For us travelers, nomads, and those living by the beat of our own drums, the concept of home can at times be arbitrary, irrelevant, and anxiety provoking. When I get asked the question: “where do you live or where is your home” it tends to conjure feelings of confusion, as I have yet to describe what “home” means in a status quo kind of way. In a society that embraces work as life, 10 year plans, mortgages and nuclear families, it can be hard for the wanderers and rebels amongst us to define what “home” means in those terms.
I have spent much of my time trying to come to a definition of home that fits in, or rather contemplating where my home is. As someone who does not necessarily feel that Canada, where I was born is my home, I have felt an affinity and a desire to experience other cultures, other ways of being.
After traipsing my way from one place to the next, seeing the world’s tallest mountains, swimming in the world’s most beautiful bodies of water, witnessing peace, atrocity and the depths of humanity at it’s most raw, I have come to understand something very profound: home is and has been in many, many places.
This may seem like a very simple realization for some of you, or you might be thinking what I’m saying is as good as a letter you receive written in mandarin, but let me explain myself a little further. I have in the past had this deep desire to attach myself to something out there, something that will make me feel real, permanent, give me the answers. This has often come in the form of this job or that profession, this city, this place, these people, this situation, etc etc.
Sure, there are situations, energies, people, places, and things that can act as the doorway or bring you closer to home, but home is not something to be discovered, home is not something out there. So I suppose the simplest answer I have come to, which I will surely relay to all who ask, is that silly yet relevant saying we have all heard: “home is where the heart is.” In truth, home is wherever I am, home is always right here, in my own being.
There are of course periods of deep ignorance, and lots of them. But the journey is all about lessons, all about learning, all about coming back home. The goal, as a nomad and wanderer, is to remain connected to that home – to love and to heart and to be open to the lessons of each person and each situation, each taking us along the path back home.
What does home mean for you? Have you had any revelations? How do you answer such questions?