Often people ask "Where is home?" as I travel. I don't know where I want to settle yet, except the weather conditions of the place are tropical! So, as I sit in my house that is failing to sell and my frustration built about the past circumstances that still leave this hanging building around me it felt hard not to be sucked back into the misery of being back 'home'.
The bricks of a building do not make a home. I regretted buying my house before it completed. My marriage was clearly falling apart and my then husband's promises that things would get better failed to materialise. I lived in my house for less than 6 months, yet over 5 years later I still own that building although I have not lived in it.
We are told the fallacy that owning property will provide a home for us. But after my accident I was unable to work and afford my London flat. My ex-husband habited the house and I could not move back in, nor did he pay me rent to help me afford another place to live. Penniless and too ill to work, it was the generosity of my best-friend and sister saved me from the likely chance of becoming homeless for 18 months. I can never express my gratitude to them both for this. So, my house never gave me shelter when I was in need.
When I chose to leave the UK in 2016, I had no plans on how I would fund my new life or find shelter. I knew I wanted minimal financial concerns, less stuff, and the simplicity of a quieter life. With £1,500 and a flexible ticket I arrived in Costa Rica with my yoga teacher training planned and no other plans for the 3 months. It wasn't scary because the lack of plan was the only thing that didn't fill me with overwhelm and dread at a bad decision.
After completion of the teacher training the uncertainty about how I would fund myself or shelter myself began to worry me. I stuck with staying open and a work exchange opportunity appeared: lovely accommodation and delicious food for teaching. I recall that first night being overwhelmed with my good fortune!
Now as I meet other yogi teaching wanderers who complain about us not being paid for our work, but merely given shelter and food, I am surprised. The value exchange ensures shelter and good food: our basic human needs are being met. It is a blessing to do something you love in exchange for your fundamental security.
My return to my house in England had me very grumpy about my old life. That evening I attended the book launch in Canterbury at a charity called 'Catching Lives' about their new illustrated book about Harbledown, an urban fox, journey around Canterbury as the eyes of a homeless person.
I was so humbled by these people trying to rebuild their lives through creative exploration to something so profoundly simple and beautiful. Their stories and journey about reconnecting with others to re-find their own sense of confidence, skills and new purpose touched me deeply.
I acknowledge most days how close to the brink I was to join them on the streets. That is was the love and support I received from many people that helped me rebuild my life. Sadly, this is not always the story of others with head injuries who may have substantial changes in their relationships.
Hope to Find Home
I feel more at home in a work exchange hotels than in my house. My travels help me clarify what I want from my home and maybe there is more than one place for me to call 'home'. We can always find a home if we show our true shining self, feeling free and joyful. Because people are drawn to happy shining people! But that means we each have a responsibility to keep our own hope and our own light shining.
For me, a home is not a physical structure that gives me security. Home is where I am valued for who I am and lets me shine. We become homeless when we cannot connect with others anymore, not even to ask for help from a kind stranger's helping hand.