The concept of home for this twenty something has been in constant flux these last few years. When we leave home as teenagers, we’re reminded that ‘home is where the heart is,’ an attempt to hold on to what once was, not anticipating what was yet to come. As I’ve grown, that line has resonated in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but wonder, how can home be where the heart is when my heart is in a million places at once?
For many of us, what once comprised home in our young minds no longer exists. When parts of our earlier years become fragmented, home often becomes something more of a distant memory, or rather, a future goal that you will one day give your own children.
As a child, you think home will always be one house, one family, one familiar place that will forever be within arm’s reach. The last few chapters of my life have proved to my young self how wrong I was. When I left my hometown in 2012, I was my polar opposite to who I am now. I entered a world that lacked the safety net of my family and friends, and before long, I found myself making a home out of someone, not somewhere. Those who walk down that path will lose sight of who they are, or the person they were aspiring to be pretty quickly.
It wasn’t until I defied the fear of not having a place to call home, that I opened my eyes again. When I first jet off across the globe, I was warned that with the memories I’ll make – I’ll never feel completely home again. As soon as I discovered the strange feeling of leaving, yet again, missing someone, or somewhere, I knew that this was true. As every new destination sets a light something new within yourself. And you find yourself thinking about the person you are, and what means the most to you at that time, knowing that as you’re about to hit the next stop, you’ll never be this way again. It was like (and still is) flirting with the world. I would stay, but I have to go and love more memories like these. Because let’s be real, there’s nothing more that resonates home than a place that excites a sense of childlike wonder. To be in a foreign place where you’re unaware of the most simplest of things. A place where you’re making close friends just like during school. Somehow, you’re young again, you can’t communicate with the adults around you, hell you can’t even cross the road without the risk of being run over or flipped off by a local.
It was Travel that helped me find home again, even if it is temporary. It showed me that the fragmented heart I had for this world is exactly what has expanded my love so much greater than I ever thought possible. It wasn’t long after my fingertips dug deep into that little blue booklet that showed me home didn’t have to be something I had lost. In fact, it taught me that just because home was no longer a permanent address, didn’t mean that, that same love and memories didn’t exist.
Some may read temporary home and automatically associate it with someone who is lost or can’t find their way. But hey, here I am telling you it’s everything but. A temporary home is where I met strangers that turned into lifelong friends. It’s several hostels, beaches, bus stations, university classes and bars that filled a 14,000km gap in my heart, between distant memories, and wherever I end up.
As I sit in this week’s temporary home – a sun bed by the water, overlooking sun kissed pink mountain tops in Montenegro. I don’t feel lost. I know that someday I will arrive at a place that feels like more than a temporary home again, but until then, I’ll be trusting what my dreams are making me chase, knowing that the road will eventually lead me ‘home’.
– Haylee x