What is “home”? Walls and belongings in a physical sense. A feeling of comfort and familiarity in a spiritual sense. Home is both external and internal, literal and figurative.
When we travel we leave our physical dwelling and are freed up to explore and expand our immaterial home, the one we carry within. The sights and sounds we gather give texture and anecdote to our inner life, deepening our sense of who we are. That is my motivation for travel – the expansion of my inner world, a renovation of my interior space.
Writer Pico Iyer discusses the notion of home in his brilliant Ted talk, in which he makes a curious observation that’s resonated with me deeply. For him, home is an assemblage of factors – not just where he was born and where his family resides, but also where his ancestors came from, where he lives now and where he wants to sink roots in the future. The notion of home is literal, accumulative and symbolic all at once, and it’s constantly evolving.
For Pico, home is less about a piece of soil and more about a piece of soul. An internal landscape created with elements he has inherited and also chosen with free will. From this perspective, home is not bound by walls. It is limitless – as expansive as one’s appetite for adventure allows. And it is omnipresent – when you cultivate a rich and vibrant inner life, one can feel “at home” anywhere.
Watch his Ted talk above. You’ll find plenty to scribble and savor…