“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~ Augustine of Hippo
Ever since you can remember you’ve wanted to travel. Perhaps you experienced goosebumps when hearing about or seeing images of a particular country when you were young and ever since then have been drawn to that country.
Perhaps you loved delicious works of fiction as a child. You particularly loved those that wrapped themselves around the reader and transported them to far off lands; to treasure islands where protagonists washed up on the shore and had to learn deep inner truths about themselves in order to survive, or rollicking sea voyages turned into life or death battles with monsters from the deep.
To the craggiest deserts, iciest caves and thickest rainforests. If at even the mention of somewhere abroad you croon with excitement, then your spiritual expression is probably Away.
Away from home you are finally free. As the great imagination of middle earth, Tolkien said: ‘Not all those who wander are lost’, and that is certainly true for you.
To be lost makes you feel found and, despite potentially alienating you from others even this revelation sets you free. The moment you step off a plane, train, boat or automobile your imagination soars and your soul begins to sing.
At last! You say. This is what my life is truly meant to be about! All I want to do is learn and experience. With every culture embraced you add a string to your bow and feel safe in the knowledge that you’ve achieved something on this planet.
Hearts get broken, minds become opened, you experience hunger, you laugh, you cry, you hitch lifts, you do crazy things you’d never have dreamed of back home.
You explore a different aspect of yourself. You try weird and wonderful foods, you speak in strange dialects, you learn that all you really need are a pair of good shoes and the will to climb mountains. You appreciate the phrase ‘the best things in life are free’.
You feel like you can’t relate to your friends back home who haven’t traveled. You pity people who are so attached to their beds; homes; tvs that you can’t help but preach to them that if they only took the plunge then they would understand.
You listen to music you’ve heard before which is taken to another level when turned up full pelt on a road trip whilst the landscape is blissful and the company is sound.
You revel in the moment. You love surprise and wonder. You pass through all your lifetimes and various incarnations in one life and celebrate what it is to be human; the diversity of human expression and the limitless boundaries of what we are capable of.
“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.” ~ Pierce Brown
Or, if the thought of jetting off for more than a fortnight turns your stomach, then perhaps Home is more your style.
You see your spiritual quest and challenge as putting down roots and letting them grow. You express your joy in each moment; with family, with friends, children and partners. You don’t feel like you need to travel to have great experiences, they’re all right here on your doorstep!
You’ve always had a meaningful connection with a place and feel you know who you are enough to want to stay there. It reflects who you are and continues to grow with you.
Just when you think you’ve explored every alleyway, public gardens or sections of the library you discover somewhere or someone new. Your home is also an expression of you, and you’ve spent time and care to ensure that everything is exactly where you want it.
You’ve grown vegetables in the garden, painted the walls… this home is YOU. Home vibrates on the perfect frequency of your particular self and is your sanctuary; your getaway from the world. Every time you cook a delicious meal, have a party, laugh in the midst of those four walls you are adding to the love, and your home misses nothing.
You’re not afraid to have relationships with others that grow and change with the tides; you’ve had the same friends since you were young and never tire of them. You don’t understand how some people can drop everything so easily! You love your work or are at least moving towards changing it. Whatever stage you’re at, it offers satisfaction and you know you’re making a difference.
If you spread yourself too thinly, then you’ll never get to really excel at anything. The deeper you go the more life opens up in ways you could never have dreamed of.
You respect the complexities of life and the fruits it brings, and although each of your days appears to have a similar rhythm, the differences and reasons to be grateful are endless.
As Jack Kerouac said ‘“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.” And whether your spiritual expression is Home or Away, you do just that.