Where is home?

Where is home?

Some will declare ‘home is where the heart is’, and this is a hard statement to disagree with, for many , I suspect it is a given. Allow me to proffer ‘home is where you can be yourself’ as I’ve had difficulties reconciling the first statement to my own life.

 I often envy people who claim proudly ‘I’ve lived in this village all my life, my parents did too and my grandparents before them..’. Their words echo a personal sense of belonging and hint at an inherent belief that where they are now is where they are meant to be.

 You may be one of these people. For you, perhaps there is no point in venturing abroad, away from the sights and sounds of your hometown. Your daily surroundings are familiar and it would be far too risky and cause endless stress and worry to uproot and move away.

 The way of life, the local traditions, your friends and family and maybe even the trees, the gardens, the views, the climate and the cuisine have bound you forever. As every year passes, the probability of leaving it all behind must surely diminish.

 For me, this is a way of live which I don’t know. I’m not certain I had any control over it in any case. I’ve known for many years what it’s like to be a stranger, a foreigner, one who looks and acts a little differently. But I’ve grown into this rôle, I’ve learnt to go with the flow, to sip the various teas and lick the ice-cream flavours on offer in each town.

 After a while, I’ve found I no longer miss the place where I came from. There is no more the pang of homesickness nor the lure of the fish and chips. Is this the inevitable loss of roots, the severing of ties and realisation that I’ll forever be a wanderer?

 Oh we try to put down new markers, but we’re doomed to fail. This is the destiny of the hardcore adventurer. You see, it all begins quite innocently, the understanding being that one will roam and seek out fun, sun and a few snapshots for the album to show to children in years from then. But the lifestyle clotted like dried blood on the fabric of the naive debutant traveller. And now, he just can’t wash out the stains.

 So now I just don’t know where I belong. I’m here and I’m now and that’s all, even if I’m ‘over the hill’ in terms of relative youth. I’m not even sure if it all really matters in the grand scheme of things. This is the life I’ve chosen. Yes, I can attest that is what happens – you actually get what you want in some weird way. If you recall your inner wishes and desires from years passed and be honest with yourself, you would know what to expect.

 In the end, it’s not where I am but who I am which really counts. However to become who I am right now required me to pass through other places. But the me which dwelled in those locations wasn’t the same me as is here tapping at this keyboard.



Filed under Philosophy, Travel

14 responses to “Where is home?

  1. blissbait

    Good Lord. I can relate to so much of this beautiful writing that I wouldn’t even know where to begin. It’s at the end of a long day….I’ve got serious catching up to do and need to sleep soon. I may come back to articulate my appreciation specifically…or I may just let it suffice to say that….WOW. You’ve articulated how I feel PERFECTLY. My jaw is on the floor. In a good way. All that and a kick-ass new gravatar too! Damn. And before I trot off to catch up, I will say that You are still YOUNG. Thank You for Your brilliance, and Cheers and Namaste. 🙂

    • Hi Bliss!

      I’m basking in your praise here.. delighted you can relate to my sentiments too as you often run the risk on blogs of leaving the reader thinking ‘what the hell is he on about?’ if you go ‘off on one’.. I have to be careful to be succinct sometimes in my writing as I’m a bit of a lateral thinker which means whilst I know where I’m heading, others might not.. but now and again it all comes together & I guess it did for you.. and that is very satisfying to hear.. many thanks for reading & sharing your thoughts.. 🙂

  2. Hey Tigercity;

    I can relate to the above post and agree with Bliss’s comment.

    As you are aware, I deleted my blog and do not think I will be returning to that zone, so I’ll come and visit yours. 🙂

    I think I am going to like being a commenter.

    By the way, are you sure the person writing is not the same as the one before?

    I always thought that way, but upon reflection, the character is the same. We have learned a little more and adjusted a bit.

    • Hi Ich,

      glad you’re sticking around.. although I don’t think I’ll ever be as productive as yourself.. I only manage one post per couple of weeks and you were putting out around 3 per day.. still what you’ve taught me was to be more modest and less judgemental, I think you helped foster a sense of democracy & openness on your blog whilst at the same time being a place of excellent debate.

      Well perhaps it’s up to others now to try and carry on the tradition. That won’t be easy as you were very creative and prompted a lot of topics to be covered.

      Re the character in my post – perhaps through my own eyes I’m not the same but people who have known me for a long time might agree more with you.. it’s a matter of perception. Maybe it’s more my ‘behaviour in relation to others’, my ‘world view’ which have changed, does this mean then that essentially we can never really change our character? like the leopard and its spots..

  3. G’Day Tigercity,

    I too have moved my home a bit too, not one from country to the next but sometimes the diversity of this vast country can make it feel so ! I have lived in places that have not felt like “home”, and on reflection, I think it was because I did not feel a sense of connectedness with my environment or the people I co-habitated with. So for me I think that’s the key to “home”…feeling at one with my surrounds and those who share it with me. Actually, I think presently, this is the most “at home” I have felt in my entire life ! So thank you for prompting me to reflect and find another thing to be grateful for in my world today.

