Friday, October 21, 2016

Why Returning Home is an Important Part of a Travel Adventure?

home həʊm noun :

1. the place where one lives permanently,
    especially as a member of a family or household.
2. A family living together in one building, house, etc.

This is the result Google threw up when I typed in the words 'home definition' and yet what is most fascinating is how the word home has a different meaning for many of us today. Especially for all those of us who love to travel or spend a considerable amount of time travelling in the wilderness outside.

The context of our definitions has changed, so have the norms traditionally accepted in the society and the dictionary. Today, home can mean a lot of different things to different people… for some it is a state of mind, for some it could be the place where they can relax, escape or just be who they are, it's where they find comfort after a weary tired day in the world outside or for some others the idea of home could be as wide as the whole world.

Have a look at this latest video released by Asian paints which expresses how and why there is #NoPlaceLikeHome:

So, what does 'home' mean to us - to you and me?
How would we describe what it feels like to feel at home?

For me, home is a sacred feeling I cherish in my heart. It’s a warm cocoon ballooned with memories, fuzziness, joy, peace and laughter created when kindred souls meet at a specific moment in time – touching one another in such inexplicably unanticipated ways on their respective isolated islands that it makes them and everyone around them feel alive, valued, loved and dear. That feeling makes me feel at home. In this case, the geography or the location does not matter nor does it necessarily have to come into the picture.

Home is where the heart is.
That feeling when you are among the people you love and the people who love you back!

Having said that, I cannot stress enough on the importance of returning to my "earthly abode" after that all consuming travel adventure (that I never really wanted to end!) – Something that cannot be denied or ignored neither should it ever be. And that is what this post will be talking about. Returning home after travelling to a faraway place opens up yet another vista, another landscape, this time more personal, more familiar and more recognisable, and yet abounding in growth, adventure and possibility in our everyday lives albeit in a different way.

Beauty in the wilderness.
Get lost in the wild;
but don't forget to find yourself at home.

I am sure we have all heard the saying which goes like this – A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.

I totally second the thoughts here. Being on the road teaches us (in a fun and exciting way) many life lessons that we may never otherwise learn back home but it's not until we step back into the chartered backyards of our own home that we really begin to become something more than what we already were before embarking on the journey on the road outside.

Home helps me appreciate the things missed and express gratitude for all that I have.

Life for me is one big adventure where each moment, every day holds innumerable surprises for us to throw our self into. In that sense, if I have the opportunity to travel today, it forms just one leg of my exploratory journey of life.

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt through my yatras over the years is appreciation. To see the world in all its glorious splendour and revel in its beauty, as it is not as you think it should be, is a thing, a feeling of pure joy. And so it is for when I come back and embrace the familiar warmth of the lovely people at home and fuzziness of the favourite things I missed while my time on the road.

View from my balcony I can never tire watching.
Sitting by the balcony and staring into the infinite is one of my favourite things to do at home.

The times I spend with my family – the wonderful people who continuously shape me into whoever I am; and for which I feel eternally grateful in life – aren’t they an integral part of my travel adventure?

Home is the place where souvenirs reside.

My home is also the place where my souvenirs reside... souvenirs or keepsakes collected in my travel journeys are not mere objects to remind of that fabulous place I once visited but are priceless keepsakes to incite treasured travel memories that are deeply personal to me.

My souvenir of a hand made origami bird - Japan
Souvenirs are priceless treasures to be cherished in the heart.

These souvenirs – each holding a tale of its own - double up as sacred reminders of precious moments of kindness, smiles, love and warmth collected through people I connected with to be cherished dearly in my heart. But it’s not until that I share these souvenirs, each tale ringing bells of joy within my heart, with my own family, the people that are closest to me that my journey feels complete.

Home is where I get my perspective!

The trajectory of our sojourns might be laid out differently but I am sure there are lessons laid out there for each one of us more often amid the situations closer home – how often do we forget to appreciate the things / qualities about people that are closest to us? Reasons could be many but this is one beautiful realisation that travel brings along with itself. The many experiences that we have in our travel journey puts a lot of things in perspective back home, most importantly our own mindset, so that now we have a new pair of eyes that helps us see our surroundings in a new light: for me that means to be more aware and to appreciate all the things I might have missed seeing before and a new heart that helps me to say ‘Thank you’ for all that I have.

My blogger desk at home.
Blogging at home puts a lot of things learnt on the road - in perspective.

Travel, on the road as in life, has to always take us closer home, towards our most innate core, our own self, towards that sacred love, never away from it. The transformation that the journey brings along has to be intense, even overwhelming so that you don’t feel like the same person you were like before. It is a renewed sense of awareness of your own being and the world that you see, often different than what you thought you would normally be. And then you are in a perfect position to appreciate all that is around you. Like that simple plate of rice, roti and dal cooked by my mom and served in good time along with this motherly nudge: Arti I don’t think you have had an opportunity to look at yourself in the mirror lately. Let me tell you, you’re growing thinner by the day, and you desperately need to eat more healthy stuff.

Confession be made, I secretly smirk when she says that. But at the same time, I understand she cares and it’s feelings like these I cherish that keep bringing me back home and make me realise that there truly is no place like home..

What about you?
What are the things that keep bringing you home?
Share your thoughts, would love to hear them!

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