Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Home And Away

I am home, returned once again to the quiet and familiar of my modest apartment here in Calgary. Just as much as travel and exploration is exciting, coming back to the safety and stability of home is comforting. To sit without agenda, no need to move or be moved, no requirement to get up and go or pack up and leave, this is the calm that home delivers.

This is not to say I don't like travel and adventure. If you know anything of me, you know how much I love to see a new place, to re-explore an old place. To know me is to know I am an adventurer, forever seeking the road not yet driven, the site not yet seen. I love to go where others have not considered going, to do the uncommon thing, to see the place less traveled. What is more true is that my love of adventure and travel have made home all the more precious.

If all of life were adventure, there would be no adventure, for without the knowledge of hearth and home, adventure simply becomes the norm. In the same breath, to never leave home, to fail to explore even the closest of adventures around you, is to learn little, to live in fear of the unknown, the unexpected. The power of home is its predictability and safety; the power of travel is its unpredictability, the unknowns, the risks. Both of these things, in measures that fulfill, mean more than each on its own.

My home is a meaningful place to me, a place where I belong, where my few possessions surround me, I possessing them rather than them possessing me, so it's easy for me to both be here and to leave. My home is a place where I have a place, where I fit, not just in these four walls that surround me, but in my community and social life as well. There is a peaceful rhythm to home, where each day is known and each night is similar. It is where I fit, where I belong.

Travel and adventure is such a powerful experience, made all the more powerful not by its plan and perfection but by it's lack of plan and imperfection. The excitement is when it takes you to a place unknown, to see that which you have not yet seen, the wonder of arriving in a place where you never thought you could or would. The amazing part of it is that this adventure can take place as close as a short drive away, or as far as halfway around the globe. The new is not just the far, often it is the near as well.

I will head off to Europe in a few weeks, an adventure for sure. Yet this adventure will take me to both the familiar and the unfamiliar. Soon this kind of travel will be more than I can do. Then my adventures will become closer to home, to the mountains and backroads where a friend can drive me for an afternoon. And even then, returning home will be as good and fulfilling as leaving it.

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