I’ve got a sensitive soul but a fiery heart and a longing for adventure. I feel most alive when my senses are sparked, my emotions are tested and my days are unpredictable. Maybe that’s why I’ve been having such a hard time answering the question of the hour. “Where do you plan to settle?”
It’s no secret that I’ve been living across the world from where I grew up for the past 3 years. Australia is a place where I’ve spent a significant amount of time and without doubt, I’ve grown to love it. I’ve been lucky enough to come back to Canada once a year within that time. I find that being away from family and friends who I’ve spent years building memories and strong relationships with, can spark a nostalgic sort of feeling. Coming home is one way of easing it. However, the concept of home and what that means to me, has seemingly started to change overtime.
Perhaps what I enjoy most about coming back to Canada is the sense of comfort I feel from being surrounded by the familiar. When you travel a lot, familiarity can feel like a luxury. I know the people, I know the streets, I know the food, and I know the smells. My bedroom at my parents’ house still has the same scent and I sleep like a baby there. The sunset at my cottage is a continuous reminder of my childhood at the lake with my family and grandparents. Driving down the highway sparks memories of early days when I first got my driver’s licence. Walking through the bush always makes me think of our once amazing dog, Molly.
Each time I come home, the experience is different, the lessons are different. While I’m fully aware of the many reasons that I appreciate coming back, I’ve also been reminded of the reasons why I left in the first place.
For some, being in one place brings contentment and makes the most sense. You build contacts, relationships, and security. A recipe for success! But I’m not sure I’m cut for that at this point? I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been asked where I plan to settle, Australia or Canada? The truth is, the whole idea of settling anywhere is something that I can’t really picture for myself right now. I’m starting to believe that for me, “home” might evolve into a few different places. Coming back to Canada felt like home, but so did coming back to Australia and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to stop there.
My sense of home is seemingly attached to the feeling of warmth, comfort and meaning rather than the place itself. Regardless of where I am, I can carry that with me. Like Oliver Wendell wrote, “Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
Thanks for reading!
Interesting reflection. Clearly you’re midway along your path of self discovery. Walking the earth in search of places to call home is synonymous with searching for reflections of yourself in each of those places, if only to create your own identity from that collage of reflections of yourself. You may never settle on one place, but I think you will in time. As you get older, the search becomes less important than pulling something tangible from it. Thus as your period of self discovery evolves, you may finally settle on a place whether it be the paradise you seek or not. You may find this article interesting at this juncture in your life: http://markmanson.net/four-stages-of-life
Thanks Dan! Good point, the time may come when I know where I need to be, but at this stage I’m excited to leave it open ended.
It’s really interesting reading this cause it’s as if I wrote these words myself 5 years ago! lol I never thought I’d “settle down” (although I did know Australia was more for me than Canada) but it’s amazing how much has changed in 5 years. I still long to travel to far off places & miss those days of spontaneity & jet-setting at the spur of the moment…but there’s another feeling that’s hit me in the last few years & that’s one of belonging. Belonging to a place, a person, a lifestyle…I don’t know. It’s very different from how I imagined I’d become & had someone said to me 5 years ago that I’d be where I’m at now I wouldn’t have believed it! But I’m happy…in a different way than I was then & I know that free spirit is still & will forever be, inside me. 🙂 I’m so curious to see where you’ll be in 5 years haha. I just hope it’s somewhere near me. 😉 xx
Haha I love how you threw that last line in there. Yea it’s hard to imagine something for yourself when you aren’t in the head space to visualise it. Perhaps I will have that same belonging you speak of at some point. It’s quite possible I’ll find my place of calling – who knows when? It’s true, I can see that you’re at peace with yourself and with where you live, congrats on that Jas!