N is for Nostalgia

I can’t help it. Whenever I’m away travelling, no matter the fun I’m having or the things I’m learning, there’s always a small part of me, even if it’s the tiniest little spark in the deepest depths, that misses home.

As one with nomadic tendencies, it is in my bones to want to keep moving and see new places. I thrive on the new and the unknown, but that isn’t to say I don’t also yearn for the safe and the familiar.

If you’ve read my published article, So, Where are you from? you’ll have some idea of the slight identity crisis I had a few years ago when I realised there was no place I could truly call home. Moving from place to place may seem remarkably exotic, but it definitely has its drawbacks.

That said, when it comes to matters such as these, I think with age often comes a certain clarity. Though I’m unquestionably still a kid at heart and even now long to find the lost boys of Neverland, I also realise as I get older that home isn’t, and never really has been, a place, so much as a people.

When I’m away I miss my family. I miss my close friends. I miss my people.

I sometimes also miss my bed and the garden and my bookshelf and my computer, but it’s not quite the same kind of longing.

Which makes me realise that it doesn’t matter if you only moved into your house a year ago and still can’t figure out the trick to unlocking that damn shed door. Or that there are parts of the garden that you’ve never actually been in. Or that the house smells unfamiliar, or you don’t know how to get to the local post office, or that your own suburb sounds unfamiliar on your tongue.

What matters are the people.

Cliché? Absolutely. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

So, when I say that I miss home when I travel, what I guess I really mean to say is I miss people. I miss the friends and family in my life that together make the walls and ceilings and white picket-fenced garden of my own little country cottage that exists inside my head.

Like any home, I can’t bring it with me on a plane, across seas, over mountains, through countries near and far. And I certainly can’t take it through Customs.

But with each little spark of nostalgia that flickers while I’m away, I have only to remind myself how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life. People that are only a phone call away and who will be waiting to keep me safe and put those walls back up again when I return.

To my friends. To my family.

To my home.

 

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10 comments on “N is for Nostalgia

  1. It seems I haven’t commented on anyone’s blog for ages. I enjoyed reading your post. I particularly liked “the walls and ceilings and white picket-fenced garden of my own little country cottage that exists inside my head.” Yeah, me too.

  2. it’s hard to find a place where you fit, where everything comes together in a magical way. I’ve struggled my whole life to find that. I found it briefly in college, but it was fleeting. I haven’t found it again, no matter how hard I look or where I go to look for it.

    • And yet somehow that makes it all the more fun, because rather than fitting into one place I feel like I find it easier to fit in everywhere. It’s a bit of a conundrum really, but such was the hand we were dealt!

  3. I’ve never really fit in anywhere. Never found a place I can truly be comfortable enough to call home. New York, Liverpool, Manchester… There was a brief moment when I arrived in San Francisco that I thought I had found a home; that feeling passed. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, don’t know why, I’m just oddly drawn to it, just never panned out for me to move there. Add all that to the fact that I’m the black sheep in the family and I’m pretty much homeless… lol.

    Oh well, I got my dogs, and my wife, she’s pissed at me currently but that will pass… I hope!

    • I can relate to the never-ending futile search. I’ve learned to stop looking for home and just enjoy the time I have, wherever it is that I am. The feeling of being homeless returns every now and then, but I’m sure we’ll find our place one day, and it will probably be very unexpected!

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