What is home for you?
Is it your family house in the suburbs or perhaps your tiny studio in a city? Is it the place you grew up in, your country? Is it a person or maybe a whole bunch of them? Is it your pet, your child or maybe your job?
What defines home for you? How do you feel when you are at home? What makes you feel that way?
The question of home has been on my mind a lot lately. I grew up having a relatively traditional one… well for the country and time I was born in. My grandma cooked all the meals and would be the first person I see in the morning before school and the first as I was back. My mom was present too, but for most part she had to work to keep bills paid and help my grandma with the groceries. For some part my dad was there too, but apart from some faded holiday memory snaps in my mind I cannot really tell what he did exactly. Difficult times I think, change of the regime, everyone trying to do something, to make something. A lot of them failing.
I think, perhaps that, had embedded in me the desire to accomplish something more. To create a new home for the family I already have and the one I one day hope to create.
I also think that I am definitely not unique in my thinking here, but where does this quest for the better home leaves us with the actual home?
I have been on a road so to speak for the past year and a half. At first I thought it will be so easy. I mean, I get to travel to some interesting places and stay in some nice hotels or apartments (usually work provides my accommodation if I don’t work in London) and save on actually having to pay rent. I mean I can’t complain and I am not. I am definitely lucky and very very grateful. However all this suitcase life got me missing… Little things at first: like using my favourite salt and pepper (I like the ones which you can grind yourself, pink Himalayan salt and fresh black pepper). It is silly of course and I can do without it, but it was just a beginning. It sparked something in me… Do I have to “do” without it?
If all I can possibly own has to fit into one suitcase, the contents of the suitcase have to represent home.
It is a kind of new idea I am playing around with now, but isn’t it right? I have always been fascinated by people who live in vans or very tiny houses, I have experienced that freedom in the past when walking Camino de Santiago and your whole pilgrim life has to be 10% of your body weight packed neatly into the backpack. So fitting my life into one suitcase seems like a middle ground between those.
I decided to create some sort of list of essentials which make me happy and comfortable and I will carry with me everywhere I go. So far I do not have a lot on my list. I want to treat it the same way one would treat obtaining a house. First you shop, you pick, you renovate, you decorate and then you live in it. And with that living comes more. That’s when the actual home is created, when you live freely and love how you live.
I think with my suitcase I am in a “decorating” / “living freely” stage. I recently purchased a dream catcher and made it my new travel essential, I am also planing to include some foods, like chia seeds and flaxseeds. When I am back in Bangkok I will get my hands on the perfect sesame seed oil I tasted there. It was something. I have been carrying books with me for a while, but I think now I will switch to audio and create more space for something else.
It is pretty fun and interesting figuring out how to fit all the love and life into one 30 kg suitcase. If you have any tips or ideas do let me know? What are the must haves for you? What makes you feel homey?
As I am finishing writing this, I realised that home for me consist of all the little things I can pack and take away with me. I am also learning, that a lot more can be achieved online these days. Dinner dates and hang outs with family, pilates classes and probably much more. All you need is a good wifi and a device, which is also very much packable into your hand carry!
I have been referring to myself as homeless in the past, due to the actual lack of permanent home, but now I want to correct myself. I am not homeless, I am homeful, because I aim to create a little home wherever I go.
Cheers with a glass full of homeful elephant!