whenever I stand still so I just keep on moving.

The hardest part about immigrating to a new country is trying to find your place

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project by Nicola Anthony

I immigrated to the UK 20 years ago, it was supposed to be a 2-year stint. however, I found love and I married my love had children. My reasons for moving over to the UK initially was to establish myself as a professional and to get experience to take back home. Once my wife and I married my priorities changed very quickly to ones where we were interested in building a family to build a support structure here in the UK as well as building a life for us that extended beyond that of ours.

The hardest part about immigrating to a new country is trying to find your place, What I mean by that is as a kid I grew up very differently in South Africa and Botswana. We experienced a lot of freedoms that we don't necessary have here in the UK. I grew up in an environment where we were completely safe and we were free to roam the countryside to any point we wanted to, we also grew up in the towns that were very small with very little ambition; the only thing we really knew was what the town was known for.

Moving to the UK broadened my horizons immensely, all of the sudden I started to understand what is possible, what are those things that people are neglecting that I so craved, the things that people didn't necessarily find value in I found very valuable and strangely my life became very full . I have no regrets for immigrating to a different country, yes, I wish I could do the same back home however I've grown so much as a person and so much as an international expatriate that I find it very hard to go back home and resume my life there.

I guess one of my only regrets from being based in the UK is that I'd like to have my children travel as much as I did when I was young, however that won't be possible and the reason for that is that I want them to have a really stable upbringing making lifelong friends, unfortunately while I was growing up because we moved a lot as my parents were expats, this meant that we never created lifelong relationships with any of the friends that we knew in all of those regions . This is quite a lonely existence where you become so self-reliant and so self-observational in becoming a person that becomes likeable very quickly without people really knowing the real you.

I believe that I am finally home

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project by Nicola Anthony

I have traveled the world to find my own self. I believe that I am finally home.

It marked me forever, being different

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

I crossed borders literally and metaphorically. Before EU my biggest fear was immigration police. I have encountered them and I had luck not to get into trouble on multiple occasions. But it haunted me in everything I did, it marked me forever, being different, not being allowed to do things as non national, as an alien. I made the journey to change my life and I did, but fear always followed. Being told' this is my country' by a native, being told I cannot do certain things because of an accent marked my psyche.

I was getting used to the sound of explosions

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

I left my country because I was afraid I was becoming insensitive to violence. One day, I went to my regular bus stop, and a corpse was lying on the floor. It was very early, there were not many people out on the street. I just waited for my bus.

Then it hit me...something was wrong, and I got scared I was getting used to the sound of explosions and the news of massacres. To me, dying from natural causes meant being killed. I needed to remove myself from my beloved country because I still wanted to feel.

I didn't fit in with the culture of my parents or that of those around me

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

Growing up to Indian muslim parents in the UK always meant that I didn't fit in with the culture of my parents or that of those around me in the UK. It's always been difficult to fit in with others and I've always felt that it's an ongoing struggle, though am now comfortable to know I'll never fit in and to be content with that.