Don’t’ we all have this strong sense of belonging, to a place, to a group of people or to an idea? I started to feel it more during university time, and maybe it was because of the university theatre group, or the social clubs, maybe the activities, lifestyle or other purposes. With time and while I was traveling, I started to wonder more about the real sense of belonging and defining home?
Finding A “Place” to call Home
Normally, an average person is interested to belong to an idea, a group of people or a place. It kind of feels complete when you do. What about home? Usually, one’s home is a winner when it comes to belonging to a place. Although homes started as shelters for protection against the unknown or from risks, risk not being the norm, as you are not always experiencing a risky situation, but there is a possibility that it could happen any moment.
So my thoughts at this phase were kind of set on “the human’s home is the place where one belongs”. If you don’t have a place to go to or something to do, you go home. When you are tired you go home. And when you are done with your achievements you go home. At home you keep all your belongings; being of great value to you or not, but that’s where you keep them. Those belongings integrate with the physical home space and become part of it, and both space and the belongings become a bit more in-depth description of what a home is. But yet, that was only the beginning of the search…
Home, Nature, Location, and People
What about animals? When it comes to animals or birds or even trees, humans use the word home connected to the Jungle, the Ocean, the Desert or the Mountains. Humans would state it like this “The Amazon is home for the Jaguar”. Fancy Jaguar, what a gigantic home in comparison to any human! Also worth mentioning that unlike many creatures I have encountered on my journeys, humans don’t really share home space.
The home idea could be used as a reference point for measuring things in our daily life. We use our home location as the start point to measure distance, for example, I once told a find “I might not be able to visit you today, because you live far away” and that was understood, was definitely referring to “.. far away from home”.
What about people and emotions? Home is where the family is, where friends are, partners and sometimes it is even the emotion you have for a person that could be considered home. “I love this person as much as I love my brother”, love to brother being the home reference point.
When I was in Kenya, visiting the Masai Mara, I found out that a Masai kid walks every day to school across the open savanna fields. The kid could easily be attacked by a lion, while it does not happen commonly! The Masai kid believes that the wild savannah is his home. Home here is not a safe shelter; it could be an emotion of belonging.
Traveling to Find Home
While traveling to a new destination, sometimes at the beginning at the beginning of my travels, I could get disoriented or distracted but with time, I started to feel things differently.
Traveling made me believe that the world is my home. I replaced the little space with the big world just like the lion in the wild. I believe that traveling will make you belong to many beaches, cities and mountains. You will connect with other people and learn new traditions that would feel like home to you one day.
Travel made me see the idea of home not just as a safe place I belong to, but also as a gateway. I no longer measure distances with my home location, I measure it now with the height of the summits, the location of sights I admire and the cities I enjoyed. Traveling expands your map, your emotions and even people you like to be with. Home then turns into a larger space concept than just a corner you had one day. Home becomes also the wonders inside your mind you’ll live with, the memories you created and the great things you have achieved one day on the road.
Traveling can teach you new things about the homeland or the place you came from. It will allow you to see it from a different perspective and learn new values when you reflect back. Hiking somewhere in nature could release your thoughts about your homeland, people you miss and see your whole life from different angles. The real belonging for me now expanded to include, earth, ideas, and mankind, no more a single space, one idea or a specific group of people.
Travel to replace a small space with the entire world, limit your material belongings in the smallest possible bag and try the freedom of ease. Fill yourself with new wonders, cultures and meet new people. Maybe a life partner could either tag along or be missed for a change
I would be happy to hear your ideas and experiences, please share your thoughts!