Feeling Strongly At Home In A Different Country

I am very glad to have found this group and read stories similar to mine, which makes me believe even more that I'm not abnormal. I never used to believe in reincarnation, being raised a Christian, but several times I've been briefly open to the idea because of some strong deja vu feelings and images of things I haven't experienced before and me demonstrating knowledge that I could not possibly know. Only recently when I was talking with a buddhist friend about reincarnation, and she mentioning stories about small kids remembering things from before they were born, I recalled something I had told my mother once when I was a kid: "Before I was born, I was able to choose if I wanted to be a boy or a girl. I chose to be a girl." My mother had then told me it was impossible, but my friend actually got goosebumps from what I told her.

After researching about past lives on the net, I found that lots of people have remembered their past lives, which finally turned me into a believer. And believing it finally explained the really strange things about me I have been puzzled with for many years.

First of all, I'm born in Norway from one Norwegian and one Filipino parent. Yet, I don't feel at home in any of these two countries. I feel at home in Hong Kong. It sounds really strange, but it's true. Ever since I can remember, I always felt lost and away from "home". As I grew older, I went traveling to different places of the world to be able to find the place I would feel at home. I used to feel more at home in the Philippines, but it was lacking so many things that I couldn't explain. For some reason, I started listening to some vintage HK music on the internet, and I got inexplicable warm, loving and nostalgic feelings. When I first spent time in Hong Kong, I felt strong attachment to the location, people and culture. The personality of the people and the way of life deeply resonated with me. I started getting nostalgic images in my mind of life there in "older days". Sights on the street would make me have strong deja vu feelings from less modern days. It also helped a lot that the locals would mistake me for a local, based on my appearance. When having to leave, I was overwhelmed with sadness, which I couldn't explain!

Later, for some reason I started studying Mandarin. But actually I wasn't that interested in Mandarin, I had much more interest in Cantonese! It felt so much easier for me to pronounce and it somehow sounded much more natural (though I know that most people find Cantonese very strange sounding!). I joined a program teaching English in Beijing, and while I was there I quickly learned to speak and read Mandarin. I loved the place, but wasn't as attached to it as with HK (as I quickly felt the difference going on a trip to HK from Beijing). I decided then that my biggest dream is to be able to live there. I started learning Cantonese by myself, and I was so surprised in how fast and easily I learned it! In just a couple of weeks I had picked up hundreds of words and was beginning to understand my Cantonese speaking movies. It truly felt as if I had known it before, and that I was now just re-remembering it. While on the other hand, I still struggled with the Filipino language, despite having heard it all the time while growing up.

Since then, I've seemed to be obsessed with HK culture, but still trying to hide it from people around me in case they thought I had lost my mind, thinking I'm something that I'm not. I was always wondering what was the reason why I genuinely felt as if I was a HK person, and whether my Filipino family has Chinese blood or not. I was embarrassed to let my mother see just how interested I was, but I wanted to share my interest with someone (and the two of us are close friends). I showed her HK movies and music, and she resonated with it a bit, being Filipino (of course not as much as me), and could understand why I would like the culture.

Earlier this week, after my conversation with my friend and researching past lives online, I came across a guided past life regression session online. I decided to just try it and see whether I would see anything or not. As expected, I saw myself as a man in HK in the beginning of the 20th century. I was scared of remembering something dramatic, but I actually just remembered a calm and happy life filled with lots of people and a warm community. But I distinctly remembered being very patriotic and secretly working against the British rule (which maybe is the reason why I have some ill feelings towards the British in this life?). That explained why while growing up I was always feeling lonely and wanting to "go back home". It also explained why I at times used to have issues with being a female.

Now I want to explore more about my "true self", and I will not dismiss it as some weird obsession, and only be the kind of person that others expect me to be based on my background from this lifetime. But I still can't openly tell people the true reason why I am interested in HK/Chinese culture and language whenever they ask me.

