In about six hours I hit the road again for another work trip. 300 miles to MA tomorrow, 50 miles within the state Wednesday, and another 300 miles to head back home on Thursday.
It’s always very difficult to leave home. I will miss the comfort of my own bed. I sleep in a twin sized bed. I’m six feet tall. But I’ve had this bed since I was a kid and it feels like home. I have spent almost every weeknight in the past two months eating at some of the best restaurants in each area I stay in. But I will miss the comforting familiarity of my mother’s home cooked meals. I will miss my friends. My family. The comfort and security that helps me sleep at night.
The truth is though, is that without the comfort of home, I could never appreciate my travels as much. It is the pain of leaving that reminds me of what travel ultimately aspires for. To feel at home. I appreciate so much more of what I see and do and experience because of the home I leave behind each time. I know travel is about connecting with people because at home I am surrounded by people I feel most connected to. My friends and family. I know home is about comfort and peace and warmth so when I travel I seek out much the same. See, you need to have a strong reference of what you have and leave behind before you explore what you want and what the world has to offer. Otherwise, for me it feels like you’re just…window shopping. Browsing. Something may speak to you when you see it, but most of the time you don’t even know what you’re looking at or for.
You cannot understand the world in front of you if you cannot appreciate the home you leave behind.
Build a home. Fill it with love and warmth and everything you’ve ever wanted. When you leave you’ll feel the twinge of homesickness that that grounds you to the world. As you travel you’ll have the framework of reference to appreciate everything you get to do and see and bring back with you. And when you return you know that you are in a place where you belong.
Now don’t misunderstand. By no means do I necessarily mean a physical home. I mean the feeling and the spirit and the embodiment of home. A state of mind and being. I am at home with friends and family. I am at home when I can feel completely at ease and secure. And now when I travel I chase after that. Good trips are the ones where I can feel like this all the time. Bad trips are when I can never seem to relax. Most trips are in between.
I am at a point now in my life where I have been happy and content with the home I have had with my family, but I am seeking the opportunity to build one of my own. When I travel I try to carry with me the values I seek in a home and wonder if I might ever find it somewhere else, somewhere where I can take root. I was seeking someone to build a home with. I thought I had everything I wanted in Beautiful, and I did seriously begin to consider the possibility of building something with her. When she broke up with me I saw my future home collapse before my eyes like a sad inflatable house. What I am rediscovering and reassembling is the confidence and resolution that I can do this on my own. I still very much miss that feeling of belonging with someone. And I still think relationships are really where my emotions live. I don’t know how much of myself I can really allow myself to feel and express and love to others. It is still a painful longing, to belong to and with someone again. But it is not a foundation to build a home upon. I cannot build something of strength and fortitude if I cannot do it on my own.
I don’t think I could ever live without travel. I will always have that sense of wanderlust. It is a necessary part of life that broadens your understanding and appreciation of the world. But I will contend with every fiber of my being that without a root, without a frame of reference, a home in a person, a place, a thing, or even a feeling, it will all feel almost…the same. The world is vast and exciting and different. But it needs to have some thread that connects it all. That highlights the similarities so that we might feel like citizens of a global community but also contrasts the beautiful differences that make us appreciate who we are, where we come from, where we’re going.
Build a home, then leave it, and know that no matter where you are, you carry it with you. Know what your home is. Cultivate it. Then you will always be home.
Man: 11 Loneliness: 3