I’ve gotten used to being asked this question. What I
am still getting used to, however, is answering it -- because I don’t know how
to answer it.
That’s all they want to know about after all, right?
I complete three months of being away from the place
I call ‘home’ i.e. it’s been three months of living out of two backpacks and a
suitcase. [Read: How Travel Made Me Quit My Job]
In addition to that it's also been three months of being on the move through places that
may not necessarily be most people’s preference.
Through the angst and apprehensions there have been questions and
And through experiences and observations there have been insights
and more insights.
|Heck! Home isn't just a place to begin with...|
But that hasn't answered where’s home for me?
What do you say when home
isn’t just one place. Heck, home isn’t just a place to begin with.
I watch them study my face as it probably contorts
while I’m having this internal dialogue with myself. It’s an easy question
But it isn’t. For some of us at least. Whether we’ve
continued to inhabit the town of our birth or have since moved for work or
pleasure, ‘home’ is more than just a place we live in.
We find a little bit of ourselves in the people we
That conversation had
with that stranger on the train journey
or the time spent huddled
around the bonfire under a not so clear night sky with people just met
earlier that day
or when eyes were locked with someone simply both were reading the same paperback almost acknowledging in an unspoken manner that the
Kindle just does not cut it for you
That song that makes your
two left feet tap is in sync with the way someone else drums their fingers on
“I’m not the only one” is one of the best feelings in
the world (AKA the Me-Too-Syndrome). And there’s no better place at finding
members of the tribe we belong to except on the road.
We see glimpses of the people we’ve known in the
people we meet
That never say die attitude
to go source some ice-cream in the dead of the night
…being hungry to the point
of eating everything within eyesight
That deafening shriek at
the sight of a lizard
The stride when someone is excited about getting to the newest pub in town
The intonation in their
voice when they’re slightly irritated
You realise that idiosyncrasies aren’t all that
idiosyncratic after all!
Not only does your mother’s doppelgänger exists but she is standing
right in front of you – and depending on how you relate with your mother, you
might rejoice or recoil at the idea of bumping into this person in a distant
We experience the familiar in the unfamiliar - the
scents, the sights, the sounds and sometimes just the vibe itself of both
people and places
Whether walking or
hopping off from the modes of transport and eating off the streets or the
restaurants lined on it…
Be it the colours of the structures
or of its people’s attire or of the flowers that come into bloom…
Sometimes it’s simply how
the sun blazes or the rains lash vehemently
There’s always that something that brings you face to
face with the familiar from back where you’ve been.
Home, therefore, is a notion some of us struggle to
wrap our minds around. And a conventional answer is not what we have for you
who want to know where we are from.
And that doesn’t mean we don’t miss home. In fact, all
of the above makes missing us miss ‘home’ even more.
It makes us long for the familiar in its entirety –
not the fragments.
And as scary as it sounds it makes we long for the
mundane – because staying constantly alert is an energy drain.
The middle ground (for itchy feet has no cure) is the
support and encouragement that we keep receiving from known as well as unknown
quarters while we are on the move.
This is what keeps us going.
This is what has kept me going at least...
What does home mean for you? I'd love to hear your responses as comments below...
Labels: female solo traveller, home, India, solo travel, travel, vulnerable