Home. Is it a place? Is it people? For me, it’s a term that contracts as much as it expands. My house, filled with my family things, that’s my home. My cow town filled with faces and places, home. I live in the USA – America is my home and even if I wander, this land is indeed my land. No matter the world view, I know culturally I am of this place I have lived the longest.
Makes me remember what I always joke is my most red, white and blue moment overseas. There I was, in the middle of the Moroccan Sahara desert, under the unforgiving blazing sun, the moonscape portion of the desert, not the amber sands of Lawrence of Arabia, this part was rocky, endlessly flat, with the ribbons of wavy heat blurring the horizon. I was to visit to a Bedouin family – to see how they carved out and fought for existence in their piece of this endless plain and it was decided we would walk from camp. And walk we did, and walk, and walk, a bit further than expected. I didn’t bring hat of course (please see every single post for some mention of my clumsiness, drinking the water/eating street food for reference – thank goodness I’ve made it this far – bless me as I head into the unknown again), I didn’t have any water, poisonous or other, nada, none and on we walked. Then, a mirage, an outpost appeared in the far distance, blurry but definitely a place – maybe even a tree and a camel or twelve, a tired donkey. Hope.
Finally, we get there and the most handsome man in all of the world, with kohl eyeliner, looking like some version of Adam Ant from the 1980’s but maybe just your normal Berber guy (heat stroke, clearly) – it’s hard to remember, sold me the the coldest, icy coca cola I have every had the pleasure to drink. And I got it. Every single commercial that tried to sell me that business about a smile and such, well, it worked. In times of trouble, apparently, a garden variety coca cola is going to do the trick. Thanks childhood. A piece of carmel colored home in a bottle.
As I get older, though, more than a coca cola or a place, it’s really my people, they are my home – the vessels of shared memories, the many many hours logged together all these many years, may there be many more. My family, the crazy sweet people I am connected to by birth. My friends, the crazy sweet people I choose to be connected with by life.
And so no matter how far I go and every year, battling the terrible wonderful addiction of travel and even if I want to go farther, it be harder, I will always come back home (my sister just sighed a sigh of relief). I can leave and leave again (and maybe again?) but I’ll need my places, my faces, my home.
Nepal or bust people. 3 days.