Home is just base camp

Our first home is the womb. Then one day, we’re suddenly thrust into this scary place of lights and sounds and other human beings. Each day from then forward, we confront new places and new experiences. It’s what we need to do in order to grow, learn and survive.

Home is more than a place; it’s an emotion-laden concept of security, possession and comfort. It holds a special place in the cultural psyche. It is the American Dream; it is community; it’s where we “put down roots” and raise our children. It can be a geography or a structure or a state of mind.

It can also be limiting: a four-wall comfort fortress that’s all too easy to hide within.

My home, after the womb, was an apartment in New York City. It still holds fond memories. It was a place of parents and family and friends; a neighborhood whose map is still etched in my brain. It was also the place where I began my explorations.

These were local at first — the bus to school, the subway to Manhattan, walking the streets to visit friends. There were family vacations. The first one I remember, at the age of five, was to Florida. By 15, I was living with a family in Europe on a student experience program.

Home is where you begin the journey. Each day is a new adventure, a new opportunity to explore and learn.

When you push out of those four walls, get out of your comfort zone and open yourself to experiencing the world, you are rewarded with meeting new people, seeing amazing places and learning more about yourself. Travel keeps your brain alive.

For me, home is just base camp. It’s where I eat and sleep and keep my stuff. It’s an address I need for my passport. But I get restless if I’m here for too long. As Tennessee Williams once said, “There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.”

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