We landed back in Detroit, to the cold and snow, and some of our group were happy to be home, and to see their loved ones. Others, not so much. “This isn’t home,” said one of our group. The place we had just been, a spiritual place, she felt, was more home to her than where her clothing and books reside.
My eldest son is like this, too. When we visited Sedona for his 10th birthday, he spent much of the time wishing we could up and move to Sedona. Yes, it’s a spiritual place, I said, and breathtakingly beautiful. But if we lived there all the time, would we see its specialness?
Some people believe that yes, in fact, we would immerse in the spiritual qualities of whatever “other” place is more spiritual than here.
I disagree. The whole reason we can find spirituality and peace and inspiration when we travel is that we are freed from all the routine obligations and responsibilities and to-dos of our daily life. In India recently, I couldn’t get work done if I had wanted to – the time was upside down and the wifi was spotty!
I love to travel. I love exploring new places and discovering myself in those places. Being outside, taking things slow, wandering up a path to see where it leads, hiking unfamiliar trails. I love seeing the same sunrise and sunset from a different window.
I love tasting local foods, and learning about how people live wherever I am. I love smelling the air, even if it contains garbage or sewage in its scent, if only to know that I am eminently alive and this life is incredible and wondrous and full of excitement.
And I am always grateful to return home, even if I have loved every minute of the time I’ve spent away. I no longer miss people in my life when I travel because I am so present when on the road. I know we will reconvene before long, and this time is fleeting, this adventure, this pursuit of knowledge and connection.
So when I do return home, it’s with enthusiasm for the connections and knowledge here, the familiar, the routine. The balance is the gift. Go away and be free; come home and be organized. The balance is the gift.
This is my home. I live in a house in a suburb of Detroit and I like my furniture and my paint colors and my clothing on the hangers and the jewelry in the boxes.
But really, I’m mistaken in saying all that. Those are details on the surface of my life. My home is wherever I am, so if it’s India for two weeks, I am there wholly during that time, and if it’s Sedona with friends for five days, same.
When Dan and I go to Maine in a few months to celebrate our third anniversary, I will love every minute, regardless of weather or what we buy or what we do. Just because it’s a new place, undiscovered, and I am new in it.
The constant is the self. Me. The living, breathing soul within me, who sees and notices and hears and tastes. That’s why when we travel or when we return, we are always home.