It has been ten years since I left home, since I left the place I used to live, the place I used to go to school until I was 19 years old. Soon after graduating, I packed my bags for many adventures, I lived in northern Germany, had many wild years in Berlin, traveled Mexico, traveled Canada, the US, studied in Barcelona, worked in Portugal, visited the Middle East and found places that I call my ‘second homes’, even though I never felt that I had a ‘first’ home.
Over these ten years I found countless things and had countless experiences, lived spirituality, magic, nature, stillness, wilderness, love, sadness, jungle, beaches, mountains, underground rivers, coconut trees, desire, escape, lies, truth, the moon, celebration, fire, loneliness, wonders……
I tell people that I am back from a 2 year-trip. I start counting when I took my “big decision” – the decision to give up the idea of a ‘home’, as in a place to return to, since I didn’t know where it was, and throw myself into the world to explore, and simply follow my heart, only going forward, never look back. These two years have now become this blog.
However, I am actually returning not from a two year trip, but I see that am really ‘home’ after a ten year trip. Everything I did in the last ten years after I left feel like chapters of my life, and my return feels like the closing of a circle. At the same time, I don’t feel the same person that has escaped this sleepy mountain town long time ago. Ten years I have been chasing something, walked through rivers, over mountains, into caves, along coasts, in the middle of vibrant cities and alone in a wilderness cabin, looking, searching, finding, seeing, understanding, forgetting, believing, breaking down, crawling, praying, singing, smiling, needing, giving, contemplating, loving. And I believed, once I found home, I could stay. But I never stayed.
So, is it true? Have I ‘returned’ at last, a concept that I rejected for such a long time?
Yes and No.
When I wander through this town again, it is not the specific landscape, or the specific people, or anything specific that gives me that feeling that I searched for all over the world. I just see the sunlit hills and the sleepy houses, and time seems to stand still. Nothing is demanding anything from me. Stillness, that just surrounds me, without me having to think about it. There truly is something different about this place, different from any other. And I understood.
Home doesnt mean, that you have to stay. Home doesn’t mean you have to do anything actually. Home doesn’t mean that you can’t leave it. Your home doesn’t have to be the home of your future family and children. It is yours, it is you, and it will always be, weather you will come back to it or not. Home, in the end, doesnt have to be a specific town or place. It just has to exist, somewhere, inside you. Now, after all these years, I can see my freedom in it.