One of the things which has changed is my concept of home.
Like most people, prior to traveling I’ve lived in some sort of dwelling my whole life. I always had a place where I had my stuff and I could go to bed. Whenever I would travel, even when I was traveling around the US attending debate tournaments in college, I knew I would eventually be heading back to the place where I had all my stuff.
This is something which is ingrained so deeply in most people that they don’t even recognize it. They’ve never been without a home, so they’ve never had the feeling of being without it.
Regardless if you have a good or bad trip, the feeling is still there planted in the back of your head. If your trip is great, you will regret going home, and if it is a horrible trip you will be happy to go home. Either way, the idea of home is always there.
When I began traveling back in 2007, even though I had sold my house the idea of home was still stuck in my head like a vestigial meme. Many times during the first few months traveling I would find myself thinking about home only to catch myself. I would literally force myself to think, “No, you aren’t going home”.
For months this idea kept popping up in my head, and for months I had to beat it back down. It cause some low level anxiety for maybe the first half year I was on the road.
Eventually, I stopped thinking about home.
It wasn’t until several years later that I realized the shift that occurred in my thinking.
By jettisoning the idea of home I came to see wherever I am as being home. I know it sounds cheesy and zen, but I really do consider myself at home wherever I am in the world.
It is something which has given me considerable peace of mind. I’m seldom in a rush. I don’t get stressed when I have delayed or missed flights. I’m not worried about where I’ll be tomorrow or next year.
I am where I am right now.
This is a very difficult thing to explain if you have never experienced it. Even if I did have a home again at some point in the future, I don’t see myself going back to my old way of thinking.
Changing my mindset has been one of the biggest personal benefits to traveling.