i’m not really sure how to start this one, all i know is that i need to write.
i’ve been home for a full two weeks now… and i must say reality is starting to sink in…
this one is for all the people who have travelled somewhere, whether it was entirely across the world, or two provinces over.
this is for those whose eyes have been opened to something greater something more amazing, and then after all of the amazing wonderful things you have witnessed, you’ve had to return back to your home base.
a term that keeps floating through my brain is
“home is where the heart is”
this… i believe is true.
home is indeed where the heart is…
this phrase has become tricky for me.
all i’ve ever known is that home is where you keep your belongings, home is where your bed is, your favourite dresses and shoes, your fully stocked kitchen,
your computer, your t.v.
i thought this was the definition of home.
i think i’ve mistaken this term for what home truly is.
home is where your heart is.
you won’t find my heart hanging in my closet with all my excessive amounts of clothing.
and next to my spices and herbs in my pantry, my heart will not be there either.
you won’t find my heart in my useless collection of dvd’s or board games.
you can try looking through my couch cushions,
but i guarantee you will only find a buck or two and maybe a lip balm that fell out of my pocket… oh and maybe ashley’s social insurance card…
side note: still on the hunt ash…
have you ever stopped for a second to ask yourself where your heart is?
(and to all my science junky friends,
anatomically… i know where my heart is don’t worry)
before you think about that, think about this first…
think of home as a feeling as opposed to a brick or stone structure that you pay for to conveniently store all your things.
think of home as someone, something, or someplace that has brought you the most joy. something, somewhere, or someone that feels like home.
so first ask yourself what home is.
is home your wife, or girlfriend, or husband, or partner, or child?
does that person allow you to be the most authentic version of yourself?
does that person epitomize everything you are as a being? do you find safety and reassurance in that person?
is home your favourite vacationing spot? does that cabin on the lake or rented home in florida or villa in tuscany (i wish), bring you the most joy?
does it make you feel whole as a person? is this your happy place? and when you leave this place do you feel that a part of you stays behind?
is home on your deck, where you sit and have a coffee in the morning? is home in your man cave where you have all of your favourite memorabilia and gadgets? maybe home for you is in bed with your partner.
home can be everywhere.
home can also be only one place.
when tor and i travelled through europe, we stayed in a flat in florence and i remember such a special moment we shared.
“it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, i’m at home when i’m with you.”
this was a super cheesy sentence that came out of my mouth when tori and i shared an embrace somewhere super romantic, like near the carousel in the city square with a sweet violinist playing in the background.
corny, i know.
but in all honesty, it’s the truth. this moment opened my eyes to so many greater things. we didn’t care about the hundreds of boxes we have in our basement filled with “things”
we also didn’t care about the excessive amounts of clothes that were collecting dust in our closets back “home.”
none of these thoughts were anywhere near the frontal parts of our brain.
all we were concerned about was if we had enough food, cash, and clothes to get us to our next spot… and from there, we could figure it out using the resources we had.
that for me,
and now that i’ve established what “home” is for me…
my next question remains.
is home indeed where my heart can be found?
i believe i can confidently answer this question by saying, yes.
home is so many things for me.
for others it may only be one.
home is tori.
home is cooper.
home is my mom and dad and sisters.
home is the sunflower fields of tuscany.
home is figuring out my next place to travel.
home is my amazing friends.
and to add to the list… my newest home is zimbabwe.
i left a large part of my heart behind in africa, which only means that home is found there too.
as previously mentioned, reality has certainly sunk in. perhaps “i’m back home” isn’t the right phrase in this situation, but rather “back into the swing of things.”
my time away has taught me so many lessons and has put so much into perspective for me.
it has taught me to be grateful for the materialistic things we are so privileged to have, and it has taught me how important actual human to human interaction is in the development of you as a person.
you can learn so much about yourself by just going out of your comfort zone.
and you will also learn how lucky you are to have the “home” that you have by doing these things.
navigating through 6 international airports of all different languages and cultures meant that it was the furthest thing from “home” for me.
i needed to be prepared to figure things out for myself.
i feel that i did just that.
and in exchange, i was able to figure out how fortunate and lucky i am to be placed where i am in this world.
if you’re struggling trying to figure out which home actually encases your heart, do yourself a favour, and find it.
shake things up a bit.
go on an adventure.
test your limits.
do something “crazy.”
the excitement, the nervousness, the anxiety, and then the joy you’ll feel
(in that order)
will be so worth it, i’m telling you.
i feel certain that in the moments where you’re in an unknown area, doing uncommon things, meeting unfamiliar people… you’ll be forced to figure out who you are.
and what an exciting thing that is.
now with all this talk of where home is and it’s importance, i must add one thing that may contradict or perhaps just put a different insight on the significance of home and how i foresee it.
being canadian while traveling abroad is pretty cool.
while in africa, i met a lady from london, a guy from singapore, a girl who was born in china and living in australia, a lady from new zealand, 6 girls from all over the states; california, new york, mississippi,georgia, l.a., a couple whom the girl was from germany and the guy was from switzerland- just to name a few…
and one of the coolest parts of my journey was hearing their thoughts and ideas of what
meant to them.
my home, meaning canada… the true north.
ranting and raving about how great our maple syrup is, and letting me know how handsome our prime minister is, and the locals who have never stepped foot outside of zimbabwe asking about what kind of wildlife we have in canada and the process of how syrup is tapped from our maple trees.
these things, so normal to us… but for them, so not the norm.
putting yourself in these kinds of situations where you’re forced to meet new people and live and work with new people, truly teaches you a lot about who you are as a person and where you come from.
i’ve been so fortunate to be able to have gone on the journeys that i have thus far, but please don’t tell me how lucky i am to have done this.
luck is the furthest thing that i have.
i’ve worked hard not just in a literal form, but i’ve worked hard on myself.
i’m the one who makes the decisions on what i am going to do. and if i want to pick up and go to africa for a month, then that’s exactly what i’m going to do.
but if you can take one thing away from this, i want you to know that you can too.
you have the ability to make it work.
if you don’t know where you feel most at home, then you owe it to yourself to figure out where or what home is for you.
as my plane touched down in toronto, departing from paris… i can’t even explain to you my excitement.
i made it.
i travelled half way across the world and back, all by myself.
the air was much colder than i had been used to,
but i was home.