In last week's blog post, someone commented, "It is an amazing age that we live in, where we can meet people from the other side of the U.S. in person because of the internet." Earlier this summer, in upstate New York at Chautauqua, I told someone I was from Seattle, and they said, "You are a long way from home."
I have thought about those comments. And I've realized that these days, home is just a bigger place for me.
Our primary home is about 1900 square feet in a Seattle suburb. It's where we raised our family, where we have a garden on a third of an acre. It's the address we list in our business and financial dealings. We live in this house from May through October, with slushy dates at the beginning and the end.
Our second home is 620 square feet in a 55+ RV resort in Tucson. It's where we spend Washington's dark and rainy months, engaged in multiple fun and interesting activities like plays, water aerobics, current events and foreign policy discussions. We fly down this year on November 7.
Then we have other places that feel like home because we've been there multiple times: the schooner Heritage in Maine and Arroyo Roble resort in Sedona, Arizona and Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Even a week once every year or two assumes a deep familiarity after a decade or so.
Or places where we visit friends regularly, like Roseburg, Oregon.
We don't feel like we're away from home when we're in any of these places.
In the last few years we've traveled outside these familiar places: to Italy, Ecuador, Eastern Europe, Greece and Africa. My experience is that the places feel "away from home" for a few days. But just for that long. Because I quickly see the similarities. No matter where people live, or how they look, or dress, or eat, or what kind of dwelling they have, they're all pretty much like us. They have the same hopes. The more I go to different places, the more they all seem like home.
I visited Oinofyta, Greece for the first time in August. I'm returning in October. In my mind I see where I'll be spending my days. It feels like home already.
So when people say to me, "You sure do travel a lot," I think to myself, "Really, it's just a bigger place called home."
I've heard it said that "home is where the heart is." I am all over that.