Define “Home”

Birds need a nest, and they still fly. ~ Gloria Steinem

In our digital age, more and more people work from home.  A few commonplace examples of this 21st century lifestyle are: corporate employees who log in from home, entrepreneurs with a virtual business, location-independent freelancers, and the growing number of students and teachers of online learning.

19129098724_901a5b89b9_bThis rapidly changing virtual landscape is creating changes in not only how we think about and do our work, but also how we think about and identify ‘home’.  How one defines home is, of course, very personal – and it’s also fluid – often changing along with changes in circumstances, relationships, and stages of life.

For me personally, home has been many things: It’s been a place I run away from. And it’s been a place I can’t wait to come home to.  It’s been a place I’ve identified as an address. Other times, as a town, or a city, or a state, or a country, a continent, a hemisphere. For reasons I don’t fully understand, the most sincere definition of home I’ve ever held, has been to identify home as Planet Earth.  Even that at times feels like it only tells part of the story.

I identify as a citizen of the world. But – I also really like my bed and having a home to come home to. I love ‘home’ being not only defined by location but by the people in my life. If my heart’s not there, my home is certainly not there.

But where’s the heart?  If home is where the heart is, and your heart spans across continents, how do YOU define home?

My most recent evolution around how I define ‘home,’ is to embrace that, for me home is untethered, it’s too complex and too big to be defined by one place.

In other words, I’ve stopped trying to answer that question.

And with this release, came a new question: Where is my home-base?

Home-base doesn’t get me confused, and it doesn’t cause me to feel flustered or confined by its definition.

Home-base is where my bed is. It’s where my clothes and toothbrush is. It’s where I return to after wandering and journeying based on my unapologetically expansive definition of ‘home’.

This works for me.  To know where my nest is, and still fly.

Join the conversation and follow the journey!  Please share your thoughts on these questions:

Where’s ‘home’ for you?  What does ‘home’ mean to YOU?  How do YOU define it?

10 thoughts on “Define “Home”

  • September 25, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    We moved a TON in my growing up years. I learned that my immediate space w/could often serve as ‘home’ as I got used to a new environment. I also, as an adult, traveled to Paris every summer for 20 years to further my studies and friendships. I like being multi-homed. I have my own home base, as you mention and have ‘heart-homes’ I travel to…places that sing my Spirit back to me. Great Q!

    • September 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Multi-homed … Great word, Sheri! 🙂 And “places that sing my Spirit back to me” … what a lovely way to define Home.

  • September 26, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing your reflections on “home”, Tara! Having gone through an awful break-up with a fiancé many years ago, I struggled to imagine ever feeling at home again in the city I lived in and loved. After taking a step back and deciding that I did want to remain in my city, I spent a lot of time envisioning what kind of home I was looking for next. Despite having limited finances, I kept telling anyone who would listen about what I was hoping for & before long, a friend sent me an ad she’s just seen. As I read the ad I remember thinking, “I’m here! You’re looking for me!”. I visited that afternoon and moved in a month later. That was six years ago now and I now own that house with my wife and our 3 year old. It’s a “dream home” for me in so many ways.

    • September 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

      A powerful story of resilience and the power of intention, Erica! I applaud your determination to (re)claim your city and find your dream home. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • September 28, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Home is where I go to rest and recharge, it’s often my home address but for me the USA feels like my second home. After my study in NC it feels like the US has been added to my home-list. The same goes for Tuscany, if I don’t go there for a while I get restless. It’s like these different parts of the world are all home, and I need all of them from time to time to feel fully nourished, if that makes sense 🙂

  • September 29, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    This is something I’ve considered many times over the years. The initial catalyst for doing so is the question I used to get during my adolescence – ‘which is more like home, Australia or England?’

    I was born in Hove in southern England and at the age of 9, my family moved to the other side of the world – Sydney, Australia. So the question was commonplace. While migrants certainly weren’t a new thing in the early 90s, there was still a pleasant and genuine curiosity about people who contributed to an ever growing fabric of diversity.

    As the years have gone on, the answer to that particular question is more and more Australia. However, when I’ve gone back to Hove, often after many years, there is something familiar about it and I unquestionably feel at home there. The same goes for my native Sri Lanka where I’ve never lived, but have visited many times and have always felt a sense of home there.

    I’ve traipsed around the globe many a time and at 34 years of age with 60+ countries under my belt, I dare say there will be many more adventures. When I think of what home means to me, it is a definition with a dichotomy – a place of comfort and familiarity and also the base for my current adventure. That may not make sense to anyone reading it, but it gets me, and having lived in 10 different places in Sydney alone over the past 6 years, it is certainly a fluid thing for me.

    The question is very relevant to me at the moment as next year, home may be another part of Sydney or Ubud in Bali. I’m travelling between now and then though, and a lot can happen in 6 months, so who knows where I’ll be come May…maybe on a Nomadic Leaders adventure somewhere! 🙂

  • September 29, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Wow! 60+ countries is a very impressive stat, Tiago – at any age! I’m so glad you’ve joined the conversation. Home is … “a definition with a dichotomy”. Well said! For so many, I believe it truly is. And, dichotomies can be pretty confusing at times. That’s one benefit to Nomadic Leaders coming together … knowing that there are other people who “get it” and who embrace the dichotomies with you. Don’t you think? 🙂

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Well that’s pretty much the reason I logged on to your website within about 30 seconds of my friend tagging me about it. I want elements of the adventurer and the mainstay for myself and this looks like a great initiative to build a community of leaders who want to balance those aspects in themselves.

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