And This is Home

Megan Fitzgerald is the Expat Coach, and someone I wish had been around back in 1999 when I hatched up this harebrained scheme to live in Europe for the rest of my life. On her blog, she’s got a contest that is sure to get your minds racing. Simply finish this sentence:

“You know you’re in Italy when…”

Deadline for submissions is Thursday, so get cracking! I’m one of the esteemed judges of the contest, though, so don’t tell me which ones are yours. I’m ethical like that.

Also, cooks and chefs, where are your amazing soup recipes? Alex needs them for his contest, for which he just extended the deadline – and you could win a subscription to La Cucina Italiana magazine! I’m not a judge on that one, but I am a taste tester – so make ’em good.

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Thought of the day:

Nothing makes you feel more like a writer
than getting a copy of your book in the mail.

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Question of the day:

What is home to those of us addicted to travel?

For some, it is the place where we grew up. We are always welcome there, and it never changes. No matter where we’ve gone or what we’ve experienced, our travels cannot be put into the proper context until we relive them while dreaming in our childhood beds, or recounting them to those who have listened to our tales of every minor victory and petty injustice since we were old enough to speak. It is their reactions that will determine what is forgotten, what is exaggerated, the pauses and the punchlines of these treasures we bring back from faraway places.

For others, home is the place we ran to after we broke free of our childhood. It is where we became who we are today. In this place, we are surrounded by landmarks, ideas and objects we discovered as we staked our claim in a place we could call our own. The memories here are brighter, louder, and sometimes overwhelming as we strain harder to hear the future calling for us.

Sometimes in our travels, we find a place that at first is a fascination; then an obsession; and finally, a home as we give in to its seduction. It is this home that defines us, that tells the world with unfailing certainty who we are right now. It may be our home for a while or for a lifetime; but the joy we felt in its discovery is, to me, the inspiration for true travel addiction.

For a few of us, though, the space in our hearts reserved for home is empty. We alight in places ever more exotic in hopes of filling that void, not realizing that it only serves to keep home just out of our grasp. We mask our jealousy for those who have found their home as contempt, or condescension. We keep going only because we haven’t found a place to rest.

What do you define as home, my fellow travelers?

6 thoughts on “And This is Home

  1. My home is divided. I grew up in California and Hawaii, so I have a strong physical longing for beach sand and crashing waves. But, home is also wherever my husband and children are, and if they decided to live in Italy for a few years or more….that’s home too…..

  2. Home is where my bride of 66yrs is andshe’s cooking up a fine dinner as she has for all those years,and I love her asmuch today as when I married her.

  3. Home is a person- home is my husband.

    As an expat (in the other direction, Italian who lives in San Francisco), I can never define home- the same challenges you describe: is it where we live, is it where you were born? To my, my home is Maurilio. Home is not “where” he is- home is him.

  4. For my 5 year old, when we went travelling home was where she could lay out her twon stuffed toys, her blankie and spread out here colouring books and pens. It was that simple, as soon as she had everything arranged she was happy!

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