It should have been no surprise there was so much traffic on the A82. The West Highlands are truly magical, especially when conditions are like this.

When the sun cloaks the green hills and roving waters, the wind is mild and the forecast dry, it feels as if there is no better place to spend the Easter weekend.

Mine was spent sitting on the green grass of the Knoydart peninsula, overlooking the vast fields and the river leading into the sea, the glens in the background. Skye is just across the water. We’re racing hand-coloured eggs down the hill beside the house. Skippy, the one-week-old lamb, is being true to its name and performing summersaults beside its mother.

It’s one of those scenarios I seek to capture and digitally eternalise, no matter how often I visit. I cannot imagine ever getting sick of this view – and I have been here a lot.

This place, for a short time, was once my home. Not this farm – that belongs to my friend’s parents – but this beautiful part of the country. It may not be home any more, but when I return, I feel "at home". Maybe it is because this environment is strewn with reminders. The time I lived here, I was a teen who had been sent from Germany to live in Scotland with relatives for a year.

Across the water, I walk past my old school, the house I lived in, shops from which I bought chocolate bars, the sea wall and the train station I used to dream would take me somewhere more exciting.

Yet, when I think back, I never felt particularly at home in any of those walls or during that time. Passing them is a by-product of my visit, never the reason.

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What makes somewhere "home"? Home is "sweet". Home is "best". Ask Dorothy in her red shoes returning from Oz and she would say there’s no place like it. Merriam Webster, on the other hand, offers more tangible opinions. One, "one's place of residence" or "house". Two, "the social unit formed by a family living together".

Like the competing definitions, "home" has become somewhat of a fluid concept for me. Places I once called such I no longer do. Places I didn’t, I feel more at home in now. Home can be a physical place, but for me it is not – at least not overarchingly. Nor is it for some of the people with whom I spoke recently during a creative writing workshop I attended for refugees and New Scots where I, and the others – many refugees who had fled war or conflict – were asked "What does home mean to you?" 

True to textbook definition, when I currently think of "home", I picture the city I live in: Glasgow. The city where I have a rented flat, a job, a life. But it is exactly those things I have had in many parts of the world. Places I never called "home". Places from which I longed to return – to Scotland, to Glasgow. Before Scotland, Germany had been my home. It is where I grew up, where some of my family still stay, and the place, to this day, where I’ve lived the longest. I know my home town’s streets inside out. Yet, when I return, I tread on them carefully; as a guest. I don’t feel "at home" anymore.

Of course, we all know the cliché – home is where the heart is. Like many, albeit not all, clichés, there might be some truth in it. In my experience, home has become not a place but a feeling.

When I think of home, I do not think of George Square, the Hydro, or even my flat. Yes, I think of Glasgow, but it is my friends I picture. I think of my partner. I think of the sense of belonging I feel because I am cared about by all of these people.

It is also why I feel "at home" during my visits returning to the West Highlands. It is my school friends and their families with whom I spend days like the one above, full of love and laughter and joy. Being with them is easy and pure.

It is the relatives I stayed with all those years ago, who still welcome me back with open arms as family and with plenty cups of tea. "Home" – I might not have felt it all those years ago, but I most definitely feel it now.

For the other attendees, home, overarchingly, was "safety". It should have not come as a surprise. Many of those I shared the round table with were forced to flee for one reason or another.

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Some said they felt "home" here – despite only just arriving. Others said they were still in the process; some said they missed their friends and family. Some were struggling with the logistics. All said that what helped them feel welcome was the community.

Ultimately, home can mean different things to different people. Maybe we won’t all agree which description or definition is most accurate.

Perhaps though, we could possibly agree that once we found "home" most of us would not want to give it up without good reason – or force. That perhaps, we could all do more to remember what home means and show more compassion towards those who had to leave theirs.

That maybe, if homes are not just places made of bricks and mortar, but places in which you feel a certain way – welcomed, protected, safe, part of a group – we can all be someone making another person feel "at home" – like the people that did the same for me here in the West Highlands.

This place was not a home but the people around me have made it one. As I wave goodbye to the hills and glens, hug my friends, and drive past the station on my way to Glasgow, I feel a sense of sadness. I am also excited – I am going home.

Daniella Theis is Scottish Student Journalist of the Year