Traveling Is To Go Home Eventually
I’m on the road this summer, and currently about two thirds done with my trip. It doesn’t matter if my travels are 10 months or 3 months, it’s always when I'm on the home stretch of the trip, that I feel an unfounded urge to wear mascara and high heels (two things I never travel with) and form a deep, profound gratitude for my country of origin.
A common question I receive as a frequent traveler, “what do you miss most while on the road?” and I suppose these longings reflect my answer.
I miss having a closet.
I miss the deep sense of belonging in being home.
Home has a plethora of definitions - no two alike potentially - but for me it’s being able to crack a joke and have a stranger get it versus looking at you like you’re an alien. Home humor is very, very difficult to translate and on the road I’m often just laughing at myself while begging the stranger to forget what I just said as I know the difficulty of decoding humor rooted in pop-culture or politics.
Home is where my roots are. I’ve blossomed all over the globe from Ecuador to Indonesia but my roots are in wild, wild Florida. I’m like one of those trees with the wispy seeds that have the potential to float for miles and miles, landing and sprouting in the strangest of places. I have sprouted and grown up in the strangest of places, traveling and falling in love with all corners of the globe. As I’m forever thankful for this opportunity, it has created a dull sense of consistent homesickness - for the home where my roots are, and then all of the places I’ve grown up.
Home is my mirror. It’s the most shiny, perfect mirror, providing me the clarity (that I’m often not ready for) on who I am. Have you ever heard the quote, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” Yes, my sentiments exactly. Home is where the friends are that know who I lost my virginity to. Home is where my parents are that have lived through every one of my identity shifts. Home is where my aunts and uncles and cousins are that remember what I looked like at 13.
Home wants to box me up, label me, and tell me who I am. I've moved away, experienced things I know I can never scratch the surface of sharing, and I'm yelling back to home, “THIS IS WHO I AM”. But home will show you who you are.
This is the beauty of those deep, grounded roots. I can move away to the farthest edges of my known world, and try, try, try so hard to be someone. To search for acceptance and belonging. To try everything. But the new sprouts are so new and fragile. Only my deep roots can remind me of my history and how much I’ve persevered through - the person I’ve become given the reflection of what I’ve grown from.