‘Home’ is a very subjective word for me. Having moved a lot as a child and having lived all over the world since I was 18, home has either meant nothing, a house, a cottage, a mansion, an estate, a bed, a backpack, a desire, a hotel, a beach, a tent, a greyhound bus, a suitcase, an airport lounge, a sleeping bag, my mum’s flat is or simply where my bills are sent to.
Perhaps it’s because of all the different meanings and constant personal confusion that ‘home’ has always been a very powerful word for me. It’s a word I constantly try to define and find long-lasting meaning for. I’ve often tried to create beautiful ‘homes’ yet I’m hardly in them or tend to move frequently away from them. I’ve come from different homes and different countries yet never refer to them as ‘home’ (I tend to say I’m a mutt; from all over, a mixture of a lot of things but no real belonging to anywhere).
The truth is, that although I long for a real sense of physical home and belonging, the vagabond in me will almost always equate home to a suitcase and where my head is that night. And with all the travel that is to begin, that train of thought won’t be derailed anytime soon.
On Tuesday I leave for Copenhagen where I’ll be spending time with my mum (Tivoli opening day! Victor Cafe! Horse ride through the Deer Park!) before heading out to various family homes in the country for visits and finally getting to see the inside of an old family home. So home will be a hotel in the city, a farmstay in the country, a spare room at my cousins and end with as a summer house on Fyn.
Then I’m off to the UK; part business and part pleasure. Having lived there and having spent a great deal of time in London, I’ve had to find ways to get excited about going back (a certain wedding helps). This year, I’m determined to ride a bike through Hyde Park, partake in real afternoon tea again and of course finally see the British Anthropologie. I’ve picked out what I’m hoping will be a fantastic hotel; something that during my weekend in London I can call home (it’s supposed to feel like one, more on that to come).
After the UK, I’m headed to Karlsruhe in Southwest Germany. Having never been there before I’m hoping that amidst all the business there will be time for a little sightseeing so that between the hotel and office, a cafe or park bench can be home. Spring in Europe is a very rare site for me as I’m usually there in the midst of February’s winter for my birthday. So blooms, milder temps and hopefully sun will be a welcomed site indeed. I just don’t want to miss it.
And then back to America on May 06th, specifically San Francisco, where home will be a guest bed for awhile before heading back to my little cottage the following weekend.
That’s a lot of travel, especially after just having spent almost two weeks calling the Driskill Hotel in Austin my home. And all this travel has me thinking (as travel usually does) – what is home – is it a place or a feeling? Is it where you were born, the place you go back to or whereever you are in this moment? Is home temporary (meaning, it can change each night – I always say, “Going home” even when talking about a hotel) or long lasting (you think of your physical home you live in now). Is home more than a memory, a birthplace, a suitcase, family?
For me, home is always just where I tend to be whether it’s in a hotel with two suitcases or my cottage by the sea. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t had grounding or maybe it’s because I make myself feel at home when I travel by taking and doing familiar/calming things (my favourite tea in the morning to get me going, Lush bubble bars for a nightly unwinding bath, a couple of friends for company, a candle, my camera/computer to putter with, a stack of glossy mags for reading and favourite clothes to feel good in).
So the next several weeks I’ll be calling two suitcases and a myriad of places home. What about you?