Thursday, May 27

There's No Place Like Home



In my life I have lived in Bermuda, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. I have traveled to most of the Eastern seaboard and California. I've been to the Bahamas, and I've traveled to Italy and France. I've flown over the Swiss Alps and slept outdoors on a mountain in the Sierra Nevadas. But for me . . . travel is always about coming home.

Home is where my heart is. It's where, in the words of George Carlin, my "stuff" is. When I come home from travel, I am physically nearly pining for my own bed.

What I love about travel is the escape from the Activities of Daily Living. As an author, I travel for signings and events, and it's my chance to run away from home--and my four kids, three dogs and cat, and all the laundry--for a couple of days. If I drip toothpaste on the sink in a hotel bathroom, someone ELSE will clean it. They'll also make my bed. It's a decadent life. But I'm always grateful it's just those few days.

After a bit, I find myself longing for sticky kisses from my five-year-old, and the chatter of my other three. I don't miss the mess--I'll be honest. But I miss what home IS. It's a safe place. The place I can be fully ME--whatever that is. It is the place of unconditional love and comfort. It's home.

And like Dorothy . . . sometimes it takes travel to make you realize just how much your heart's desire is often in your own backyard. My characters and themes are often very much that message. There is a scene in Pyramid of Souls that is a complete homage to that very lesson.

How about you? What does home mean to you? Is travel a blessing? Do you long for home when you're away?

17 comments:

Sara Z. said...

Oh, this is me exactly, minus the sticky kisses of children. YES, it's great to travel, especially when you are Being An Author and you get to stay in nice hotels and there are constantly people asking if they can get you anything. I love the mental space that gets cleared up by being away from the never-ending daily tasks.

But every time I am away from home, half of that newly-freed mental space is spent thinking about things I want to do at home - clean out the closet, hang a new painting, re-arrange the furniture. I'm always so happy to get back. I'm such a homebody that sometimes in the middle of my work day, if I'm at my office, I'll think, "I just want to be home right now" and off I'll go.

Erica Orloff said...

Sara:

I am lucky in that I write full-time and work from home. But it has definitely exacerbated my hermit tendencies. :-)

Wendy Toliver said...

I'm lucky because I do get to travel quite a bit, but yes, there is something wonderful about returning home to my own bed, my own towels, my own kitchen, my pets, etc.

Erica Orloff said...

Wendy:
Sometimes the clutter drives me nuts, but there is no place like home. :-)

Kath Calarco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kath Calarco said...

Color me weird (a faded saffron), but I prefer day-trips to days away. My bed is my castle, spiraling staircases included! But a favorite play list brings me home no matter where I travel. Funny how music keeps us grounded at times.

LurkerMonkey said...

When I was younger, I used to be sleep pretty much anywhere. It didn't mean much to me whether I was in my own bed, on someone's floor, a hotel room, a sleeping bag. But as I've gotten older, I've grown more and more attached to the value of home ...

bookaholic said...

I love traveling! However,when I am out traveling I feel like home and vice-versa! I am full of contradictions I guess!

Erica Orloff said...

Kath:
I love day trips--or just overnighters up to D.C.

Erica Orloff said...

Jon:
When I was younger I preferred sleeping at my best friend's house--she of the mellow parents who let us do whatever we wanted. But now that I am an adult, my home is just fine.

Erica Orloff said...

bookaholic:
Very cool! If I have to be away from my kids for a stretch, I bring reminders of home so it seems more lie it.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Home is where my family is and where I watch GH - pretty easy to keep track of!

Erica Orloff said...

Lauren:

LOL! What will you do if GH ever goes off the air?!?

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Erica, if GH goes off the air and my family abandons me I'll just be a poor soul wandering in the woods.

Sara Hantz said...

I know exactly what you mean about coming home, it's like you can totally relax and let go!

Melissa Walker said...

I love traveling but a lot of its sweetness is in coming home!

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