mountains

On Returning Home

· 2 min read ·

The word “Home” isn’t something I’ve ever put a lot of thought into when used — I suppose it’s really the outcome of, over a certain amount of time, a feeling that is cultivated within me. Home is comfort, Home is safe, Home is where I am most myself but also am inspired to explore the depths into what that means. Ever since moving into my freshman dorm room at St. Lawrence University in 2011, I’ve never spent more than one year residing in a single place. This transient sense of residency has made me more adaptable to change and more open to what “home” can be.

The truth is that Boston itself was never home. I didn’t find it in any of the 4 neighborhoods I taste-tested, the varied bedrooms I lived in, nor the vibe of the city itself. Instead during those four years, I recall associating “home” with my childhood home — the place that I could expect to find my family, the bedroom that greeted me with restful nights close to the sounds of nature, and the kitchen with its abundance of light and cooking spices. Perhaps this stability of being able to return home no matter what is what made packing up apartments on a yearly basis such a breeze.

I did find a sort of “home” within Boston, just not the physical space. I found home in my yoga community, fitness community, and a handful of dear friends that showed up for me when I wasn’t showing up enough for myself. Even still, I’ve felt more at home on the road living out the creative and varied life I promised myself I would.

On the road, I feel a sense of home when we have the opportunity to be in a place for for more than 2 days and when gasp we cut down on the exploring and just live like normal people… but in another country. I remember in our first country, Slovenia, the weather was so bad that for days we took mostly to staying inside the apartment; cooking, watching The Crown, writing, and practicing yoga. My past self would argue that we were not maximizing our time, however my current self looks at those days as a highlight. It’s within the comfort of our own mind and skin that we can feel the palpable sense of home.

“Returning home” for me means returning to a place that embodies how I want my mind to be right now. After 7 countries and 4 months of traveling, I feel ready for the physical space that so easily cultivates a calm mind and creative soul, even for a short while. Through this trip, the overarching emotion has been gratefulness. I am eager to share my experiences and give back to my childhood home. I plan to visit a few special places but to spend the majority of my time assisting with projects in my childhood home. I look forward to the hours and days in the place my mom (and then most of our friends) would call Narnia, to be close enough to hug my sister and dad, and to free up inner space so James and I can plan our next adventure.

Today we return home, the catalyst for this quick reflection & post. Still to come! — A post on our last days in England, trip highlights, and more.

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Adventure travel blog by James Simone & Sheila Murray. Travel along with them on their backpacking trip(s) as they actively explore the American West, Europe and beyond:

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