My longtime journey of finding a place called home
My longing for a place to call home
I want to feel at home! Where is it? How can I find it? Where do I belong? I’ve been asking myself these questions for a long time. I’m writing this as I’m sitting at the kitchen table in the small villa we’ve rented at the pacific coast in Costa Rica. We’ve been here for almost two months now.
When I let my gaze wander out of the window, I see a lot of trees. I also hear many kinds of birds singing. I might see a monkey chilling in the treetops. Or a toucan snacking some berries of his favorite kind. It’s the rainy season. This means that everything is green here. It also means that most days it starts to pour down rain between 4 and 6 pm and lasts all night long. In the mornings, around 5 am, we will wake up by the sound of a howler monkey calling for his tribe to get ready to start the day.
I was born and raised in Germany. So what I’ve just described is not normal for me at all. And yet, after this short amount of time, being in this far away country, it already feels familiar. I’m wondering, does it feel like home?
Some background information about my journey
My husband Ben and I have left our home (oh, this word again) country four years ago. We traveled around the world for two years — from country to country — until I was desiring to stay longer. We tried to settle, stayed for several months at one place. But something didn’t feel right to me, and so we left. I was really desperate as I had hoped to find a place to call home.
After a stay back in Germany that was way longer than expected, we’ve just left again. I still have this meaningful wish to find a place to call home. It’s weighing heavy on me. Letting me see the world through a specific lens.
Aspects that might define where home is
There are some thoughts I’m pondering on these days:
- Is home where I was born? This would mean that my home could never change.
- Is home where my loved ones are? This would mean that home could be at several places, as are my loved ones.
- Is home where my belongings are? This would mean that when I take my belongings with me, home can be everywhere.
- Is home where I’ve spent most of my life? I’ve never really felt at home in the town where I was born and where I had lived for nineteen years. Although, most of my family and all of my belongings were there.
What else could it be?
A place within me
I tried to find clues to where my home could be during astrological or human design readings. I’ve asked my mentors and friends. I’ve been traveling the world for several years. I had glimpses of feeling at home. But it never lasted long. There was always something missing.
On my search for a home, I’ve been told by many people that home doesn’t have to be a physical place. It can be inside me. Really? This is said so easily. And what exactly does that mean?
An exploration of the sense of home
I’m closing my eyes. Slowing down my breath, breathing deeply into my belly. Turning my attention inwards. I’m rephrasing the question from ‘Where is home?’ to ‘How does home feel?’.
To me, home feels familiar, safe, and cozy. This is what comes up right now. Okay, let’s explore these feelings a bit more. How are these words defined?
Well known from long or close association.
Interesting! So here I find the aspect of time. But there is more to it. Only because I’ve known a place for a long time doesn’t make it feel at home. That’s what I’ve concluded before. In addition to the aspect of time — in order to make a place feel at home for me — there needs to be a positive association.
I’m wondering now, what supports a feeling of familiarity for me? There is my husband — he feels very familiar. His behavior, his energy, the sound of his voice, … I also have most of my personal belongings here with me: My Yoga mat, some crystals, clothes, my journals, my tarot cards, my laptop, and some more things. And then there is this sense of knowing the place and its energy. Within the past weeks, I got to know my surroundings. The various sounds, the different smells, the animals and their behavior, certain rules, and routines at the hotel. Yes, all of this feels familiar to me.
Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost.
This is true for so many places, not only the place where I sleep: The small restaurant I have lunch at once a week. The supermarket in the neighborhood. The hotel’s terrace is from where I can see the Pacific Ocean. And yes, also our villa. And just realizing, that this is not only related to time. This can be a momentary decision. A feeling.
It’s also not only the place that can feel safe but the people there. Maybe including the animals — like dogs. And this can be an instant feeling of safety, and it can also change over time. Until someone feels familiar.
Giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.
This is a big one for me! A place where I can relax deeply, roll out my yoga mat and sit in meditation. Just realized that my yoga mat feels like home to me. But is it really the mat, that feels like home? Or is it rather what I do, maybe what I feel at that moment?
My reflections and a holding on
Let me reiterate:
- Home doesn’t have to be a house, an apartment, a villa, a cabin, or whatever.
- I can have a sense of feeling home in one moment, and in the other moment it’s gone.
- Reflecting on this, it doesn’t make sense to cling on the idea of a physical place to call home.
- I can support myself in feeling home, if I allow feelings of familiarity, safety, and coziness to unfold.
Breathing through these realizations. Letting them settle and being understood by my system. Noticing that there is still this little voice inside me, that longs for a physical place to call home. Where my belongings can have a dedicated space and that feels cozy, safe, and familiar. It’s okay.
I feel a sense of calm, a knowing that is deep within me. It feels aligned. It feels familiar, safe, and cozy. Is this home?