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It's more than just a building.

Galway, Ireland. My home away from home. 

"Home is where the heart is." My mom always says that to me when we get off the phone when I am away at school. I guess I never really understood what that meant or why she would say that. Until this year, actually a few days ago, when I was making the twelve hour drive home from school by myself. 

It was then that I realized that my school is my home. And my friends are my home. And my cozy 10x14 dorm room is my home. And Ireland is my home, even though I don't live there, because my family is from there, and I can walk the streets and touch the buildings and feel the cool foggy air on my skin and know that I belong. And my car is also my home. And the physical house that I grew up in is my home. And my family that inhabit that house are also my home. 

You can have more than one home, because home is not a just place, home is a feeling. 

I'm like ninety percent sure that there is this Phillip Phillips song that says "I'm gonna make this place our home." or something like that. And if you actually think about that, its true. A house is just a foundation, with some walls that become rooms. But it is the people that live there, the love that is spread there, the memories that are made there that make that house a home. 

Also there is this line in the "One Last Time" from the Hamilton soundtrack where George Washington turns to Hamilton and says, "At home in this nation we made." And if you stop and think about what that really means, I think that it is saying that they don't want this nation to just be a place to live, but a place to be at home. This is their new home, the start of one of the greatest nations in history. England was not home to them... but they picked up everything, and fought in a war, to make this new land their forever home. 

And while we can have all of these different homes, the reason why these people, these memories, and these things are our homes is because of the familiarity of them, the feeling of safeness that they radiate, and the abundant shelter that they provide us. They remain, they welcome us back, they envelope us. With grooved steering wheels and smooth leather seats. With warm hugs and belly laughs. With free laundry and a nice warm bed. With grassy fields and bitter beer. These places become our homes because they feel like home. They feel like love. And they help us to become the best versions of ourself. 

If you lose the physical building of your house.. do you lose your home? Or can you make a new home with the same people? I think that we get so caught up on a notion that home has to be this ideal thing when home can be whatever the heck you want. 

I remember growing up always traveling, always being on planes and flying from one place to the next. A lot of my friends would tell me that they would feel anxious in the airport, overwhelmed with it all. But I never felt that way. I knew how the signs worked, I loved the little adrenaline rush you get when you have less time than expected to catch your connecting flight. But just because I feel at home in the airport, does not mean that my home is also your home. Because it doesn't have to be. 

Have you ever traveled overseas or even just far from home, and then you finally pull onto your street, or you land in your home city's airport and you can just take a sigh of relief because you know that you are finally home? 

I think thats the best part about home. It doesn't have to be anything in particular, but it could be. Home can be wherever, whenever, however you want it. 

So what/who/where is your home? Have you found it? 

P.S. Listen to the song "Home from Home" by Roo Panes.