Hi everybody—I missed you all during my sabbatical! Oh boy, do we have a lot of catching up to do…
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile (or reading the archives), you know that in 2009 my husband and I sold our house, and almost everything we owned, to move overseas. The whole experience was like starting life anew with a clean slate. We traveled extensively, and lived a mainly nomadic life—moving every few months with all our possessions in our duffel bags.
Well, it’s time for a clean slate once again. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be filling you in on some big changes in my personal life (and revealing why I’ve been taking some time off). Today’s post is Big Surprise #1 of 3; stay tuned for the rest!
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of home—mainly because I’ve had so many in the past few years.
During my time abroad, I’ve lived in numerous flats, hotels, and sublets: some tiny, some large, some empty, some furnished top-to-bottom with other people’s stuff.
The experience has changed my perception of “home.” No longer is it linked with my ownership of property or possessions; it’s simply where I lay my head to rest each night.
Minimalism made this nomadic lifestyle possible, and enjoyable, for me. It gave me an incredible sense of freedom, enabling me to experience daily life in a foreign country, and extensive travel throughout Europe and Asia. In a sense, I felt that the world was my home.
But travel and temporary accommodations aside, my home has now changed in a significant way.
For the last few years, England was my home—and a beautiful one at that. I loved the energy of London, the beauty of the countryside, and every minute of my time there. My husband and I were embraced by the people we met, and enchanted with the places we visited. We felt so comfortable there, it was easy to forget that we were expats.
The only exception was when we traveled, and returned to England by air. We spent a lot of time in Heathrow airport, much of it in the passport control line. Because we were on visas, we were extensively questioned each time we landed. We were asked where we’d been, where we were living, and what we did to support ourselves. Our fingerprints were usually scanned as well, to make sure they matched the ones on record. I always felt there was the slightest chance they might not let us back in.
Well, I recently went through passport control once again—but this time in the US, as my husband’s job has returned us to the States. It was the first time I’d been back to America since we moved to the UK. Over on the baggage carousel waited my duffel bag with all my belongings—the same one I’d carried the opposite direction two years before. As I stood in line, I prepared myself, as always, to explain my qualifications to enter the country.
But this time things were different: when it was my turn, the agent didn’t ask me questions, fingerprint me, or give me a suspicious look. He simply stamped my passport, looked up at me, and said with a smile, “Welcome home.”
I’d love to know what “home” means to you—is it putting down roots, or simply where you are at the present moment? Has minimalism made you feel any differently about it? Please share your thoughts in the Comments. And once again, it’s great to “come home” to my blog and this wonderful community!