On Leaving and Returning

Sailing into the sunset? Or safe in the harbor?

Sailing into the sunset? Or safe in the harbor?

I read a blog post the other day, by a couple who sold their worldly possessions and now live their whole, entire lives traveling.* They have no home. And they are happy!

I cannot imagine that. I don’t want to imagine it.

You know how I love home.

I thought my blog would be primarily about the “loving hands” but I’ve found I’m just as likely to focus on “at home.”

But even I can feel the call of the open road, the siren song of other lands, different roads to wander, different beauty to enjoy.

If pressed, I guess I’d say that I like to go (a lot) but I LOVE to come home.

Traveler or homebody? Who are you?

Coming or going? What direction suits you?

Leaving or arriving home? Which do you like best?


* And, of course, I can’t find it now! Sorry!

45 thoughts on “On Leaving and Returning

  1. I’ve moved enough in my life, especially as a child, and it has no appeal for me. I don’t have any roots, and I could very well pick myself up and go somewhere else, even leave the furniture behind (not my craft supplies!!) but I have nothing in my life that I want to run from.

    Being on the road, always arriving, adapting, sounds to me tiring and after a while boring. How many new sights can you take in? To me, is seems like a way of always skimming the surface of the world. Hello – goodbye. What’s on the next channel?

    • I haven’t moved nearly as much as you have–I set down roots pretty quickly and seem to surround myself with a lot of stuff. I like your point about “skimming the surface of the world”–when I have traveled, and found another place that speaks to me, I always want to go back, and dig in deeper, rather than go to yet another new place.

      • I’ve attended 10 different schools in a 12 year time span. I still don’t socialize well beyond “hello”. Oh wait, that’s because I’m an introvert and enjoying it. 😉

  2. I’m such a homebody. Having a garden to care for and my little cat man makes it even worse — I hate to leave these things in other hands! I remember when I went to California a few years ago, the man who drove the taxi to the airport asked me where we were going, and I burst into tears! You might have thought I was going to the hospital and not on a 10 day wonder to San Francisco and Big Sur! But, I’m also very curious and I like to experience other places. It’s hell to get me to go on a trip, but once it’s all settled and I’m there I’m usually the one up for trying new things, wanting to stay out exploring, etc.

    Coming home is the best, though! I always say that I can’t know that I’ve had a good trip until I come home and everything is just as it should be 🙂

    • I use my pets as an excuse not to go, because everybody else seems to think I need to go away sometimes. Horses, cats, dogs, nobody to house sit 😉

      I do like to see new places, but I’m not in a hurry to see all of them.

    • I LOVE your last sentence in that comment–that will be my position from now on! And, yes, cats and gardens–I spend days before a trip, trying to be sure both will be well tended!

  3. I could do that. In a heartbeat …….. carry my home with me – no possessions to tie me down – the auction is in October! I will be free!!!!!

  4. Well we moved often enough, from Europe, to Canada, to the USA. Travelled a lot too. I feel that everywhere I am, even in hotel rooms, I make a ‘nest”. I unpack my suitcase, take out my knitting and books and make a homely place. I am fine than. We met lovely people everywhere and I didn’t mind starting over a few times because I know that will happen…meeting lovely people and making a new ‘nest’. I was homesick a few times…it is the loneliest feeling! Coming home after such experience is the sweetest thing ever!

    • I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced the homesickness you describe–I’ve only moved a handful of times, knowing each time that it was the right time. I can just see you, making your nest in a hotel room! I will remember that, for when I travel next!

  5. I need a base, a place to come back to. It doesn’t matter a lot where that is (though yes I have strong opinions of places I don’t want to live!) I don’t need a lot of possessions. If someone told me I have a week to get rid of half my stuff, I could do that. So “home” isn’t much about stuff. It’s about restoration. But traveling is an adventure, and I want adventures in my life. The sensual stimulation, the reminder that people all over really are more alike than different, the challenges in many areas, are important to me. I think they help me grow.

