When you hear the word home, what does it bring up in your mind? I have had many people ask me what it is like to travel with my family and how I like it.Well, it has been one hell of an adventure so far with ups, downs and everything in between, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. One main difference though is that we don’t have one specific place we consider home. That got me thinking about what a home really is.
My Home Growing Up
I grew up in one house for the majority of my life with my mom, dad and brother. It was nestled into a cul-de-sac.
Three other families on the block had kids and we spent long summer days playing together. My ideas of “home” are tethered to that place.
When we had our own son, we wanted a home to call our own, so we got a house. It was a 2-story in the back of a cul-de-sac. There happened to be three other families who had kids our son’s age on the block. Sound familiar?We worked long hours and our son was with family, babysitters or in day care often. For the most part, we each lived our own separate lives working 40 hours per week at least, and that was considered pretty normal.
A Different Life
However we had a different dream. We had a desire to work for ourselves and experience all we could in this life with each other. We only live once, our son only grows up once, and we wanted to make the most of it. Unconventional? Yes. Did people think we were crazy? Most. Did people believe in us? Not many. But we decided, we planned and we went for it.
We started an online business, planned where we wanted to go, visited, bought tickets to move, gave up our house,walked away from our jobs and sold our belongings. As I watched someone walk off with my crock pot and my favorite chalkboard, it made me wonder”What would be home where we were going? Would we have one?”
Our First Foreign Country
When we got to our first destination, Costa Rica, we got settled in our new house. Everything was different. We didn’t know anyone, we didn’t speak the language, we didn’t have anything but backpacks of clothes, toys and laptops, and we had to figure it out and rely on each other. Over time, we did meet friends who we value dearly and still talk to regularly, we did accumulate things, we did find our favorite places, but none of these people, places or things would be able to come with us when we left to our next destination.
Some Things Stay
Over the next 2 1/2 years, and 6 different places, I realized that some things do remain with us wherever we go. We always share meals around a table. We always have our bedtime ritual with our son. We have our inside jokes that only we know. We have our games we play together. We share our experiences of the places we go and the things we learn. We hold our home within us, and we are constantly building onto it. We have more now than I can say we had with our house, our pool, our cars, and our full time jobs. We have memories together that I would not trade for the world.
While I don’t think you have to travel ongoing to build this kind of home, it does push us to grow by being in new situations together. What makes your home a home? How do you break out of the rat race to focus on what is important?