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From Where I Hail Is Not as Interesting as Where I Am Headed

Today I realized that home really is a state of mind.  We have no physical house any longer. And yet wherever we are, we reset the GPS location to announce ‘home’, because it is wherever Ivan and I are together.

We have not joined the 220 million people (which would be the fifth largest nation in the world), who live in countries other than their birthplace. We are not a part of even that nation as we don’t live anywhere now; we are homeless wanderers.

Our nomadic status yields a mixed response; awe and jealousy, bewilderment and disbelief, wonderment and aspiration.

We often meet denial at first; “No way, you don’t have a home?!” Conversations close with acceptance. “Well good for you”.  And then a parting comment; “I hope I’ll be able to do that one day” or the opposite “I could never dream of doing what you’re doing!” An unofficial poll seems to draw a split vote.

Yesterday, strolling in the Asheville Arts district, artists asked us where we were from, a common conversation starter. Invariably, the answering of that question would cause us to plant ourselves for lengthly periods describing our new life and how it came about.

We were stopping to chat for longer than we were walking. Since exercise was the purpose of the stroll, at the next studio, I declined answering that show-stopping question. When I hesitated, this artist surprisingly mentioned how he had just met a couple who said they were from ‘nowhere’. He related this couple’s incredulous story of having sold all that they owned and were now nomadically wandering. I was so surprised. I felt transparent. He had seen right through me and somehow knew I was also a wanderer.

Nomad Deena
Deena at Home in Assateague National Seashore

Some argue that travel is great if you have a home to go back to.  Ivan and I agree with Pico Iyer who said:

“Home, in the end, is not just the place where you sleep, it’s the place where you stand. Home is the place where you become yourself.”

5 thoughts on “From Where I Hail Is Not as Interesting as Where I Am Headed

  1. Beautifully said. Home is really IS a state of mind. I am home when I am with those I love and love me.

    be safe on your travels!!


  2. I love this phrase!
    However, when I get asked where I’m from, I belive that it is just asking where I am originally from not where I currently live. And so, I respond with Israel. I assure you I do not plan on living there any time soon, or ever for that matter.
    Nonetheless, I do like the wanderer response, its sounds much cooler 😉
    Love you guys!
    Enjoy the holidays!

  3. I love that quote. I relate-sort of- from the 11 months that my ex and I spent living in our RV. At that time the entire US was my back yard. I loved always having my ‘home’ with me no matter where we went. I’m enjoying reading of your travels and know mine and Paul’s own rendition is eminent…

    Enjoy your wanderings…life is short. Carpe Diem.


  4. A delight to read this, Deana, and I look forward to following your mobile home in the days, weeks, months and even years to come. “Home” is a vast topic and I have long been intrigued by what home means and why certain people cling to one place and others are more inclined to wander. And some … why, they prefer a balance of the two. I like the photograph of you at Assateague, one of my favorite places on Mother Earth … very enthralled the two times I visited there and beheld the wild ponies.

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