We’re wrapping up our awesome midwestern vacation today and I’m feeling bummed. Totally psyched to get back to my amazing husband and to be “home” but also sad because I miss my old homes (Chicago and the way back when home, Lake Geneva). I’ll have more of a trip recap with adventures and photos soon. But right now I’m thinking about home.
We have a friend in Denver who likes to ask friends and strangers and dogs and babies the following question: if you had $100,000,000 and you could live anywhere you wanted, where would you call home? You can have vacation houses and travel all over the world, but where do you go back to? Where is your home?
I struggle with this because I keep thinking I’m just missing some awesome city full of culture and arts and restaurants and people I love and good architecture and weather that doesn’t suck 80% of the time. Maybe there are some cities in Europe or something that have most of those, but then they’re missing the most important part: people I love. And that’s what I kept coming back to this trip. As we went on a whirlwind tour of Chicago and Wisconsin in order to see as many people as possible, I thought about what it means to be home.
Home is a feeling of belonging. It’s being familiar with a place: knowing how to get places, the short cuts and tricks, giving a tourist directions. It’s just a sense you get in certain places that everything is right with the world. You feel excited to be there, yes, but more than that it’s a sense of calm. A sense of, “ah, I can relax now.” To me, home creates a largeness of soul. In a place I don’t know very well I feel small, like I’m stuck inside myself for safety or protection. But when you’re home you let your soul expand: you inhabit the closets and corners, the street signs and sidewalks. A place becomes a part of you and you a part of it.
Of course, the most important part of being home is being with family. So when I walk into our house in Denver tonight and I put Adeline to bed and then cuddle with David and our two beautiful cats and two crazy dogs, I will be home. In the most important and essential way, I will be home. But making a home half-way across the country from your family and friends is harder than just that. I’m making friends in Denver, but it’s taking time. And I’m still getting to know the city and the area. And if I had $100,000,000, would that be my home? I just don’t know.
So where would you be? What makes a place home for you?
- 5 tips for traveling with baby (momentsofexhilaration.com)