A thousand steps taken,
a thousand more to go.
A year abroad and still no clue where to blow.
I left to find me to find home to find peace.
But home is not something to find
or a place to leave your things.
Now I see that home is not anywhere but within me.
Home, I am.
As I mentally prepare to head back to the states in a few months, I am confronted with a choice – fear or love.
Admittedly, I am a bit more afraid of returning to my own country than I was to leave it for a foreign country, halfway across the world, where no one knew me. A city of strangers, but I found a world of peace.
I was not scared when I decided to move to Spain. Following a long-time dream gave me the adrenaline I needed to leap and not look back. The universe rewarded me with a series of flawless events that helped me realize that if there were anything I was meant to do, it was to move to Spain. I was intoxicated with positivity and confidence and my decision made absolute perfect sense. Looking back, I am almost in awe at the fearlessness with which I blindly jumped into the unknown. But it also teaches me to go forth with the same confidence in all that I do. That fearlessness still does, and always will, live within me.
Although my return is still a ways away, I can’t help but begin to consider how I will feel to leave my beloved Spain. I know, I know. “Live in the moment,” you’re probably thinking…”Let it flow and soak up the last few months abroad. You can deal with the future when it comes.” And as much as I am aware of all of this, and that is the exact same advice I would give to a friend confronting me with the same thoughts, I just can’t help it!
One thing that has erased my sorrows and heightened my excitement for the states, however, is my understanding of home.
If home is where the heart is, as the infamous quote says, then it also makes perfect sense that I am home – here, there and everywhere. Home goes everywhere with me, which in turn means that my home is everywhere. Problem solved. Whew, that was easy. Thank you logic.
I’ve never been good at math, but I think this equation is correct: Home = heart = me = home
Home is within all of us – in our chests, in our hearts. Home is me…and you and everyone – not a place but a state. We are all home no matter where we are geographically in the world – but accepting this is a conscious choice. We carry the spirit of our loved ones with us, along with the memories of their smells and laughs and faces and hugs. Some don’t need to stay in one place and plant deep roots to feel at home. Some do. But the others – the wanderers and nomads and the curious ones – make each stop a home and each friend a part of their extended families.
I feel so homesick
Where’s my home
Where I was born or where I belong
I was told to go where the winds would blow
And it blows away – away
– Alabama Shakes
Through travel, I began to accept the idea of the home I left when I boarded the plane no longer feeling like home upon return. I felt home within me and everywhere I went. Home is not where I keep my things. Nor is it where my loved ones live or where I grew up. “Home” and I have grown apart and the time has come for an amicable separation.
Over the course of the past year, I have been homesick twice – when family came to visit, and over Thanksgiving. And truthfully, this was not homesickness at all, not for a place at least. What I was feeling was familysick (I can make up words if I want!). I miss my family all the time but on those two occasions it was particularly strong. I was not longing for the familiarity of a place but for the familiarity of face.
For the majority of the time I have lived in Spain, I have been blissfully alone and at peace with that. I am strong, yes, but I also know that it is not strength that gets me through the days; it is the peace I have within, the love for the adventure that I am on, and knowing that I will one day (one day very soon now) see my family and friends again. But more than anything, it is knowing that home is everywhere I go and the peace that inevitably comes with that knowledge. It is knowing that I have the power to make a house a home no matter where I am in the world. All I have to do is say yes.
Something that helps me stay grounded and connected to myself is my little shrine that I travel with. It is a compilation of things I came to Spain with, gifts from people along the way and found things that make me happy. This little reflection of my heart reminds me of who I am and that everything is a-ok.
It started small (top-left photo) and has snowballed (bottom-right photo), collecting many precious things. I am a shameless rock hoarder and thing grabber on hikes. But much of this was gifted to me by either our planet or loves along the way.
The only thing I long for, truly, is the road. I crave adventure and the unknown. I seek thrills. I am a rolling stone at peace on the move. The more I see the more I want. The more I learn, the more I realize that I know nothing compared to what I thought I knew. I am insatiable for knowledge and understanding and dancing in the moonlight with beautiful strangers and changes in plan and absolute freedom. This is what drives me forward. This, this is my home because this is me. And because I do love to travel, it is necessary for me to carry home with me so that I am able to do what I love.
Your home may be different but if you stop a moment to think about it, home is feeling love.
Does anyone else feel like this? I know you do, don’t leave me hanging.
We are citizens of one world, members of one human race, bearers of one connected heart, inhabitants of one home. We are one.
Honey, I’m home!