On Finding A Place To Call Home

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Photo Credit: Carla Ten Eyck

 

I remember standing in my elementary school library when I was younger, maybe 6 or 7, looking through all the books that had anything to do with far away lands and unfamiliar cultures. Astonished that there was so much more to the world than my small hometown.

Luckily my family was interested in seeing more of the world too and my childhood years consisted of road trips throughout the U.S. and a couple down to Mexico. How my grandparents survived those long hours driving with three kids crammed in the back seat is still beyond me. I guess you can say that’s where it all began—my quest for seeing and experiencing more.

Fast forward to current day. I’m beginning to find that the experiences I’ve collected over the years have begun to shape me into a different person, someone I’m really starting to enjoy. Which, I believe, is one of the most beautiful things about travel. But with that being said it’s starting to feel like the place I’ve always called home no longer feels that way to me anymore.

Is This Home Anymore?

Whether I’m taking off for the beaches of Costa Rica, getting lost in the sheer beauty of Italy or making peace with myself in the mountains of Thailand, it has always been good to come home. Home has always meant comfort, security, and familiarity. But as I’ve started getting a taste of what its like to live and travel throughout places that don’t share the same culture or language it’s starting to feel like there’s no turning back from that way of life. I want more of that.

Coming home this time around, after being away for over a year, feels different. Life has been so…comfortable for the past few months. Of course, I’m grateful to have friends and family that I love dearly to come home to but I can’t help feel myself starting to turn static the more time passes by. I feel unsettled and restless. Call me impatient or maybe I just have a severe case of wanderlust, whatever it is, I’m ready to take off again.

So What Now?

I’ve known for a while now that Wisconsin would never be where I ‘settled down’ but only recently has it really hit me—why do I keep coming back and settling in then? To restart, save money for more travel, relish in the comforts of home? Yes. But then I think of how much I’ve put into pushing myself out of my comfort zone and ask “Isn’t it time to use that and fuel the fire, to find a place to call home, a place that suits the type of life you want to live?”

It seems apparent it’s time to start a new chapter. One that has been molding itself into shape for the past couple years.  So I’m faced with the ‘now, what?’ or more so, ‘now, where?’ I’ve been running through a list of places I’ve always imagined calling home—Argentina, Spain, New Zealand. The wheels are spinning, ideas forming, research being done.

There’s also a small part of me that can’t help but wonder if anywhere will ever quite feel like home. Will there ever be a place that satisfies my needs? More importantly what exactly does home mean to me? Maybe it’s not even a place, but more so a collection of places, people, feelings and experiences that I keep within myself.

I suppose the only way for this to be answered is to seek and find out. The vision is a bit blurry for what’s coming next but I’m striving to trust—in myself, my intuition and whatever feels right in my heart.  Something big is in the works though, I know that much.

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