The Search for Home.

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

I rolled over at 6:43am this morning in my warm and cozy bed to check the time. I’m rarely awake that early, specially on a Sunday, and then I heard it… the faint sound of someone throwing up and coughing in their bathroom above me. What a glorious way to wake up! Still, I was thankful I was the one hearing it rather than the one performing it.

It’s times like these that get me thinking about what my ideal place to live would be like. It’s different for everyone, some people are city people, others like the suburbs, some prefer to be as far away from humanity as possible and others like the rural life. It also changes doesn’t it, as you get older and start to value things differently. What is your ideal home like and what type of place would you love to live in?

Where I’m living now is pretty good, this morning’s wake up call is a rare event and over the years and the course of my travels I’ve endured much, much worse! In the early ‘naughties’ I spent a few summers living out of cheap caravan parks and youth hostels around Europe. Back then the standards were not the same as they are today…to say the least. If you visit a hostel or campground in Europe today they are generally fantastic because a few years ago the new wave of millennial travellers started to demand a different level of product. Gone are the damp and sticky mattresses that went along oh so well with the black mould lined walls and roofs, the water logged door and window sills, and the heart warming companionship of the local roaches, mice and bed bugs. Today it’s quite a different experience, thank the lord, actually no, let’s thank the millennials.

But as clean and sanitary as my current living situation is, I can’t get away from the fact that I’m surrounded by people on nearly all sides. I look out of my windows and I see a multitude of other apartments across the way. Above me is someone who is apparently not feeling so hot right now, next door is an apartment who’s kitchen is situated right up against our shared wall so that I can hear when things are being clanged down onto the work bench, or the dishes are being scraped across the draining board. I’ll repeat that I don’t hear much considering the proximity of my neighbours, so I consider myself quite lucky. I also am no silent saint, so it’s all about tolerance I suppose.

To compensate for these downsides I get to live right on the coast, it takes me 5 minutes to have my toes in the sand from leaving my apartment. I have access to a huge pool that is shared by all residents, and also a small gym. My car is parked securely underground with resident access only, and I can ride my bicycle to the local shops for supplies. Give and take! :D

When I was younger I would have been in my absolute element living where I currently am. But now that I’m older I’m starting to make plans for a more rural life into the future. I want to live close enough to a town for ease of access to essential supplies and services, but far enough away that I can enjoy the sounds and solitude of the country. I’m not quite ready for the rocking chair on the porch with a bottle of whisky and a loaded shotgun by my side, but I can see myself enjoying that on the odd Sunday once a month! No, I want to be able to throw a party and not be bugging the neighbours, want to enjoy the stars in the night sky without too much light pollution from the city, want to be able to walk around the house naked once in a while without having the police rock up to investigate the situation, and want to be close enough to a small community to play a meaningful role in it. That’s all. :D

Do you have a dream for the future? Do you have a plan to make it there?

I started on my life path without a clear vision of the future. All I knew was that I wanted to travel and I had faith that I would eventually see the path emerge through the mist. For me that path emerged in short sections, which was sometimes frustrating, but I learnt to accept it and have fun along the way. I always thought that one day I would stumble across a place in the world that would feel like home and I would just know that I’d found where I belong. As romantic and perfectly clichéd as that would have been, I think the truth is a little more earthly and real, at least for me. I’m sure there are some of you out there that did stumble across your forever home somewhere along your journey, whether that was a place, a person, or a career. I think that’s awesome and I’m so happy for you. But for the others that are more like me, maybe still struggling to find your place and inner peace in this life, maybe you’ll find some value in this next bit…

During my 30’s I started to doubt that I would find my place in the world that felt like home. It was a scary place to find myself because it was the first time in my life that my faith in the future was shaken. I didn’t know what to ground my life on anymore, the foundation was falling away. It took some time, a few years, but it was this falling through life without a foundation that enabled me to find myself. That sounds so wanky, but it’s the best I can do to describe it! What I’m saying is that losing the faith of believing that some outside force or thing would guide me through the future…’that I would one day stumble upon a place in the world that felt like home’, I began to realize instead that ‘home’ was actually already inside me and had always been there, that it didn’t matter where I physically was in the world. I had been looking outside for something that I didn’t realize was already within me. To put it in the most basic way, I learnt that what I had been previously seeking and expecting to come from an outside source or place, namely guidance/love/nurturing/oneness/peace, is actually found within myself. It was a slow realization that no matter what happens in my life, happens to me, I will always have myself so I will always be OK. Once you get to know yourself well, understand yourself, the way you think and why you think that way and then learn to heal and forgive yourself and teach yourself new and better ways to be, love yourself….(keep it clean! :D), then all other decisions, choices and the direction you take in life are EASY.

It’s taken a few years, but I know that I can face and deal with whatever life throws my way. I’m no longer scared about the future and the unknowns, in fact it’s the opposite…I’m excited and enthusiastic about the future and the unknowns. That doesn’t mean I don’t get sad, or I don’t feel fear or any other negative feelings, I do, but I know how to deal with those feelings now. I let them be, I feel them, and then I reason them out in my head and let them go. Sometimes they return again and the process is repeated, and sometimes those feelings lead to making a change in order to make things better. But what I’m trying to get across is that I no longer feel lost and still searching for that place that feels like home. The inner peace that has come through getting to know myself better has filled the gap and made me feel like I’ve found my home. And now that I’ve found that home within myself, I can get on with enjoying my life and all of the choices that come along with that are eternally easier.

So from waking up to the sound of puking to trying to sum up the meaning of my life in less than 3 pages, I believe that’s enough for today! I hope this has been useful in some way to someone, I know it was somewhat therapeutic for me at least.

As Ellen would say, ‘Be kind to one another.’

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