When a homebody leaves home

I sometimes think people assume I’m joking when I say I’m a hobbit at heart. But if my INFJ, Ennegram 9 and Cancer characteristics don’t scream it loud enough:

I most certainly am.

There is nothing I love more than good food and good company in my own little hole in the ground home. Add in a good book, and it’s a great feat to get me to leave (Mason knows this well 😉).

I was born and raised in a little town of rolling green hills and a river that runs through it. I dreamt of an old farmhouse like my great-grandparents – complete with sprawling oak trees and chickens pecking around a garden of cantaloupe and squash. Slow, slow days…

Then I found myself married to a pilot, and everything changed.

Despite my fondness for adventure and exploration, having to call somewhere else home is difficult to wrap my head around. Could home really be a place other than that little town of childhood memories and family history? I’ve accepted that this feeling of homesickness will always be gently tugging at my heart.

In many ways, the Airstream is my solution to my need of constancy. It’s 200 square feet of familiar, a haven in strange places.

It too is home to memories – of baking Thanksgiving pies, my nephew playing video games with us in our little nook, my niece playing “house” with her Barbies and my dad having breakfast with us around the table he helped us build.

There are still moments I think I’m crazy. Like when we found ourselves at this RV park with no shade and heat advisories warning of 110 degree temps. Or the fact that the parks here are filling up quickly and we still don’t know where we should go next. In those moments, I long for the normalcy of the home I had known before. The cool river breezes and shaded cypress trees.

But the universe keeps landing us here, in this land of unknowns. Even though I miss my family and friends and old, easy routines… the familiar haunts…

There is a love for the discovery, too. Finding and exploring places that didn’t exist in my world-view before. Pushing beyond boundaries is something that always hurts at first, and yet, I always find myself falling in love with it all in the end.

As a homebody, hobbit-like soul, I do have to leap a lot. When everyone was saying goodbye, I had to run out the door without looking back. Couldn’t think too much, couldn’t feel too much. Otherwise that mental barrier would never be broken, and I’d never step foot out the door.

All that is to say, sometimes I think homebodies are more apt to leave their hearts in the places they come to know – or at least, I know bits of me are scattered all over. I can’t just “live” in a place. That isn’t in my nature. Seeds are sown and memories are made – the sense of a place is felt. No matter how long or short the stay.

Despite the nomadic path we find ourselves on now and the nerves in the pit of my stomach that are hungering for roots, it’s nice to know that our list of places we’ve called home will grow. Our definition of home will grow.

Life blossoms into things we would never have guessed, and I daresay, we’ll find ourselves there and back again, too.

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