Since leaving my home in Canada on July 14, I have been in a constant state between home and away… a journey where I’ve lost myself and found myself, barely staying in one place. Since leaving my certainties and predispositions back home that term has grown pretty loose. What is a home? Is it a place? A feeling? In between the grime of a South East Asian hostel and my parent’s place back in Ontario, I’ve adopted many places that I’ve called home - a place of refuge, a place with a bed, with a pool, with wifi, with a bucket shower….. some have ticked all the boxes, and some have ticked one or two.
These places I’ve called home are a home, but not just because of what’s in them. It’s what I do in them. These spaces serve a massive moral purpose for the traveling I’ve done. They’re where I lay down my head after a long day, kept up by the buzzing in my head, going over and over and over…. everything I’ve seen. Things that have flipped my world upside down and changed me. A place where we crack open a local brew and try to make sense of a backwards land we’ve found ourselves in. Sure, some are barely makeshift when it comes to homes, and some are absolute paradise. But they’re a base where I can process things… sleep off a long day in the air… and where I’m safe with my partner in crime.
After 7 weeks on our last trip to South East Asia, where I was more mentally and physically challenged than I have ever been, these places were the key to my sanity. But…. I was craving stability. A more conventional home. We re-entered Australia and it felt good to be back… back in a place that wasn’t making me question everything, so often. A paradise in the first world, a place that is just easy. My mind and body wanted it. And after one more week in transition mode, we got what we were after, our little slice of the Australian dream.
It wasn’t that simple, though… you can’t expect it to be. We had to work to find our next home on the other side, of the other side of the world. A week in the hottest possible hostel, in the midst of the hottest ever Perth summer, we perused the suburbs for that place. And we found it in Cottesloe… Perth’s pristine town by a sprawling, curvy blonde beach and the seemingly endless Indian Ocean. The place we live… it’s really got that homey feeling - it’s a breezy, bright refuge from the relentless WA sun. We walk to the beach, to the grocery shops… I walk to work at the pub where I pour beers for the locals who know my name… we live here. We cook. We clean. Study. Work. It’s home. And of course I still reflect on where I’ve been when I’m up at night.
Home used to just be one place for me, but that has changed. Traveling has made me more adaptive. Anywhere can be home if it has at least a little comfort. It’s here or there, beautiful or grungy. Home is where I escape and reflect, where I hang out and kill time…. and it’s wherever I’m with you.
Yours from home on Australia’s Sunset Coast,
Photos of Cottesloe above - and some of a really cool art exhibition called Sculptures by the Sea. (You can take that literally) Enjoy!