I struggle with the idea of “home”. For a very long time, aka the first 17 years of my life, I thought of my little community in Northern California nestled between the beach and the Redwoods as “home”. My family was there, my friends, everything I knew. My first year away from “home”, in the dorms at University, still felt like a foreign land, even after 10 months living there. But then a magical thing happened. I spend my second year studying abroad in France, and all of a sudden this little town across the globe became my home. A town I had never even heard of a year prior, was now the place I felt the most comfortable. The hardest part was coming “home” from… home. It was then that I realized “home” is not a place. It’s not a bed that holds the impression of my body after years of use. It’s not the familiar faces that I know and love waiting for me. It’s not even the soft squishy pillow that somehow has strands of my hair woven into the fabric (although I do still love that thing). No, home is simply a feeling. Its a comfort found within oneself to love your surroundings and feel comfortable wherever you find yourself placed. I try to keep this in mind in any new situation, although sometimes it’s more difficult than others. I have certain strategies that I employ to make myself feel more comfortable even when all comfort is lost.
As I begin this journey to travel and see the world, experience new sights, sounds, tastes, and smells, I’m searching for the small details that make each new location “home”. Perhaps my home is simply the skin that I live in. Perhaps my home is determined by where I feel the most comfortable and relaxed. Or perhaps my home is something completely different that I haven’t even realized yet. The search continues, but meanwhile I’m pretty happy right wherever I am 🙂