If you are a Digital Nomad, you may already have a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach about that word. When I’m working abroad and exploring the globe, living my life, loving the experience and someone says “so where’s home for you?”, I often look perplexed.
Home is right here. Wherever I am. I am home. Inside of me. Where my heart resides.
But, the more conventional thought on home is where you’re from or where you have a literal home. When people ask, what their often referring to is where was I born, raised and my family from?
Easy. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
But, my Digital Nomad soul knows that home is so much more than where I was born. It’s where I feel welcomed, connected, loved and supported.
To me, home is:
Toronto – because my mom & dad are here and it’s where my business took off.
Colorado – where I lost my heart and still hear it call in the mountains.
Ohio – where I built a tribe of awakened conscious loving souls who support me… no matter what.
Hawaii – because my senses light up when I arrive and everything pulls me closer to aloha.
New Zealand – where my heart currently lives and I feel safe, loved, happy, connected, and free. Where my best life longs to be lived and my dreams continue to grow.
In Me – my heart, mind, spirit connect and home is where I stand. In nature, the grocery store, driving in the car, on a plane. Home is me.
So, when I “go home” meaning Toronto, I struggle. It doesn’t feel like “home” in the traditional sense anymore. It feels like a place I used to know that my family still resides in. Toronto feels like somewhere I’ve been in long distant memory.
For many Digital Nomads, the reason “home” is difficult is that it brings up their past. For me, I was married and divorced here. I was sick here. I launched a business and grew a business here that opened me up to the rest of the globe. Many memories are amazing here but many still hurt.
Going “home” also may mean a loss of freedom. You might go “back to work” for a time. After being self-employed and working nomadically, being “chained” to a desk can feel like torture. Three weeks paid vacation sounds like a death sentence vs a Godsend. You’ve experienced and lived another way to do life and for all of it’s pitfalls (and yes there are many too) it’s awakened something deep inside of you that “home” locks in a box and hides from the sun.
“Home” can also mean culture shock. If you’ve been living abroad, you get used to a certain way people do things, live, love, be. Going home and having it be so dramatically different may expose you to longing for the things you’ve grown to love and live in your own life. For example, I miss New Zealand, because every morning I would get up, have a coffee in the sunshine, start my day outdoors and indulge in fresh fruit. At home, in Toronto, it’s been snowing, the coffee doesn’t taste the same and fresh fruit is an oxymoron in winter. It’s just not the same.
That all said, I’ve learned a few tips to manage the lack of love you may feel about “home” after being a Digital Nomad:
1) Find Grace. This means allowing yourself to feel the longing of where you’ve been but not allowing it to overtake or overwhelm where you are.
2) Connection. The key to unlocking joy is connection. See old friends. Make new ones. Reconnect with your family. Stop choosing loneliness to dwell and choose connection to forward.
3) Bring your travels home. Read a great book. Share your stories about your travels. Blog. Vlog. Open up new perspectives and ideas. Bring that home with you.
4) Plan your next trip. Nothing feels overwhelming if you know the when/where of what’s next for you. For me, I got home from New Zealand and booked Thailand. I also have Florida, Ohio, Washington, and Hawaii on the radar. It makes the homesickness just a bit easier to take.
Whatever you feel about coming “home” embrace it. It doesn’t have to be permanent. The world changes rapidly. But, it’ll be easier and more joyful if you find “home” inside of you rather than space and learn to live and let love.