They say home is where the heart is
But my heart is wild and free
So am I homeless or just heartless
Where do you come from? It’s one of many seemingly simple questions, but these days simple questions are turning into the ones with ever more complicated answers.
I come from Poland. But I haven’t lived there for more than 7 years now. Where was I educated? Well, in Germany. Except that I also studied in Spain and got the most important life lesson in Ecuador. Where do I live now? Again in Spain, but I constantly backpack through unknown territories and can’t help falling in love with places I’ve never been to. Which place goes deeper inside me? Where do I spend most of my time then? It depends. Where do I feel local? I feel local in Madrid, Berlin, and Krakow. Home for me is a work in progress. I constantly work on it, upgrade, correct, change.
If someone would ask me suddenly out of nowhere Where is your home?, I would probably think about my friends, my beloved ones, and my notebook that is always with me.
My home is whatever I carry around inside me. And it is a terrific liberation. My grandparents had a sense of home, community and local identity that was assigned to them. I can create it by myself, I can choose where I am and where I am going to, although I cannot change where did I start.
You cannot choose where you come from but you can choose where you go from there.
I love movement. The beauty of being surrounded by the foreign is that it smashes you and wakes you up constantly, you cannot take anything for granted. Travelling is a little bit like falling in love all over again because suddenly all your senses are absolutely awake, you are alert to the secret patterns of the world and unknown smells of the fascinating environment. You watch the world with glittering eyes and you soon realise that the greatest mysteries are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
Movement, for me, brings possibilities. I can rediscover myself, learn, and grow. It pushes me constantly out of my comfort zone and forces me to re-establish my understanding of basic existential concepts all over again. Change is the only constant.
We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again – to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.
Finally, home it’s the place where you become yourself. Home is when I can crush to my friend’s place after months of absence and feel as if I have never left. Where you have friends who will ask you to pick up a washing machine for them and then get up at 5am to go to your favourite electronic music club.
I live in a wonderful and constantly evolving mix of places. It forms me as a human and it marks my identity. Where do you come from is for me really not as important as where are you going.
But movement is only as good as the sense of stillness that you can bring to it to put it into perspective. So when I feel like I need to stop and stare, I simply do. One of the biggest realisation from my early twenties is that I can step to the side, turn off my phone and leave my laptop in the drawer and recover the slowness and stillness that I need, and the world will still keep turning when I come back. My contribution is important, but things also work without me. What a wonderful news, aren’t they?
During my lonely hikes or just some days spend in nature the days seem to stretch for thousands of hours, I am all by myself, surrounded by nature and silence, which has an actual sound. The hardest thing for me to do normally is not doing anything at all. But I know it’s essential to my mental health and to be able to hear the voice inside me, which is so easy to miss when you are constantly running from one place to another.
It’s only by stopping movement that you can see where to go, and where your home is. Movement is an amazing privilege and it allows us to do so much more than the previous generations could ever dream of. But movement only has a meaning when you have time to get still again, and a home to go back to.
Home is where you go when you run out of homes.
I am not sure what a home exactly is, but it is surely not a piece of floor or a bed where you sleep, but rather a place where you can wake up and smile, and where you know where to find your first coffee.
This post was originally published on Medium: