I have a rare and wonderful few hours of truly free time. I closed the loop of work stuff last night before some leave, and am waiting for Maria, Johanna and Gaylene to join me in Melbourne this afternoon. Ben Howard playing, cup of tea in hand I pause and take in the view across the road to the Grand Hotel. The sun is trying hard to warm the chilly spring air as people go about their living. Tourists drag their bags to Southern Cross Station, a teenager skates past the shadows of budding trees and a father bends down to welcome his running toddler into his arms. I think about my 50th birthday party tomorrow night and feel deep gratitude for love, peace and joy.
Over the next few weeks you can follow our travel blog at duthie.net.au
I have been lucky. Walking through the front door at the end of a working day has been a genuinely wonderful experience for me for many years. Home has been where Maria is and where the kids have grown up. But it has also strongly been associated with ‘place’. For the last 20 years that has been our little piece of urbania in Brunswick East that we have shaped to reflect who we are.
Our friend Alison has an incredibly good blog called the Idea of Home. I also love the notion of a town as home as in the Lucky Wonders, Thing About Leaving (scroll down to track 9 on Lay Down My Arms) But one of the challenges for me in 2013 is re-imagining what ‘home’ means.
My evenings and sleeping will happen in 3 places spread over 4000kms. In the past, time away for work has been just that: time away [from home]. But I figure that to make the most of the travel time and evenings I need to shift my mindset. This hotel room in Port Moresby has to be ‘home’ in way that it has never been before. The sofa bed in the library at Roslin, our Victorian terrace office in West Melbourne has to be more than a transient couch.
No doubt, the trip up the Bruce Highway from Brisbane airport to our apartment on the Sunshine Coast will certainly feel like a homecoming because that’s where Maria will be and where we’ve chosen to spend most of our time. But moving to a new place, especially doing the sea change into a new community will have its challenges.
I’ve got many friends who live transient lives. Carol Lawson has already offered some tips in her comment here. My brother and sister-in-law live the most transient life imaginable and we’ve talked lots with them. But I’m curious to hear from others – what have you learned about ‘home’ when living an itinerant lifestyle?