Not so long ago marked the year anniversary of my trip around the world. I was having dinner with the friends I had met in Israel – Ram Navon, my host, and Joanie Gagnon, a French Canadian who came to Kfar Navon to volunteer as well. Most nights the three of us spent our time together enjoying laughter, soft music, beautiful candlelight dinners, delicious and thoughtful vegan food, and an entire bottle of red wine – only the Canadians doing the drinking.
Since that night almost another two months have passed by – and quickly. I remember my naivety in first coming to this country which was supposed to be a brief introduction into the middle east as I continued to propel myself eastward and past the heat of the desert. Now as summer continues to roll in with the sun a blazing ball of white heat in the sky above I find myself still here and in a different circumstance than I ever thought I would find.
When people travel what are they looking for? It is a question that I have been asking myself over and over again on this trip. Am I searching for answers to the questions I thought I had when I initially set out on this journey? Am I filing a void of empty space lost or was lost or destroyed in my youth? Am I living out my curiosity and sense of adventure? And what about love? Is it something I have been subconsciously seeking? What does my journey around the world say about myself?
When the heat of the desert passes with the falling sun, and the night air with its cool breeze brings sweeping kisses of coolness and tranquility, I am often looking up at the stars as I walk across the dry and cracked earth scattered with thorns. In being here my travelling seems to be less about my independence and more about building time, space, and life with someone else.
Putting the questions I have aside for a moment, what I would like to write about is what it means to have a home – because I think in a way in touches all of them. What I came to realize not so long ago, was that my home country is home in an ephemeral way – it provided me nourishment while I was present, and gave me a setting while I experienced the beauty and pain of life. It is a place that raised me and instilled inside of me a sense of the world as it was presented. It gave me light, darkness, wind and rain. Salty air, rocky coast, boardwalks, and snow. Also, loving hearts, minds, and souls. Beautiful Nova Scotia what else, if anything, does your embrace hold for me? If my family and friends are always present in my heart, and your lakes and surrounding oceans I feel as bones under my skin, can I still feel you as home?
If we go back to my questions now, I can say that what I feel I have been travelling is a journey in that solemn sense of itself. I can say that my wandering was following my heart. I can say that in all of the places I felt and gave love, touched and was held, settled and was embraced, in all of these places I felt at home. If my journey says anything about me it says I have been following a path of love.
In a way my motion has also been a quest – a searching for the right places to give love and be held, to be nourished and to replenish, to become inspired and be inspiring. But these places are always changing. Much like the developing mind of a child. As we need we acquire, and from that receiving we grow. As we grow outside of the space we are in we need more space, and that need creates a movement if we listen. If we do not move when we need to expand we become tired – resisting the deepest desire and grasping of our souls.
I had to move to live …
A friend of mine in Israel once said that, “We are all searching for the Garden of Eden” – we all want to make a paradise of our lives. In some of us this flows out in the best way we know and can feel. And in others this paradise manifests itself through the ways in which they are told they can live. For me, I would say that I really came into my being when I began this movement – when I started deeply listening to myself. The only answer I have for what this travel says about me, is too look at the strength of my heart. I travel because I love.
If there will be a terminating country to my movement, I am unsure. What countries I will settle in for a short period of time is a more ripe and answerable question, although my heart is in someway still a mystery.
I should add about travelling the amount of accumulated growth you feel and receive. In the past year I have grown accustomed to making small homes for myself in the places that have been gifted to me. I still see the road ahead quite like this. I also awknowledge that as you move you learn. What I value about motion is that I pick up the skills and knowledge I need as it reveals itself. When I do find my heaven,for however long that period is, I can begin to live out everything I have in backpack, mind, and heart, to create that transient home around me.
How I make the dreams of mine possible rely on the strength I am willing to give myself to listen deeply. To keep moving means to keep trusting, to be open to learning, but mostly to be open to love.
I do not believe in settling for anything less than what you have always wanted – never discrediting happiness or swapping it out of the picture for ease and accessibility. We all have the power to give ourselves everything, all the beauty, we deserve. Unfortunately many of us are scared of our own lightness – it is our deepest fear. If you can move away from the fear of becoming ones highest self, the whole world opens up to you as it is – its yours; ours.
So let the world love you. Let it be your playground. Love yourself and let that trust guide you. Let yourself be heard.