Why This Is Not A Travel Blog

Daily Prompt: There’s No Place Like Home

If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you?

Cover of "Leaving Home"

Cover of Leaving Home

The best nomadic life blog I’ve been fortunate enough to stumble across here in the blogging world is Adventures in Wonderland where Alison and Don chronicle their travels around the world.  I read it faithfully.  I love to see their amazing pictures, and learn things about the places they’ve been and the wonders they’ve seen.   If I had the opportunity to live a life like that, would I do it?

I’m not remotely brave enough to even consider it.  Preparing for a ten day guided tour took me a year and gave me anxiety attacks.  I’m glad I went, but what is up with all the stress involved for me when it comes to travelling?

Here are some true travel facts about me, to prove that I am not descended from nomads.

1.  I will never figure out how to pack a suitcase that doesn’t contain at least a dozen completely useless things that I should have left at home.  I need a separate bag for “just in case” items.  I go away for a weekend and it looks like I’m leaving home for good.

2.  When I was little I suffered from motion sickness.  I threw up in cars, even on short trips.   I can now ride in a back seat or on a bus or even a bumpy plane without a paper sack in front of my face – good news for my travel companions.  But that uneasy childhood feeling of dread before leaving on a trip has never left me.

3.  I am uncomfortable in strange places, strange climates, strange beds.

4.  I don’t like or trust strangers.  Because – they’re strangers.  Ergo, they must be strange.

5.  Foreign languages and accents baffle me. In my ears, even the English language can sometimes sound mysterious as hell.

6.  I don’t like to make decisions.  If we are at some crossroad and you are waiting for me to say which way we should go next, I hope you packed a lunch because we could be sitting here for a very long time.

A contemporary Tibetan nomadic tent near Namts...

A contemporary Tibetan nomadic tent near Namtso lake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I need a home base.  The best part of going somewhere for me is always the part where I’m heading home.  Home is where things are ordinary and familiar and mine.  Where I can make a huge mess and the only person who gets annoyed about it is me. Where the water doesn’t do weird things to my hair, and the soap doesn’t irritate my skin.  Where the food is easily identifiable and misplacing my passport is not a major worry.  Where recharging things doesn’t require complicated adapters and a brain.

Now for any of you few select lucky people reading this who are suddenly sceptical about this trip to Greece I’ve said I will make with you next year, don’t worry.  I take instructions really well.  If you say we are having fun, I will believe you and behave accordingly.  Tell me we are going shopping and I will follow you anywhere.  And I love to take pictures.  So I’m probably not the worst travel companion on earth.  I hope you feel reassured.

I know home is not simply one specific place, it’s a feeling of belonging and love and comfort, and I admire the nomadic people who are on an extraordinary adventure, and who can be at home no matter where they are.  They are amazing.  Travel and adventure-wise, they are the opposite of me.

Leaving and Going Home

Home is something I have a sense of – it’s not just a building that shelters my family and our possessions, or the geographic point on the map where I was born. It’s the place where I can walk around in my bare feet, make a big mess and say whatever I want. It’s where my heart feels at peace and people know who I am – and quite possibly love me anyway.

I’ve been to the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic (the one ocean I’ve crossed.) That’s a lot of physical distance covered, but how far I’ve made it away from ‘home’ is hard to measure.

Mostly the places I’ve travelled to have become my home. Maybe I just take home along with me wherever I go. When I leave my present home to travel to the other side of the country to visit family, I still call it going home, because that’s what it feels like. Even if it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where home is, I know when I’m going there.

I am a homebody, that’s for sure, despite all the nomadic wandering I’ve done. I’ve been homesick for different places, and the people who are there. Often my mind will go off on a million mile trip all by itself, but so far it’s always come back home. That’s the kind of ‘travel’ I prefer – the kind you do in a comfy chair with your eyes closed, confident that you’ll make it home in time for dinner.

The very best part of any other kind of travel, for me, has always been the part where I come back home, kick off my shoes, dump the contents of my suitcase on the bedroom floor and curl up in my very own bed.

Say these three little words to me and I will love you forever – “Let’s go home.”