“I was never lost. I only chose to never go home.”
Finding home is important when you change locations every 3 months or less. People who live out of hotels for work or for those in my situation, packing something small that makes you feel centered and complete can make a huge difference as a traveler. It transforms your place into somewhere you long to get back to when you’re away from it for more than 2 days, even though you’ve only lived in that place for about a week. People sometimes say to me, in so many words, “How do you handle changing homes every 3 months? I would lose my mind.” These small items are one big way I keep my sanity when nothing around me feels familiar.
Stuff I Bring to Feel at Home:
My favorite books. My books are something I go back and forth arguing with my fiancee about, as he really doesn’t think we have the space. But for me, those 6 books which I love are non-negotiable. When you have a bad day and your home is not really your home, everything feels 100 times more terrible. Picking up and reading something familiar, words I know I’ve already loved, has provided me with much needed escape on those days.
Printed photos. One of the real drawbacks of our technology age is that people don’t print photos much anymore. I never really cared about doing so before – if I need to look at my life or my friends/family, I just login to Facebook. But those times when I am subletting from someone else’s home, it gets weird knowing the whole style of the home, and everything inside of it, however much I may love it, belongs to someone else. There isn’t much about this that can be changed, but adding photos to the desk, entrance way, and refrigerator at least reminds me that I have home in my friends and family, and that they are not lost on me in this new place.
Candles. I never used to be a candles or incense person. I didn’t really understand the appeal unless it was Christmas time and you wanted your home to smell festive. But since traveling, I’ve grown more fond of having candles around as a means to establish my presence. “Yes I am here. Yes this place is safe for me.”
Crystals. Another thing that I was never into before traveling. Now I love crystals. I believe in their energies, and even if they don’t exist, I believe that believing in their energies is helpful to me. Having a physical manifestation of the energy you want to bring into your life can be very powerful. So I have my earth and grounding crystals in my bathroom, my prosperity crystal on my desk, and my skyscraper crystal that I’ve had since living in NY near the doorway. Laying out the energy fields of where I live when I otherwise have no say in the decor or feng shui of the place is my way of nesting.
My pillow from home. My fiancee and I both bring our pillows from home wherever we go. For him, he’s just a total pillow snob and thinks his pillow cannot be beat (which I will say, it’s pretty cozy). But for me, it’s like going home to your own bed. When you don’t have your own mattress to miss, having your own pillow is the next best thing.
When you’re filling out an online profile and the question comes up, “What couldn’t you live without?” the answers might be simple – food, water, friends, love, etc. But when you really do have to decide what you can and can’t live without, I think it’s important to put your foot down on items that aren’t deemed “necessary for survival,” but make you feel whole in some way.
What really makes your home feel like home? Is it your garden, your bed, or something smaller? I encourage you to find a piece of home that you could carry in your backpack if you had to. It might change your definition of what “home” really means.