(Me in front of Santiago de Compostella cathedral in Spain.) One of the many mind fucks I’ve experienced as I journey is the challenge of trying to feel at home when I don’t know where home is any longer. Whether I have an apartment or just storage for all the stuff I’ve accumulated over the years, it’s an entirely different thing to know you’re home.
In fact, having had a home to return to in New York City for basically my entire life, I realize that, for at least the past dozen years, that didn’t make New York feel like home. Rather, it was just a resting place, and a box to store me and clutter in. How is it that having a home does not automatically make you feel at home?
I have sometimes felt more at home in a strange city, in a stranger’s house or a hotel than I was feeling in New York. And, as I roam, I realize there can be many homes where I feel at ease. However, I wonder if I will ever find a place I feel like stopping “forever” and creating a home, or whether, really, home is more about people or perhaps a person that feels like home, and the rest is just organizing things around them and getting some plates, glasses and cutlery to eat together. Or, what if, for me, home is about being at home in the world, and roaming is home? But, does roaming allow for deep connections? From what I’ve learned so far, the longer I stay in one place, a week or a month vs a few days, the more I meet people I consider friends and develop deeper relationships with them, even though I know I will be roaming again.
Though I don’t like packing one bit and people who watch me do it are constantly amazed at how much I can fit into a suitcase (and poor me, being proud of myself for packing in to a carry on bag!!) I also love the roaming and discovery and being able to stay in one place as long as I feel is right, and then getting to reach my next destination full of curiosity. Sometimes I’m disappointed by what I find, but mostly I’m delighted to go to places I’ve only seen in photos or movies, practice all my language skills, eat strange foods, drink wonderful assortments of red wine and coffee (my friend Karen, owner of Vaca Purpura in La Fortuna, Costa Rica still makes the best coffee I’ve ever had!!!) see amazing sunsets, learn crazy customs like the Portuguese way of destroying the inside of uninhabited domiciles because they are easier to sell that way than convincing someone to do a remodel, and do lots and lots of walking.
I may not know where home is, or I may just be at home with roaming. In the end, I guess home is whatever makes you feel that way and the people with whom you have that feeling.