Working overseas opens you up to change. You see new ways of doing things. You experience a new culture. You try a new language. For the time we are there, we call it home. That is, until we move to the next one. In this flexible lifestyle, what do we call home?
Wherever I lay my hat – that’s my home
~ Paul Young
Making a place home
I have moved a lot in my working life, staying in country towns and cities. When I moved to Melbourne, I did a tour of inner-city suburbs before deciding to buy a home and stay put – thinking I was done with moving. Who knew?
Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans …
~ John Lennon
In all those moves, there was a common theme for me in choosing a place to live. I always wanted to make it my “home” for the time of being there. That meant forming new friendships, joining groups and creating a physical space that I wanted to come home to and bring friends to.
Home is where memories are made
While I think fondly of the various places that have been home for me, there are those that have a stronger pull because of the memories made there. These include where family events and celebrations that have been held. Home is not just the physical environment lived in, it is the memories evoked.
Memories bring a sense of familiarity and connection. It reminds us about being part of a bigger group of family members, friends and neighbours. There are relationships that can be picked up where they were left, adding the joy of reunion and the excitement of shared news. This is only achieved through longevity – spending time in these places.
… there’s no place like home!
~ Dorothy, Wizard of Oz
A flexible home is our new normal
Despite our ongoing movement between ski resorts, our flexible lifestyle means having a few “homes”. In each place, we are part of a community and that’s what makes it work. Those connections are what binds us to this way of life and to our memory-making. They are what keep us on this path.
Happiness doesn’t lie in conspicuous consumption and the relentless amassing of useless crap. Happiness lies in the person sitting beside you and your ability to talk to them. Happiness is clear-headed human interaction and empathy. Happiness is home. And home is not a house-home is a mythological conceit. It is a state of mind. A place of communion and unconditional love. It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.
~ Dennis Lehane