What is Home?
Yesterday, I got a massage at a salon in Prague and I was asked to fill out some paperwork beforehand. Where do I live? What’s my address? I’ve generally taken these seemingly mundane questions for granted. I paused before putting my Prague address down on the form.
Sure, if I need to get a piece of mail in the United States, I have an address for that. But I’m not there. And soon, someone new will move his things into my house in Portland. As soon as that happens, it’s no longer my home. For the next year, it’s his.
Home used to be a sanctuary of sorts. Even with the frequent construction projects in my neighborhood and the sometimes frustrating parking situation, it was usually really peaceful to me. A place to cook. A place to write. A place where I chose all the paint colors. I could procrastinate and make plans and talk on the phone and have dance parties in the kitchen with Jeff.
Since we arrived in Prague, there’s been construction every day on the street where about half of the Remote Year participants are staying. Today, they warned us that they’d be turning the water off for most of the day, so I planned to spend the day away from “home.” My definition of home will likely evolve quite a bit while I’m on this adventure.
Right now, home is where I wake up, where I (sometimes) make the bed.
Home is where I have snacks in the cupboard and bubbly water in the fridge.
It’s the place I go back to after a long walk around the city.
It’s the place I’ve assigned “home” on Google maps.
Home is where I make coffee in the morning. Hand-grind the beans, put the kettle on.
Home is where my robe and slippers live.
Right now, home is a place where I know my neighbors. Above, below and across the hall.
I may or may not be able to pronounce the street name correctly.
I don’t own it, and I’m not really renting it.
I’m just passing through.