What is home? Is home where you grew up? Is it where you lay your head at night? Is home just the feeling of being safe? Maybe it’s a combination of all that and if it is, do I have a home?
When people ask me where I’m from while travelling, I say Canada. If they ask for more specifics, I say Toronto since that is where I currently live. But Toronto is not where I was born or where I grew up or where my family is or even where I’ve lived the longest. My problem is all of those qualities I just listed have a different place associated to it. I feel like it has given me a complex. I don’t really know where I’m from or what is home.
As travellers, we are constantly changing our environments and location and that is all I’ve known (hence why I called this website Nomadic Meg). As a kid, I never spent more than 2 years in one town. I don’t have a close group of friends I grew up with or a town that brings on feelings of childhood nostalgia.
I recently attended my cousins wedding. Both him and his new wife had essentially been born and raised in the same town. It was a great wedding filled with more than 200 friends and family. It made me realize that I don’t have that many people to invite to my wedding (if I ever manage to get married). Sure, I know lots of people who I talk to very regularly but, I rarely get to see them because they live all over the world. Even if I continued to travel as an adult, it’s not like I have those close friends from school that I always catch up with when I take a break in my hometown because I didn’t have that as a kid.
I’m not trying to say this is a bad thing. I loved moving around while growing up and it has definitely shaped who I am today. Sometimes, I try to imagine what my life would be like if I had never moved from the suburb of Montreal where I was born. I would probably speak French, have a group of friends I’d known my whole life, and might not feel the need to travel the world. I would be a completely different person. I like who I am and the fact that I have this home complex has contributed to it.
But this idea of home and feeling of being settled is bizarre to me. My brain can’t comprehend how it is possible to live in one place and feel like that’s enough. I wonder about the day I tire of constant movement. Will it ever happen? Will I ever find a place that I don’t want to leave after a few years?
Maybe I’m destined to wander forever – my restless spirit causing me to never settle down in one place. I mean, my goal in life is to feel happy and satisfied with what I’m doing. If for that to happen I need to continue my nomadic lifestyle than so be it. But when I see people like my cousin who seem so happy and satisfied with being in their town with family and friends, I’m envious. I live for experiences and I wonder: will I ever experience home? How can I?