Someone once said to me that “Home is where the heart is”. I’m sure that Elvis said it too, and probably people far before his time, but the point is, it’s a pretty common expression. It’s also a concept that I have long understood on a superficial level, but have only just come to feel as a truth in my life. After doing a very mild amount of Googling, I was kindly provided with the explanation of “Your home will always be the place for which you feel the deepest affection, no matter where you are”.
In Perth, I still return to the house that I grew up in. Aside from my travels, I have lived there my whole life, first with my family, and now just with my mum. There is no doubting that I have a deep attachment to this home. It is where I grew up with my sister, where we created dance routines on summer holidays, where mum warmed up our school shirts in front of the heater on winter mornings, where I’ve had (and still have) many pets that I adore, and insist on showing everyone pictures of when I travel. It is a place that hosts an incredible number of memories, where every mark on the wall and chip in a table tells a story. In many ways it will always be my home. But it is not where my heart lies.
Right now I am living in a beautiful little town in the South of New Zealand called Tekapo. I’ve just passed the 5 month mark of my time here, and honestly, I have loved every single moment. It has been an incredible experience of growth, in which everything I have here has been cultivated by myself and my actions. It is the first time I’ve ever felt a real sense of ownership of my life. This fierce need for independence is a very typical Aquarian trait, and one that I’ve learned to live with and enjoy as it’s led me to so many different places.
The notion of needing to have my heart and home coincide bothered me for awhile. I almost started to feel doomed to wander the planet (which sounds so horrible right?), forever quantifying and qualifying places until I would eventually find home. I got caught up in too many considerations of the end game that I was forgetting what was right in front of me. The need to have your current plans fit into the “bigger picture” can feel practical, but it is also often accompanied by stress, and can heavily detract from the present. Much of the beauty of travel is being able to experience a new place, a new culture, and to then learn and grow from this space through your lessons and interactions. So wherever you are, embrace the now, and know that home doesn’t have to be a place. The greatest lesson that my time between Perth and New Zealand has taught me is that home is indeed where the heart is. It is inside of you.
The space that you create within yourself is the home in which you will live each and every day. The external settings that you choose to be a part of can stimulate growth and joy, but remember that these places are devoid of personal meaning without you to give it depth. So first and foremost, care for your home. Practice the things that you love and make you feel whole, whether that’s travelling, painting, writing, hiking, taking long baths, going to brunch with your friends, or reading a good book. Understand that the time you invest in yourself is far more precious than time spent elsewhere. Appreciate the inherent qualities that you bring to the table, because giving people a glimpse of that is allowing them to peek through the window to your soul, and into your home.
“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again” – Rumi