“Home is wherever you hang your hat.”
These are the words I used on the map which chronicled my journey two years ago, when I followed in the footsteps of my favorite book, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay. You can read all about those travels under the Enchanted Summer heading.
And now here I am again, about to put to the test that adage I find so reassuring. I’m getting ready to take off and see as much of the world as I can manage, now that the nomad spirit has a firm grip on my senses. Two years of living on the road, out of suitcases, in various locales around the US and Europe, I’ve found that it has become my normal. And the idea of settling down in one place is becoming a more remote and less appealing option.
In the past twenty-four months, I have lived in and put down roots in a number of places which now feel like home whenever I return to them. It is a blessing, but it comes at a price: the goodbyes.
When I first started my travels, I read articles and blogs by other nomads, and one word of warning stayed with me, which was that there would be a lot of goodbyes. I’ve found it to be acutely so on a number of occasions, particularly these last few weeks. In the past month, I’ve had to say goodbyes to friends and loved ones in Florida, California, Missouri and New York, all with a vague promise of seeing them again at some unknown point. The partings have come hard and in rapid succession, and truth be told, I’m still reeling a bit from them as I take the first steps of my new journey.
But I know, waiting on the other side of the Atlantic are more friends and loved ones, with hellos and welcome homes. Having that fills me with the greatest excitement and joy.
In a year’s time, I suspect I will start behaving like a grown-up, settle down somewhere and get a proper job. I had been wrestling with this idea for a few months, struggling to decide where my heart will live. But I’ve come to understand that there is no knowing this right now, because I have no idea what the next twelve months will bring into my life. And that’s absolutely, perfectly fine.
These last few years have taught me that “I don’t know” are magical words, because they mean anything is possible.
So now it’s time to go see what’s out there, and probably put down a few more roots here and there along the way. Because home is wherever you hang your hat.