I hope my story resonates with other people who also feel like they belong to another place in this world and might have lived there in a previous life. The very best thing one can do is to go and visit the place and to get the feel of it!
tsuion tsuion
6 Responses Dec 17, 2012

Wow. I stumbled across this site and group today..your story reminds me so much of mine but with Finland..I now live in Finland and feel the same peace too :3

I had always felt I dont belong in the country culture and timeline I live in. And that I have left something pending and memories of far away places in other countries.

Part 2 of my story, my experiences one year after this story: http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Remember-Past-Life-Memories/3801145

Years ago, I saw a print of Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night. Immediately I wept and missed France. Funny thing, my maiden name is French and I always felt French, even though my Hugonaut ancestors had been driven from there in the 1500's!

That is very interesting, I can completely relate to your feelings. Whenever I used to hear certain old songs from Hong Kong, I used to get visual images of the old charm of the place, and I would start weeping uncontrollably, longing back to this place and time. It might be that you would, similarly to me, experience great joy from visiting the country and picking up the language!

I love and COMPLETLY understand the passion love and longing for certain things, even if it may have ended sadly/ traumatically. :( I wonder what our split off souls " ghosts" are. We're probably remembering for a reason, but maybe not all the time.
I found one of my lives online as a ghost story and frustrates me. I'm glad to hear the joy it brings you! It's true love no matter what or when! ;)

Thanks for sharing. Since I wrote my story here exactly a year ago, my life has gradually turned around; I was accepted to study and live in Hong Kong, and ever since I moved to Hong Kong, the bitterness and seriousness I had always carried inside me vanished. For the first time in this life, I feel true happiness and belonging from deep inside. All the things I remembered and painfully longed for from my past life I am now able to live and see every day in the present. It brought me healing, and letting me live happy for the present instead of living in the past. I am now more than ever sure that this place is my real home.

Thank you for your post, it is good to know I am not alone with this. I live in Finland and have always felt this extreme longing for Poland, where I had a past life during WWII – even before I understood the memories in question. I like how you pointed out the different aspects of it – it is indeed not only a yearning for the place itself, but also for the culture, the people, the language... Sadly, we cannot return to a period foregone. I will not say I miss the war, for like many others, I lost so much, but people are just not the same anymore. But then, it all comes down to the individual. I expect you have similar feelings concerning the early 1900s?

Overall I find many similarities with your story. I, too, was a man in my previous life, and while I identify myself as a woman in my current one, I cannot ignore the masculine side in me, as well as my interests and values. I was also middle-aged before (and bitter, it grieves me to say), which shines through today in my 21-year-old self. It is very hard and painful at times, but at the end of the day I am grateful for this duality as well. It simply defines who I am.

I am curious, however, whether the online past life regression might work for me as well. Would you mind sharing the link? If you still have it, that is.

I am very happy to hear from others that have similar experiences! Since I posted this story here in December, I have retrieved lots and lots of new memories and details. My past life personality has been coming out more, but adapted to my current life situation and modern times, and it's been mostly positive, since I seem to become more confident, rational, brave, easygoing, have more knowledge/experience about life, and very wise for my young age.

From all of my spontaneous memory flashbacks, I believe I lived from around 1907 until 1981, to later being born in this life in 1986. So my strongest and most vivid memories are actually from the 1970's and beginning of the 80's in HK. There have been specific Hong Kong singers/songs from that era that made me spontaneously break down in tears when listening, and getting strong flashbacks of being an old man in that time. I have had lots of emotional moments of nostalgia, longing for the warmth of the good old days. Recently I listened to an old HK song, and I thought: "I used to listen to this song in the 70's, it was the theme song of a very famous TV-series that ran in the mid-70's that I used to watch!" I didn't completely believe myself, so I looked it up online and my facts were correct. This song was even said to be so famous that it was seen as an unofficial "anthem" of Hong Kong. I have had many similar experiences of knowing some historical/cultural fact, looking it up online and finding it to be correct. Sometimes I have been dreaming purely in Cantonese at night, and I often catch myself thinking in complete Cantonese sentences with words I don't remember having studied/learned in the present.

