Home > mountains, personal, Things that make me happy, travel > Typing practise – travel vs anchored to a home

Typing practise – travel vs anchored to a home

Where do I live? Where is home? What do I want and need from a home? What is Glasgow to me?

I feel increasingly cut free from an earthly anchor. I’ve been fairly happily living in Glasgow for ten years. I love this city, and the life it offers me suits me well. At a basic level, I can cover my survival needs without too much time and effort. I love that I can quickly get into the wilds of the highlands and islands, lochs and rivers and moorland and coastline, whilst also living in a city. The latter is important to me as I like to fill my time with talks, museums, coffee with interesting and intelligent people, variety of places to eat etc.

Travelling in India was every bit as incredible as I’d hoped. Every bit as fulfilling. My brain was nourished as delectably as my stomach. My eyes feasted. My ears savoured. Conversations, feeling the freedom of a 30 hour train journey, the landscape passing by, walking in the mountains and discovering precipaces beyond which the clouds partially veil miles of hills, forest, village, fields and yet more glorious mountains. And the food. Oh gods (every last minor village idol) the food. And whilst we’re on it, the temples. The melange of deities and spiritualities and ways of being. So each encounter was unpredictable and my universe was almost overwhelmingly rich with the colour of it all.

Could I live there? Probably not. There was plenty to frustrate and exhaust and drive my crazy. Travelling for 4 months in a place is one experience, but the delightful whirlwind would not be so great once the mundanity sets in and my brain isn’t eating so much, but the irritations have rubbed raw. But here’s the thing, I don’t think I could “live” anywhere anymore. I don’t want to settle. I don’t want to let an anchor hold me fixed. I need a certain amount of “home” – a place I have some sense of community and continuity. Where its easy for me to get together a road stake for my next adventure. Where I can reconnect with people and projects and possessions. And a washing machine! I love Glasgow for that. I love how good it is to return here and regroup. I love the people I have here. And the stability which gives my brain a chance to process and reintegrate and build from all that it has consumed. Home is now the novel, and so there is pleasure to be had from as minor a delight as hot showers on tap, and listening to my own music, and not having to repack my bag every few days. Wearing clothes other than the limited wardrobe of that which I could carry and was culturally acceptable. Hugs. Familiar foods. Ok, that last was not as great ;)

So what seems to be something that would work for me is to remain with Glasgow as my base, but to not be too bound to here. For Glasgow to be the place I am most, yet, not where I spend most of my time. I have been mostly here since April, but am about to go to London for 5 months. After that? I quite fancy India again for February, as a reward for completing my tropical nursing diploma and because I don’t need a justification for leaving the UK in the winter… I really want to travel back from India overland, via Nepal, China and Russia, but not sure if that will be viable. I definitely want to return to Gaza. Remote nursing in Canada for 4-6 months one summer appeals, and would be an amazing adventure, a heap of fresh nursing challenges, and a good way to earn money for other adventures.

As I approach 40 – and I’m still trying to deal with how that affects my identity and how I, and others, see myself – I’m suddenly feeling time pressures. There’s so much I want to see and do. This past year the boundaries of my world have opened up. I feel the call of the road as acutely as ever, but have taken off the muffles that for years I tried to mute it with. Now, music from Armenia comes on the radio and I ache to be there. I taste Persian food, and without conscious thought start googling the price of flights. I don’t know if its the same, having never felt it, but I’m reminded of how broody friends describe wanting to have kids. This is what I want for my life. This brings me fulfillment and meaning. To be unrooted, without anchor, free from fixed abode is what I feel I need.

  1. giveinfo
    August 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Wow. Was all this done without looking at the keyboard? You really are quite amazing – love your rambling thoughts. How different we are – I need the security of familiar things, to know where I will be sleeping tonight, to be greeted in the street and shops, etc. You are quite awesome knowing yourself so honestly I love you, darling

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