I am back from travelling, finally. I have my house to myself, finally. There is no one staying with me, there are no builders building things in my flat, and I am not somewhere else.

It’s good to be back.

I’ve had this song, by international treasure Dolly Parton, in my head for a while. I’ve done a ukulele cover of it, but I can’t seem to get a recording that sounds right, so have the original instead.

This is the first time in my life that I’ve properly felt like I have a home. Not just a place to live, but a place I actually want to go back to; one to which I look forward to returning when I’ve been away.

I’ve written a bit recently about travel fatigue, when I know I should be enjoying myself abroad but all I want is to come back and get into my own bed with my own cat and not have to do anything exciting.

Life has given me much excitement over the years. It has come in many forms, including frequent relocation: by the time I hit 27, I’d moved 24 times. For most of my life, I couldn’t imagine myself ever wanting to put down roots and settle somewhere. I am a born wanderer; pretty much as soon as I’d moved into a place, I’d be wondering where I’d be going next.

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But I think that’s changed. My overwhelming desire at the moment is to stay put. To make my home look and feel the way I like it, and to just spend some time in it. Proper time, not snatched days between trips to other places.

This is partly a lead-up to saying that my travel plans for 2016 have changed. Originally, they were going to include Switzerland, Amsterdam, Scotland, the USA, Hong Kong, probably Malaysia, and possibly a trip across Africa.

Now I’ve scaled that back a lot. I’ve been to Switzerland and Belgium and Ireland – two of which weren’t even on the original list – but I’ve cancelled America. It looks like Kyoto is on the cards for October-ish, but that’s probably the only big trip abroad I’ll be going on this year.

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Because if my life has been about tearing down and rebuilding, this is the time I want to feel like I’ve actually accomplished the rebuilding process. Literally, in the case of certain bits of my flat. 😉 And once I’ve done that, I want to take the time to sit inside my life and savour it for a while; and it’s hard for me to do that when I’m racing around the world every five minutes.

So, in summary: 2016 – less travel, more home time. I think that’s the best plan for this year.

What are you planning for the rest of 2016? Have your plans changed? 

3 thoughts on “♫ Where the soul finds comfort and the heart finds pleasure ♬

  1. That last paragraph is beautiful; I love the image that created in my mind. I can’t imagine 24 times. I felt uprooted enough when I moved five times within five years of living in London. My things were constantly in boxes because I knew that it (the living arrangements) was always temporary. Now that we have a house, it’s the first time I’ve looked forward to going home – genuinely and especially after a vacation. In the past, I’d be sad because I realized that a lot of my travelling was fueled by my desire to escape. Now, I still like to escape, but knowing that I’m going back to a place that I love has made a huge difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Exactly. It’s a very different feeling when you’re looking forward to going home rather than just to the place you happen to live in. I’ve never had it before, and to be honest I could never really understand what the big fuss was about. People would say “There’s no place like home” and I’d think “Really, though? There are so many amazing places!”

      And then I moved into my characterful falling-down flat and did it up a bit, and felt settled for the first time ever. And now I don’t want to go anywhere for a while, because coming back was so pleasurable and I want to hold onto that feeling as much as I can.

      24 times means you get to the stage where you just don’t really have roots. I’m good at packing and sudden overnight moving, and I’m good at not accumulating too much stuff and saying goodbye without sentimentality to things I have accumulated. But I’m looking forward to building up collections (mainly of books and wine, if I’m honest) and just having a space that’s mine.

      Thank you for your comment 🙂


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