What it means to go 'home'
As I sit here staring up at the moon from our balcony north of downtown Sevilla, Spain, I wonder what it might look like at "home." On the other side of the world, will the moon be fuller or smaller? Will the sky be cloudier from there, or clearer than ever? I don’t know. It's only been nine months, but I truly don’t know how it will look. What I do know, however, is my life has changed since I stared up at the moon from across the ocean. And I know it has for the better.
Tomorrow is our first flight home after nine straight months in Europe. It is a bittersweet moment. I am so excited to see our family, but in this moment, I find myself questioning what this notion of “going home” truly means.
Home has now become a different concept to me and my family. I've found myself contemplating its meaning ever since we left. If you ask me what “home” truly means, I would say it fits in my backpack. It walks with that backpack, holding my daughter in one arm and clutching my husband's hand with the other. It’s where my rump rests, and where I lay my head at night. It’s where I cook meals for my travel buddies, where I wash our possessions, where I work, and where I play. It's not a physical place anymore, but a spiritual one.
I’ve been trying to put these thoughts into words for quite some time. I guess our last night in Europe, for now, is a good time to start…
You see, my parents are divorced and live away from where I was raised. The same thing is true for my husband. For our daughter? Well, she was born in San Diego where my husband and I planned to nurture our roots before we started our nomadic journey.
Now after so many months abroad, as you can tell, I’m having a hard time declaring “we’re going home.”
I want to say that I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while. I could blame it on Spain and its inviting culture. I could blame it on being burnt out by traveling for nine months on end. I could blame it on raising a toddler and the adjustment to parenting life. I could blame it on anything… but honestly, it’s none of these things.
Living nomadically, ironically, has made me live for the present. It’s all about taking every second in as if it’s my last. It’s about this never-ending drive to seek and find something bigger than myself. It’s about climbing out of my comfort zone, reaching for the unknown, and figuring out what truly matters.
And what does truly matter? What matters is having a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and people I love supporting my decisions along the way. Whether that roof is someone else’s or my families', it doesn't matter. Whether the clothes I wear and wash are stuffed in suitcases or in dresser drawers, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I truly believe and that the people I love fully support the decisions I make for my family or not. That is what matters. And it’s the only thing that matters.
Why? Because this life makes us happy. Very happy.
I know the moon on the other side of the world will look the same, bright some nights and hidden behind cloudy skies on others. But when I return home I will be someone different. And that’s okay. In fact, that was the goal all along. Because we all need new and unique perspectives to show us what path forward is worth our while.