    … Maybe it’s like a bone break. The healing after the break makes the bone stronger. After the challenge of travel, the regrowth and restoration makes us better.

  6. I’m definitely a homebody now. A good day for me is a day I don’t gave to go anywhere…not the store…not the post office…not anywhere.

    I wasn’t always this way. In my younger days I travelled to England or Scotland every year. I travelled around the country for work and always looked forward to a new adventure.

    Reflecting on this now, I think it changed for me on Sept. 11, 2001. I was away at a conference with my colleagues that day. And I’ve appreciated how sweet home is since.

    • 9/11 changed things for a lot of people, in such fundamental ways. I’m like you in that I love a day when I don’t have to leave my little patch–I wake up in the morning, knowing I don’t have to go anywhere at ALL, and i just smile!

  7. I love to take trips, though we haven’t had the chance to travel anywhere but by car these past couple of years. The moment we pull out of the driveway is pure pleasure for me. I love to leave the house behind for a week, but also enjoy coming back to the familiarity of it after a short period. I don’t actually last well long on the road, so a home to return to is optimal! I’ve always admired people who can pack up their lives in a couple of packs and not be attached to anything, but don’t want that at this point in my life. Maybe someday, in the far, far future. 🙂

    • I’m only good on the road for about two weeks–then I come unglued. I was in Ireland on sabbatical for three weeks, at one point, and I was a complete wreck the last week! I cannot fathom not having a home base!

  8. My grandparents got to the point that they sold their home, remodeled an old school bus and traveled between each of their children’s families for a time. I think it was more Grandpa’s idea than Grandma’s, but she adapted. She had her quilting area in their “mobile” home and she made quilts for all of her grandkids, but I think she missed having the space. Like her, I like my craft space. I’m a home body who likes a little traveling but definitely likes coming home.

    • That’s quite a mental image–traveling the country in an old school bus! I bet they had wonderful times–so footloose. The crafting aspect would be a challenge though!

  9. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. I have a cross stitch I made back in 1983 with that quote. It hangs in our mud room, so my family sees it when they enter and leave the house that way.

  10. I’m a bit of a conundrum on this one Kerry, I love to come home and I love to be home alone too. But, I’ve been a gypsy and moved house more than I like to remember – I’ve lived abroad and in many different areas of this country. I am a rootless being and am not at all attached to my material possessions, I leave them and then gather new ones easily enough. Yet still, wherever I am is home and I like to be there.

  11. I’ve changed. When I was younger I couldn’t begin to understand that saying ‘The best part of a holiday is coming home.’ But I do now. I still love to travel, and I would never wish away our six wonderful years in France, but if I’m away too long now, homesickness descends and I long to be home.

    • Your 6 years in France was less about travel and more about making a home there, I guess. I seem to have a two-week expiration date when I travel–after that I really, really want to be home!

  12. I’m definitely a person who loves to travel but loves coming home. I can make it a good 2 weeks but after that I start getting a little wistful. I’ve always been very likely to settle in — I lived my first 18 years in a small town, moved to another small town for college and have now lived in Portland for 12 years. I love the security of knowing a city, having friends, etc. My husband, on the other hand, moved constantly as a kid and would love to pack up and move every few years now. Thankfully now that we own a home I’m winning the battle but who knows…wanderlust might get the better of me down the road.

  13. It’s so funny, okay not funny…I read this post shortly after you wrote it and I couldn’t come up with an answer and I still can’t. I love to travel and I loath to travel. Perhaps if I only had more free time to travel but for now its about the full time job and a small handful of weeks off throughout the year, mainly to go home and help aging parents.

    • I wrote that post right before we went to Ireland and was fully conflicted about going. I knew I was going, I knew I would have a FAB time and enjoy every moment, and I knew I would still be aching to get home! For me it’s not about free time to travel–I’m retired. I just like my little house and my pets and my routine, i guess.

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