I had an interesting revelation during my last trip. I discovered the term home has lost its traditional definition for me.
Please don’t misunderstand me – Yes I grew up outside of Boston and that will always be where I come from and since it is where I grew up and the bulk of my family still lives, I absolutely still consider it home (don’t take this the wrong way Dad).
What I have discovered is that the more I travel the more I consider the globe to be my home. It is not the house I was raised in, it is not the town I grew up in; home is no longer a place but a feeling.
Home is Familiar
No matter where I am, there are always a few familiar things like chain stores and restaurants across the globe. Because I often repeat travel locations, I find there are familiar faces to each location and now, because I am connected with the digital nomad community, I am likely to find a familiar face in an unfamiliar location. This provides a sense of belonging and in a way a feeling of home.
Although primary languages may be different depending on where I am, it seems that in a global society multiple languages and dialects are more common in any location than to hear only one language. I can be in Boston, San Francisco or Rome and I hear multiple languages, so hearing different languages just feels normal to me now; the unfamiliar has become familiar.
3 Carry-On’s And A Dog
It’s no secret my life needs currently fit into three carry-on suitcases. I’m not trying to promote simplicity or minimalism, it is a lifestyle of convenience for me at this time. I simply don’t want to lug a whole bunch of stuff around the world with me and there are few tangible items that have great importance to me. It is the memories and experiences that I treasure and these take up much less space in my luggage!
Home As A Reflection
Most people have a more permanent home than I and in the course of their lives they create one that reflects their values and things they hold precious. Designing and decorating to create a space that provides comfort, respite and safety for all that is important in their lives. They collect items to remind them of travels and happy occasions, mementos of events and their history.
I guess I’m different in this way (surprise!). Although I love when my screen saver on my computer scrolls through my photo collection and fond memories pass by, the pictures on my wall are mostly the art of any given landlord I have. I don’t keep my memories on my wall, I have them in my mind and they are as portable as I am.
So as much as I no longer have a home in the traditional sense, I have a home that is as vast as the globe. I am able to move about the world in a way that is both exciting, like seeing people and places you remember and miss, and comforting, like being in an old familiar space.
Almost all of us have had several locations which we have called home over the course of time, be it a family home that moves, a college dorm or your first apartment. I encourage you to take a few minutes to think about what made these home for you. I wonder if I am not alone in feeling like home has less to do with the place than the feeling created within?
Once you have your definition, I encourage you to think about how you might carry that with you throughout your journey.