A lifetime dualism

A poem on survival skills

Isabella Madrid Malo
a Few Words
Published in
2 min readFeb 13


I wonder which one is harder
Going back home or returning abroad where you now belong


Home feels warm, peaceful, simple, comfortable
Home feels like early mornings to coffee made by dad
Home feels like the same breakfast every morning because it’s simply
what I grew up knowing
and it does not get boring

Home feels plans every week with different friends
with no 3 weeks in advance planning
but just hours
Remembering together what once was and isn’t anymore
and laughing about it in between
or a casual desert

Home feels like Christmas days
Family togetherness
Endless eating

Home feels like endless conversations with grandad
Listening to his life stories
his life’s deaths
his life’s love’s
and feel blessed to have the possibility
to sit right there with him

Home is home
for a while
until it’s time to take that aircraft again to the other side of the world
leave everything behind
everyone behind
and keep them
in your heart

Illustration by Muhammed Sajid


Arriving feels cold

My candle gives me hope
as I light it every night to feel
some company

Arriving is no joke
it reminds you every day for weeks what you left behind
in exchange for this life

Loneliness kicks in as every day pass
you are reminded what being a foreigner means
the lack of community

The curse of coming home
is eliminating loneliness from your system

And then one day
after a week
or two
or three
of arriving
You wake up
and feel good again
loneliness inhabits you
it’s a part of you
and you needed a few weeks for it to settle back
and keep going.



Isabella Madrid Malo
a Few Words

I write about what being a human feels like. Raw, real, naked.