This week marks the release of a book I've been looking forward to reading since I found out it was being written. At Home in the World is a memoir of a family's year-long journey around the globe and Tsh, the author, is a firm believer that being a homebody full of wanderlust actually makes complete sense! I can definitely relate to that feeling. Read more about the book here and watch the video trailer here (it gives me shivers).
I'm not done the book yet, I'm savouring it a few chapters at a time. But in celebration of it's release I thought I'd post a few thoughts of my own about home.
What's this picture got to do with home? Well, it was taken in my home city but more than that it's the feeling I was trying to capture as a final assignment for a photography course I took a couple years ago. Beyond the "I need to have something for my final assignment" motivation I decided to portray "home" as I was just about to head off to sea for 5 months and had been thinking a lot about what home meant to me. What do I see here that makes me think of home? The warmth provided by the sun, the groundedness of the trees, a table for a good meal with family or friends, a place to watch the world go by, a sense of peace. I hadn't looked at this photo for a while and as soon as I did I was transported to that time of my life, when the tug of home was vying with the pull of traveling the world and how I was soaking up every last moment of that wonderful place called home.
This picture got tagged as #homeawayfromhome as this ship was my home for many months. For a while I was spending just as much time here as in my conventional home. In a foreign country a little familiarity is all you need for a sense of home to begin. After exploring new cities the sight of this ship I was calling home - with my bunk and belongings and friends - was most welcome. Whatever I'd experienced that day I knew where I fit in here: what my role was, people who I wouldn't have to introduce myself to and where to find a snack or a quiet corner to escape to.
Remember that table in the first picture? Here's another table, this one surrounded by loved ones. The dishes aren't fancy, the furniture got moved around to accommodate everyone, the food was prepared with love and as I took this shot I thought "this is what I missed when I was away. This is the epitome of home." My heart was full of warm-fuzzies.
For me, home is not so much a specific place as a feeling. Somewhere you can relax into the familiar, where you know what's in the cupboards and what's behind each door. Where you don't have to explain who you are or where you're from. Somewhere you are known and loved and belong whether around a table like this or in line at customs when you hear those wonderful words, "welcome home."