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‘You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.’

Miriam Adeney

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I have packed up and left New York… again. And it was only a year ago that I left London, again moving house… and moving country. And in the midst of this next adventure into the unknown, I was ‘home’ briefly in July, visiting family and friends in Australia. So whilst I am excited about the possibilities ahead and without a physical address for the next few few months, in these times of change and uncertainty, I am, naturally, thinking a lot about the concept of ‘home’.

What is ‘home’? Where is my home? I’m sure everyone has their own concept but with my current experience of ‘limbo’, it’s something I am trying to work out for me. Does a home find you? Or do you need to make a place home?

I have lived overseas for 12 1/2  of the last 15 years. But I have moved address at least every 2 years during this time, lived and worked in several countries, and travelled in many more. I have never claimed to have migrated to a new country, a new ‘home’.  I get back to Australia about once a year to see family and friends – although have recently stopped referring to this as ‘going home’. When people ask me where my home is, I do struggle to come up with an answer.

A home is more than the physical structure, a home really is where the heart is. To me, home is about belonging. It’s about the people, the places, the passion. Is it possible to feel that in different places? Or maybe, as a friend and I were discussing last weekend, different parts of my heart can belong to different places… I guess until I work that out, or some particular place ‘finds’ me, I am going to keep on exploring!!

Anyone who has traveled with me comments on how quickly I make myself at home with the local cafe/restaurant/bar, getting to know the staff by name, and becoming a ‘regular’.  That is one way that I feel at home.

Even living in new York’s West Village, a ‘home day’ does not mean staying indoors, but relaxing in some of my favourite nearby places – coffee on the High Line, shopping at the Chelsea Market, brunch at Gottino…

And every time I return to Bali, upon entering Ubud’s Jazz Cafe, Ayu greets me – ‘Welcome to your home!’

I have spent the last week in Jakarta – I lived here from 2001-2003, and haven’t been back for at least 8 years. My first day out and about, navigating the traffic and mayhem that is Jakarta, I was surprised at how at home I felt!

To all those people out there who think this self-questioning might mean I’m ready to move back to Adelaide, I’m afraid not yet! I still have plenty of travelling to do! But if there’s some way I can create a more permanent home to come back to in between the adventures – that would be great!

I’m back in NY after a great trip to Sri Lanka. The photos here are some of my favourites.

And whilst I was only away 2 weeks, there’s always a period of ‘coming down’ from the high of travel.  Where suddenly everything that happened seems so far away and so long ago, and you’re caught back up in the necessities of work and everyday life. Fortunately the jet lag, annoying as it is, is a constant reminder of your travels that keeps you going mentally even as your body is physically exhausted.

Friends are interested in your trip, some more than others, but there is a limit to how many photos they will sit through, or how many stories they want to hear!

I like the person I am when I travel. I am more of a risk-taker. I’m more open to the possibilities. I am more patient with myself and with others. I feel less need to be so organized and planned; changes, uncertainties don’t frazzle me as much. I like the challenge. I learn new things, managing in different situations each day. I eat better. I sleep better. There is a balance – much needed to my otherwise busy and stressful life.

Even though it often takes me quite a few days in settle into holiday and travel mode – I have to get away from that feeling that there is always something I ‘should’ be doing – I come back refreshed, with goals and plans, trying to inject some of the balance I found into my ‘everyday’ life. I also try and work out how to hold onto the person I am traveling – the ‘me’ that I like and admire.

Don’t get me wrong – New York is an amazing place, and I recognize how special it is that I’ve had the opportunity to live here the last few years!

But then, there’s always the next trip to dream about and plan…