I spent most of my 20s wandering the globe, always feeling deeply privileged to have the opportunity to do so. From the cobbled alleyways of regional France to the dusty brightly coloured villages in the himalayas – I got my education about the world from wading deep into it. By traveling I learned more about myself than I ever have by standing still. But the more I grow, and the more I change, the more I am faced with the intense responsibilities of making decisions about how to raise and nurture another life – the more I question everything I ever thought I knew.
I know there is one thing that I want to achieve when raising my child. I want to show her what is possible. To show her that there is unbelievable worlds beyond her initial comfort zone. To foster a love for the world to replace our modern worlds push for fear. To give her the opportunity to see different ways of living. To show her that she has a choice to live differently. Not to compare one against another. But to illustrate that there are beautiful loving people living lives that look different all over the world.
But what does the wandering child learn about home? I watched Bo learn a lot of powerful things while we travelled, she traveled with grace and patience and curiosity – with a great desire to touch and to explore and to understand. But what I saw when we came home made me question many things about how I approach the world. She was happy to be away. But an undeniable air of peace surrounded her when we returned home. She sat quietly in her own space. Touching her books and her dolls. Finding such joy in eating meals that for her bring great comfort. Curling up like a cat in our house and basking in all the familiar sounds and smells that mean home to her.
I was reminded that whilst I have spent most of my life on the move – so much so, no where ever truly feels like home anymore… do I want to Bo to feel that way too? Or do I want to nurture a feeling of connection and belonging?
The whole thought process brings about so many questions…
Can you have both – freedom to explore and experience AND a sense of belonging and connectedness? Can that balance be fostered in a child destined to spend time on the road… Can home truly be wherever you make it?