Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Finding a Home for a Nomad

{This is not my home}

When I first met my husband I told him that I was a nomad and a homebody.  What a contradiction! But it's true.  There's nothing I like better than being on the move.  The body absorbs amazing kinetic energy when travelling.  I love discovering new places, new people, and new ideas.  

I also love being at home.  I love sitting in a sunbeam with a cup of tea.  I love the quiet daily routines that knit the days together.  

As much as I love being a nomad, the past few years have been difficult, because neither of us are sure where home is.  Our lives ricochet between Canada, London and South Africa.  London is the fulcrum, around which the trans-hemispherical movements pivot.  

Last week Jess Vartanian approached me to feature her custom Christmas ornaments. She makes beautiful ornaments featuring maps of your home town, subway stop, or favourite place. I love them! But it opens the dilemma of which place I would choose? Steinbach?  London? Cape Town? Or some other place in the world that has touched me deeply, like the spot where we got engaged in Italy? 

I think it's wonderful when our hearts expand to include new places. It's like meeting new people, there's always room in our hearts to love another friend. Loving lots of places makes our hearts even richer.  I now have three homes, which sometimes feels disjointed, but also feels rich and deep. And that's not even counting the other places that have touched me or changed my life in some way; places I'm not sure I'll ever return to. But, I love those places too.  

What does home mean to you? 

What location would you choose to feature on one of Jess's Christmas ornaments?    

{Jess Vartanian's fantastic ornaments}


  1. This post really resonated with me. I feel the same way. A draw to adventure & to being at home, surrounded by cozy & comfort. The small town where I spent the 4 years of my undergrad will always feel a bit like home to me. But I also have the home where I grew up & now Halifax.

  2. Scott and I are both Navy brats. He's ex-Army, too. My name means "wanderer."

    When people ask us where we're from, I tend to respond, "do you want the long version or the short one?" When his youngest sister asked me where I was from when we met, I responded "I'm a fellow Navy brat." She said, "Understood."

    My home is with my family. My Scott and our Susanna. Home feels very much like the Pacific Northwest, but it will always have elements of where we've lived as individuals and as a married couple and young family.

    That looks like- San Diego and Edmonds, Mississippi and Michigan, Western and Central New York, Spain and South Africa, Pittsburgh and Utah, Idaho and Virginia, and more.

  3. Hi Jane!
    I have lived in Padua since I was born!
    Living in 3 cities is a very big lucky!!! You have a lot of stories to talk about!
    Happy Halloween!

  4. Wonderful post and what lovely illustrations! How wonderful to experience different places but I can also understand feeling slightly unsettled too at times.

  5. My GOD I know what you mean about being both a nomad and a homebody! I absolutely love to travel; New discoveries and new adventures. When I'm home I'm desperate to visit some place new. BUT when I'm away, I pine for home so badly. It's always an internal struggle!

    Sophie | Onetenzeroseven

  6. This post resonated with me as well. I crave time at home to sit and read or watch my favorite shows, but then I inevitably get that wanderlusty feeling to travel somewhere. My husband is from the Pacific Northwest, and I'm from the Midwest and we met on the East Coast. We're currently living in the Midwest - though not in my home city - and we both miss our homes and have that disjointed feeling. But I agree that your heart can expand to include new places and homes. How do you make peace with thhat disjointed feeling? Do you and your husband talk about what you'll do when you have kids? That's what we're currently grappling with - how do you have your kids know both sides of hte family when they live more than a four hour plane ride apart?

  7. Home? Home is where my heart is--literally. I have lived in several different places, none of which I want to go back to and call home. What I really dream about is a combination of one of those places and a country scene. I currently am looking for that place. I want to retire to a country cottage, but I know that it won't be perfect. So home is where my heart is at peace; here, there or somewhere else.


Hearing from you makes my day bright with sunshine. I try to respond to each comment on your own blogs. Who knows I might make a few new friends along the way! X Jane