Playlist: No Place Like Home

In my life, working meant being physically separated from my family and long-time friends. Opportunities for growth in my career have required me to move cities or countries. And when idle times come, or the toughest struggles come my way, I miss home. Here are 15 tracks for the homesick.

Home by Phillip Phillips

Moving entails going into unfamiliar territories – a workplace with people I barely knew, a neighborhood where there’s no chaos and all order, and distant from the company I use to surround myself with. Phillip Phillips speaks of these demons and how to combat them – being around people who makes everything a little closer to home.

The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert

Even though I’m less of a wreck than what Miranda Lambert was in “The House That Built Me,” I can relate to her attachment to the house she grew up in. Going back to my family home is inconvenient, and the structure is far from a luxury hotel. But I find the journey worth it. Nothing beats being inside the walls of the home that shaped me.

Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran

When I was studying, my problems were the most important, and the fun I had will never are unparalleled. The best part about going down memory lane is every setback is trivial, and the crazy moments inspire me to live. Ed’s tribute to his hometown is my personal favorite of his. I don’t see a castle when I go back. But I always get to heaven.

Home by Michael Buble

The first time I moved overseas, I was doing well for a month. I had visitors come by, and they eventually left. After I sent them off, I bawled like a baby. I got the pain that Michael Buble sings about in “Home.” I’ve chosen this path, and it’s not the same for everyone. Hence, I have to manage the symptoms of this sickness that come once in a while.

Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk

More than dishes from my home country, or media from local stations and movie studios, it’s the community that equips me through my combats with loneliness. Chantal Kreviazuk’s cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “Feels Like Home” has a romantic undertone. But I dedicate it to everyone who made my move overseas home away from home.

Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men

When I fly back, many things stay constant. But others will never be the same. There are memories of those who’ve left this life. And they aggravate the pain. Of Monsters and Men’s “Little Talks” helps me channel these fragments of my past into energy for resilience, and push me to strengthen relationships that can still be nurtured.

Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Home isn’t a structure. It’s a state of mind. It’s made up of tiny puzzle pieces that fit to make a masterpiece. That’s how Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros put it. I remember a congregation of foreigners, myself included, dancing to this tune. We were away from our countries. But we had fun and found solace in each other’s homesickness.

Back Down South by Kings of Leon

The anticipation of a return is always filled with the most fun you can pack in a given period – dancing, alcohol, and late nights. And that’s what I fill my itinerary with every time I head back. And when the voice of an old soul like Caleb Followill sings, nostalgia can’t help but creep in. And as I write, I wish I was going back.

Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

As Reese Witherspoon learned the hard way in her box office hit, a sophisticated, modern, and luxurious life isn’t always the key to happiness. And that’s the way I’ve always viewed my home country – it’s a beautiful disaster. But it’s home. It’s Alabama for Lynyrd Skynyrd, and it’s the Philippines for me.

Home by Daughtry

Moving overseas come with sacrifices. And even though family and friends remain vital, I question my decision but go back to the same conclusion. I’ve grown a lot and discovered many facets of myself. Daughtry puts it best – no regrets, but at times, things can get old. And going home once in a while can become a necessity.

Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver

The trip that takes me from where I am to where I’m going presents an opportunity to reflect and look back. Be it a plane ride or a road trip, the view and isolation help me paint a picture that brings a smile to my face. John Denver is as classic as I can get in my playlist. But he’s as effective as he was then to evoke nostalgia and introspection.

Homecoming by Kanye West

Most of us have less ego than Kanye West. And that’s hardly a benchmark. But when I come back, there’s a sense of pride in what I was able to accomplish. And that’s also part of the struggle – because not all times would I bring home success. And there was a time when I was a big mess and had to fly home. But the trip made all my problems vanish.

Homesick by Dua Lipa

Compromise is ideal. Or is it? The location will not always be on our side. Hence, making a long-distance relationship work isn’t easy. But is it better than the alternative? I’m a firm believer in fighting for things I value – the career I cling onto, the relationships I’m in, and the life I’ve built. I will not always succeed. But I will put up a fight like Dua does.

Here Without You by 3 Doors Down

If only our thoughts and dreams had a switch, then we could dictate when people played a role in our lives. But 3 Doors Down knows better. And as I get on with life’s setbacks and successes, I remember having the person I wish I’d spent it with makes the experience a little less meaningful.

Hold On, We’re Going Home by Drake featuring Majid Jordan

The first time I moved overseas, I knew the journey was temporary. And on my last day at work, I was playing “Hold On, We’re Going Home” on loop. There’s comfort in knowing that the trip I made is temporary. And at any point in time, I can head back and be with the ones I left behind. I just hope they’re still around to give me a welcome.



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