When I moved from Perth to Melbourne, I experienced the strange paradox of being in a new and unfamiliar place, yet feeling—almost instantly—that this city was “home” in a way Perth had never been.
The benefits of travel have been preached for the ages, but I am a firm advocate of living in a new city at least once in your lifetime.
In my six years in Melbourne, I have lived in five houses and crashed on many couches. When I reached house number 21, I thought I’d finally found a house I would call home. My partner and I rented his dad’s investment property—a real fixer-upper—and spent 12 months renovating. It was filthy, exhausting, and extremely satisfying work.
When the paint was dry, we adopted two gorgeous cats. We put armfuls of our mandarins in a basket on the picket fence, and found thank you notes in their place. We had parties. We buried compost.
For a few years, I was happy. But then I got bored—of my life, my relationship, and even our house—and a restless energy disrupted my life until everything had been turned over, examined closely and eventually discarded.
I have since learned to think of home as much bigger, more abstract, than just a house. It’s a feeling of sanctuary.
Home is a spot where I can stretch my legs in the afternoon sun. Home is the smell of burning incense, vegetable curry, and freshly washed clothes. Home is wherever I have my morning coffee and roll out my yoga mat.