Travel is amazing, but also feeds the beast of wanting new experiences. Wanting that high of seeing a new place, meeting a new person, sharing a new culture. So you end up feeling homeless, because everywhere is home.
Do you ever feel like you’ll be discontent for the rest of your life? Not because your life sucks, because you are always stuck with the feeling of wanting MORE.
I think partly I can put blame on my parents. They are English, but raised their children in the United States.
So I grew up in European household with tea being a daily ritual. I started drinking (tiny) amounts of wine when I was 13. My parents let me run around on the beach topless for much longer than most American parents would have felt comfortable.
I guess this makes me a third culture kid, but as British and American culture are somewhat similar, I never noticed until I was much older. I started to realize that my way of thinking was maybe different than my peers. I felt more comfortable around other people who also had foreign parents, because there were certain things I didn’t need to explain.
They instilled in me a love of travel and adventure. They also taught me that no one is better or worse than another, every culture and identity has value. They shared their love of travel with me, and I’ve never stopped.
I feel homeless at times, like I live everywhere and nowhere. Every place I decided to make my home, always feels temporary. I get cabin fever within months and need to take a road trip or buy a plane ticket before I lose my mind. It’s exhausting.
Because of this, I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. I’m a British-American who speaks Spanish and has lived in Honduras, Thailand, Germany and Ecuador. Being a part of these other cultures means some of it as absorbed into my life. So I add them to my “third culture”, a Frankenstein stitched together monster of tiny bits of different cultures. And that part, I love.
And yes, I know Americans are annoying, claiming heritage to whatever .01% of whatever blood they have in their veins. I am a dual citizen to Great Britain, and when I am not there, I feel nostalgia for the island. Then when I visit my cousins in England, I feel distinctly American. It’s extremely confusing.
Where do you put this feeling?
I feel more like an American when I’m abroad, and I feel different when I come back. A part of any travel is learning about the good and bad and absorbing some of into your life, but sometimes it feels like you’re set apart. It can be lonely. And that’s when you start looking for ways out.
Some people find it’s enough to simply have the idea that they could move if they wanted tucked away in the back of their minds, others need to act on it.
This even feels silly to write, like complaining or spending too much time staring at your belly button looking for divine answers. (First world problems) But it can be extremely unsettling to feel like you don’t really belong anywhere.
On one hand, you never feel completely, 100% satisfied with a place. It can tick all the right boxes but what about the next place? The next new town for you to discover? The next culture to assimilate into? Life doesn’t feel exciting without the prospect of the next move.
On the other hand, the benefits of being “homeless” are very tangible:
- It can make you feel worldly and so free – there’s nothing to tie you down.
- It’s great to feel no fear at all when faced with the unknown because you are required to face that unknown so often. As a result, you become resilient, flexible and most of all empathetic.
- Possibilities seem endless.
- Failure never seems like too big a problem. If you are an epic fiasco in one job or place, you know you can pick up and move away and find something else.
- You end up with a wide group of friends of different ages and backgrounds from around the world. You may not see them often, but with social media you can be in touch, have long email or phone conversations, PLUS if you’re ever in their part of the world, you know their doors will be open (and vice versa).
So, I will consider myself a citizen of the world, and feel lucky that I have called so many places home. That I can be a different facet of myself, depending on what situation I am in, and none of them feel false. That I have beautiful friends all over the world. I will make my home in my heart, and carry it with me wherever I go.I will make my home in my heart, and carry it with me wherever I go. Click To Tweet
Do you struggle with feeling homeless?
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