During the last couple of decades, second homes abroad have become continually more popular among Danes as well as other Europeans. Many people today choose to live in and with houses across borders. Second homes demonstrate new ways of travelling as well as dwelling which challenges the conceptual division between being a tourist and being at home; of creating routes as well as roots.
The paper presents an ongoing anthropological study on Danes' second homes in six popular housing areas in Spain (Costa del Sol and Mallorca), Italy (Garda lake surroundings, Tuscany) and Thailand (Pattaya and Hua Hin). The empirical data was collected during spring 2009 and consists of qualitative interviews and participant observation in second homes and their surroundings as well as visits in the informants' primary households in Denmark.
The paper aims to debate how second homes can be understood within social theory. The term house life is suggested in stead of home in order to conceive the way houses are lived - not necessarily as homes but sometimes even as oppositions to being at home. The theoretical outline of the analysis is that houses are both something people live in and perceive the world with. In this perspective, looking at second homes abroad, connections between the individual and the world emerge. Seeking further analytical and theoretical insights, an outline for debate has been developed evolving around how connections between the local and the global and between time and place are materialised and lived in and with second homes abroad.