On May 10th we closed on the sale of our house in Fort Collins Colorado. On that afternoon we became homeless.
Even before departing on our trip I’’d been thinking about “what is home?”
I feel home is a relative concept and we all must define what home is for us. For me this is the first time I’ve really had reason to put much thought into it.
Home comes down to comfort.
After a long day we can’t wait to get home. Or a good host works hard to make someone feel “at home,” which is done by making their guest as comfortable as possible. Usually wherever you are most comfortable, that is home.
Extended travel can make comfort a challenge. A few days ago we went from Gualan Guatemala to Livingston Guatemala and that involved a three hour bus ride and a very choppy ride on a small boat. (I feel about boats the way Indiana Jones feels about snakes.)
A day of travel is rarely comfortable but a day of travel in a strange land always adds to the level of discomfort.
Before we could even get off the boat after arriving in Livingston we were pounced on by local “guides.” Young men who want to show you to a hotel in order to earn a tip from the inn keeper. Being approached by these touts is always a tad stressful for me because I have trouble trusting their motives.
And after a day of travel you always look forward to getting to your hotel but even that does not guarantee comfort. On this day we had reserved a guest house in advance based on TripAdvisor reviews. It was a nice enough place but it was deathly hot with no real options for relief. The fan in our room groaned on in a futile attempt but did not really help. After a long day of discomfort our house for the night offered no relief.
But even at times like this there is still home to be found.
Because comfort really comes down to people and not location. For me I am at home when I am with Joyce. I know this is true because I would rather stay in a hot and humid hotel in Guatemala with her than in a five star resort in Paris without her. When Joyce is nearby I am at home.
Who do you feel most at home around?
(Don’t tell me, tell them!)
Of course we all have our own superficial creature comforts as well that can help relax us no matter where we are. For me music is the biggest one.
Music makes life better.
But not just any music. It must be familiar music that stirs memories and connects you to feelings of home. Good familiar music can make a hot, crowded, bouncy ride on a Belize chicken bus tolerable and even down right enjoyable.
Then of course there is food as a go to form of comfort and feelings of home. The guest house I mentioned is run by an American and he makes a mean pizza pie. Having a pizza and a beer that night really helped in dealing with all the other discomforts of the day. It was a lot better than rice and beans or tacos which we’ve had our fill of for a while.
What are your thoughts on home?
I’d love to hear what you think about home and what things make you feel most comfortable. Use the comment form on the blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org