I went back to Hong Kong more than a month ago, and I really wanted to see if being there again would bring me more memories. And the days I spent there was like an adventure, I seemed to know exactly the places I used to live and work before, I felt inexplicable joy, warmth and happiness that no place has ever made me feel before in this life. I felt the same warmth and charm of the place as I remembered from the past, it is not too different from before. Also, I loved being among the people again, they all saw me as a local, and I found our ways of thinking and being to be very similar. My current life has had a major turn of events, since it seemed destiny led me to apply for university in Hong Kong and being accepted, I am moving there this August!

It is amazing that you can already remember your past life, even without having done a regression. For me, I couldn't remember anything until I did this regression once or twice. After that, memories seemed to come spontaneously, feeling like I had already opened the 'door' from that one regression. This online regression I did was actually just a YouTube video. At first when trying it, I just did it out of curiosity, not knowing that it would really work. I hope it will work for you too. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV6RHDHjYJA

Do you already have many memories of WWII? I also have memories from WWII when the Japanese invaded. I could also remember a couple of violent encounters I myself had with Japanese soldiers. Which makes me wonder if I should go to Japan one day, just to make peace and find forgiveness in me. In this life I am both interested in Japanese culture, yet despise some aspects of it. I have had very close female Japanese friends, but I feel perhaps more reluctant of knowing Japanese men (associating them with the soldiers). Have you been to Poland? If you are driven enough, you could go there and seek out places that feel familiar to you. Knowing about the past can help us learn why we are the way we are in the present, and we can overcome issues that might have originated from the past.

Thank you for your quick response! Indeed, I am a bit embarrassed now, as I did not see your post was from over six months ago.

I am very happy for you, and I agree; our knowledge and experiences from our previous lives gives us unique wisdom for the lives we are living this very moment.

That is actually very interesting. I would have lived around the same time, born in the 1890's and died in the 1960's, my memories being the strongest from 1930 to 1950. Do you have any inkling as to why you remember more from your old days? Perhaps your few memories from WWII are painful, as you say, and your mind chooses to dissociate from the events?

It is great to hear that you have such a strong relation to music and culture. I am almost identical in that way; today I am actually a professional violinist and music has always been a really important element in my life. Sometimes I feel like it is the only thing that can make me cry, and it is often that I'm being reminded of WWII when I listen to an evocative piece. As I said, I cannot say I miss the war, but at the same time there was a lot of good in what we had. What's interesting is that I often end up dressing in 1940's fashion without even thinking about it. There is something so natural about it I can't even explain.

Congratulations! That is great news indeed; I hope you will have a wonderful and exploratory time in HK. I have never been to Poland myself, but it is my intention to go as soon as my studies and work let me, and hopefully try to find the street and neighbourhood I used to live in. It may be a shocking experience, seeing as I have just started recovering from PTSD in my current past, but I am sure it'll be worth it in the end. As long as I don't look into these things I simply won't feel whole as a person.

Ah, yes, my past life memories have more or less always been there, and some of them are very detailed indeed. Sadly, my memories and experiences are not of a very happy nature, which leaves me heavily burdened by them. What is even more tragic is that history seems to be repeating itself in my lives; I was abused and had an unhappy childhood both in my past life and in my current one. The pain, I can assure you, was acute, because I could remember them both, and it left me questioning whether justice would ever be found. Since then I have matured and learned to accept that I can't change the past no matter how much I'd want to. What is important is that I learn from these setbacks and use it as a force for good in my current life. Also, I should point out that while my WWII memories deal with a lot of grief, I have fond recollections as well, especially when it comes to people. You see, while some wait a lifetime to meet those right ones, I can happily say I have been blessed with knowing mine.

Thank you very much for the link! And well, I don't think the format matters as long as you are in it for real.

I have a lot of memories from WWII, mainly from the Occupation of Poland but also from the tense period just before the war. If you are interested in reading my story, I just posted it in this group.