    I agree with Bliss…LOVE the new gravatar pic 🙂

    • G’day Colleen!

      You’re spot on there.. and as much as I wished for my life to ‘work’ in previous places, it just couldn’t as the surroundings and people didn’t really fit hand in glove with yours truly. I often found myself at a loose end, going on contemplative walks, getting out the house & looking at means to escape.. the escapes, at first temporary became more permanent, I was merely following my instinct.

      re the gravatar – was attempting to change that for ages but the program wouldn’t let me..!

  4. blissbait

    Hey tigercity!

    Love this just as much the second time around. This sentence:

    “So now I just don’t know where I belong. I’m here and I’m now and that’s all…” hits me very close to home. The home of my heart. While I have serious wanderlust and jet off when finances allow (it’s been a while!), I’ve lived a very socially nomadic life. Where people around me have built up very solid social circles and groups of friends and dinner parties and get-togethers, I’ve lived my life VERY fully but have stayed on the outer edges. I’ve got a very strong Lone Wolf streak in me. The politics and gossipyness of groups does not interest me at all. However, I’ll be turning 46 soon (I laughed that You’re not feeling youthful! Lord!) and am craving people now. So am doing all I can to move into the tribe as it were. It’s an odd journey. Don’t even know if it’s possible at this point because everyone is pretty ‘tucked in’ and set. So I’ve been feeling VERY much like the new kid in town. Floating a little. Not sure where I belong on many levels….and just trying to breathe and love this moment and this NOW and all it is gifting me, which is A LOT!

    Thank You for sharing Your experience in such a lovely way. Cheers and Namaste. 🙂

    • blissbait

      OH! And Ichabod’s back!

    • Hi again Bliss,

      with the spirit & energy you undoubtedly possess and project through your art, I’m sure you manage to fit in to new communities pretty well…

      I must admit that I can be a little gossipy sometimes but that’s between colleagues.. I too don’t mind being alone, I’m quite independent but when i feel the need to be amongst people I usually find them.. this special place serves glasses of gold..

  5. Strange you raise this subject for I did too, only last week, in class. The best answer for me was: ‘Home is where you feel free to walk naked’. That kinda summed it up nicely. Feeling free and uninhibited, with no exterior covers, make-ups, masks or disguises – just happy and content to be the ‘me’.
    Still, this ‘me’ is also a social ‘me’ embedded in a social environment which, supposedly, is one of our choosing. And there’s the rub: Is it? Moving around so much often makes one feel on the social margins for it takes time to put down roots.
    I used to romanticize the life of a hobo, something gained from listening to too much blues and Led Zepellin, but the reality is very different from the dream. And remember Jonathon Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach) who taught us not to get bogged down in day-to-day pecking orders and trivialities, but to fly free. Very ’70s.
    Now I do questions these ideas and wonder whether having become a ‘fully integrated into some solid social structure or institution’, ‘me’, would not have been better.
    So, I think of the ‘me’ in situations where I feel most as ease: Naked at home, up in the mountains, in the pub with friends, leading a classroom, alone with the wife – and think of all these places as ‘home’. That too is where to find my heart.

    • Do you like pubs? Wow there’s a coincidence.. cough cough..

      No seriously.. this has developed into an ‘integrated community member’ vs ‘free spirited wanderer’ discussion.. I wonder how often those who are sewn into the social fabric of family circles and close knit friends feel the urge to take a breather?

      With the passing of time and getting older the risks involved and the fear of change must dampen people’s courage (or madness!) to take the plunge and venture out into the unknown again..

  6. Ms Understood

    A very interesting discussion you’ve got going on here, Tiger. I’ve often grappled with the question myself. What I’ve found is that when you move to a new place, you’re a constant observer. Particularly if you don’t speak the same language. So you observe how people do things, what oddities they put in their mouths, how they interact. All this, slightly from afar. That distance is there because first of all you probably understand next to nothing at the beginning, but it’s maybe there also as a safety belt, to convince your own self that you are fleeting, in-transit. It’s a comforting feeling knowing you’re only passing. What I’ve found is the more I’ve stayed in a place, the more I’ve realised that no, this isn’t a fleeting moment. It’s become my life, and I need to invest in it more. Invest in a sense of community, that is. Join stuff. Get badges. And instead of constantly observing and questioning – say stuff. The other week I challenged myself to make it through a day without asking any questions. You get that habit from being on the periphery too much. I got to 10 o’clock…

  7. Tu ecris pour toi, et pour les gens qui ont la sensibilité de te lire et d’être touchés par tes mots, tes chansons… alors en retour, juste t’offrir ces mots.
    Un espace dans le temps s’est ouvert dans l’immeuble, une fenêtre sur un extérieur qui n’a de couleurs que le regard qui s’y porte. Il y nait l’instant de secondes ou d’heures remplies de merveilles instantanées. Rien ne se fige, tout est progrès, tout est signe de liberté, se dire dans le non jugement qui l’on est, à l’abris des regards indiscrets, c’est ce secret qui se partage en connivence du silence qui l’entoure. Dans les simples moments où ces deux êtres se croisent, se vivent… dans l’instant d’un présent. you welcome

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