I’ve been traveling now for 3 weeks. Some people can’t imagine being gone this long let alone the 10 weeks I have planned. Others dream of traveling for a couple of months or more, but feel they can’t due to work and family obligations. For me, it’s my goal – location independent business and lifestyle. For you see, being on the road is a comfort to me. Many people don’t understand this. Their comfort is home, the familiar. Not me. I seem to be most at home when I’m not at home. Most folks think of home as the place they live, spending most of their time there. It’s where family and friends are. It’s where they have roots or connections.
This concept of home has baffled me. I suppose it’s because I’ve never really felt at home in the place that I should feel at home. I remember a moment in July 2011. I had been traveling for the first time long term, about 3 months. I was in Antalya, Turkey on a very hot summer night, sitting out front of the carpet shop owned by new friends, Aytic and Mehmet, brothers. Selim, their young worker, was sitting out on the pedestrian lane too. We watched the tourists and locals alike walking by. A young, blonde girl walked by with her wheelie bag, clacking its way across the cobblestone street. Mehmet, called to her, “Where are you going?” She turned around, with a warm, knowing smile and replied, “Home”. With that one word I was thrown into a tizzy. I had actually just that very day booked my flight to go back home to Cincinnati. But, as she said it, with that look on her face that implied how happy she was, I realized that I wasn’t going home. It occurred to me that I was already home – out here in this great big world. At this moment it was Antalya, but the next week it was Bozburun, Turkey, then it was Dublin, Ireland. Currently, home is San Vigilio di Marebbe, Italy. Why am I more comfortable in Italy or Turkey or Ireland than I am in my own town and country?
I’m not sure I have an answer to this. I do know that I am someone who loves to constantly explore and learn. I have been blessed or cursed (depending on your point of view) with an insatiable curiosity and wanderlust. Home is wherever I happen to be. I make friends easily and am comfortable with myself – in my own company.
I know not everyone gets this, but it is who I am. That trip a little over 3 years ago proved to me that I’m a bit of a vagabond, a wanderer. It doesn’t mean I’m irresponsible or that I “need to grow up”. In fact, I believe it just proves that I fully know who I am and what I want out of life. Yes, I want to hold a steady job. And I do have my own business, Wander Your Way, a personal travel planning business. But, I also want to explore this incredibly interesting world that we all live in. I want to meet new people who may not speak my language, but yet, we somehow understand each other. I want to smell new smells, foreign to my nose. I want to taste new food that I’d never dream of tasting in the US. I want to hear the church bells ringing or the call to prayer in small villages around the globe. I want to touch the hand of someone new, knowing I have made a new friend. I want to see this beautiful earth through new eyes – eyes that are connected to an open mind. I want to experience life. So, I’ll continue to travel…and be at home.