This November, I moved into the fifth place I’ve lived this year.
I’m down to two car loads of belongings, just a few boxes that hold a couple of shirts, a tattered cookbook, my boating gear and my plastic three-drawer “kitchen.”
This house will probably be the last place I move into for a while.
The next time I move, it will probably be back to the Nantahala Gorge in North Carolina.
Right now, I’m lucky because I have my dog and a kitchen. I also have my own bathroom and a full bed.
Being a nomad is fun but a lot of work.
Being a nomad is teaching me a lot about coming home.
Home isn’t a house with a yard and a garage, a mortgage payment or a basement full of storage.
Home isn’t coming back to the same street in the same town every night for years.
Home is the front seat of my car on warm afternoons, driving back from a day spent kayaking with my friends.
Home is the middle seat of my car, where my dog spends approximately half his life but loves it because he gets to be with me.
Home is the trunk of my car where I can fit my entire life and someone else’s if need be.
Home was my staff housing room this summer, with a girl who taught me everything I need to know about trusting my dreams and passions.
Home is the tiny kitchen I shared with 30 others, laughing long into the night over wine and board games.
Home is the house I share with an artist in Asheville. It’s coming home each day and getting to see the progress she’s making on the silver jewelry she taught herself to make.
Home is the river I’ve kayaked a thousand times. The high rock walls of the gorge are dotted with trees and scrub, and the rapids are as hard as ever. I feel like a badass coming off a mere 12 foot waterfall, but my line is perfect and my heart is calm.
Home is my mother’s house where she always has food I can eat and is ready to do my laundry and give me a bed for the night, usually with a mere one hour warning.
Home is my friend’s camper trailer up on a mountain. It’s rickety and cold, but we curl up in blankets and listen to Eddie Vedder in the mornings, watching the sun light the leaves on fire while sipping hot tea and talking about life.
He teaches me so much about letting go.
Home is knowing that it’s okay to not be traditional, it’s okay to have struggles staying anywhere for any length of time.
Home is wherever we are at that moment. It’s knowing ourselves completely and being so okay with ourselves that we are at peace wherever we go.
Home is the yoga studio, the grocery store, it’s being next to our lover, our dog, our friends.
Home is in the sound of laughter at the bottom of a challenging rapid we just crushed.
Home is the relief of hot water on sore muscles.
Home is packing up the car every Friday and venturing off for a few days because that’s what makes the world make sense.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Annabell Plush
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Ashleigh Hitchocck
Photo: courtesy of the author