Finding Home in the Unknown

How do we find home?

I’ve been writing about the comfort zone a lot lately and this is because I’ve purposefully been outside of mine for the last number of weeks. Solo travelling has been a source of growth for me for a few years now. It’s the most effective way to lave the comfort zone that I know of.

That said, we need a comfort zone. For the sake of our mental health, we need a place where we feel we belong. We need a place where we don’t feel challenged, where anxiety is low, where we are accepted. Leaving the comfort zone is essential, but having a comfort zone to return to is important, too.

Often, we refer to this comfort zone as ‘home’ and you can find pockets of home throughout the world.

There is of course your literal, physical home. The place you live most often, where you have people who love you, where everything is familiar. Mine is in Cork, and there isn’t anything that can truly substitute this feeling of home.

However, you can carve out home within the discomfort zone. You can build networks, and relationships and a sense of familiarity, and suddenly the foreign place you’re in doesn’t feel so foreign.

Suddenly there are people you can depend on, and routines you can lean into. Suddenly there is less discomfort than there is comfort. This is what ‘home’ is in its essence. A place where our sense of comfort outweighs our experience of discomfort.

Home is an oasis in the desert. It is where we go to recoup, to rest and recover. We all need a home but we shouldn’t become lost in it. I think of home as a place to return to eventually, like Odysseus after decades of adventure. Staying home forever isn’t where life is found. Returning home allows us to make sense of why we left in the first place.

When we leave, we take a piece of home with us like a seed, and we try to plant that sense of home in as many places as we can. And in doing so we create many oases across the globe.

And when we do this the world gets a little bit smaller, home gets a little bit bigger, and our purpose becomes a little bit clearer.

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