Far From Home

Today, I talked to a high school friend who is Dubai on business. Not long ago, she was in New Zealand, and before that she lived in Scotland for some time. It struck me that we have become very international… not a new realization, of course, just more pronounced with age.

Remember when home used to be a generational tradition? 

I stayed very close to home, in Bucharest, for twenty years. We traveled to the beach — a couple of hours by train — and to nearby towns to see relatives, but that was it.

Straying too far seemed unnecessary. Crazy, even. Everyone was there, everything we needed was there. Why go anywhere else? Yes, we had strict traveling restrictions, but I don’t think that mattered much at that point. We were curious, sure, but distance can be at once scary and interesting.

Over the years, I crossed oceans and continents, and gotten as far away from ‘home’ as one can get.  I now live some 7000 miles away from Bucharest.

While the world is home, there’s something to be said about where the heart is, and how that feeling changes over the years. Part of the essence of ‘home’ is our ability to feel comfortable, to fit in. For the sound of laughter and smell of cooking to make us whole. 

Venturing far from such comforts can produce as much joy as full-blown anxiety. My friend in Dubai is looking forward to returning home, although it took her a few seconds to determine where that is (still Bucharest, for now), until next month, when her company is sending her to Beijing.

So, what is the farthest you have ever traveled from home?  

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Image courtesy: practicingtravel.com

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24 responses to “Far From Home

  1. I love to travel, but haven’t had the chance in the past several years. From my home in California, I’ve traveled to Mexico, Canada, England, France, Italy and Spain. And I love our quick trips to San Francisco :-)

  2. Would you believe I still live, have always lived, within a few miles of my birthplace here in Central Missouri? My travel has been limited to brief vacations in nearby states. The furthest I’ve ever been was to Washington D.C. to participate in a protest march.

    Please don’t feel sorry for me. My world view may be narrow, but it is deep. I love knowing most of the people I meet on the street. I love that they know me and their parents knew my parents, and our children will know one another as well.

    • Highly doubt it that your view is narrow, Carolyn. Many of my family members didn’t travel outside their immediate area until they came to visit me, and they are some of the most well-rounded, understanding, and fun to be around people I know. There is a lot to be said for that depth you describe. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  3. I have never lived in the country that I am from, but I still yearn for it. It’s funny because I consider the two other countries I lived in ‘home’ too, but there is something about where you come from, where your ancestors were, that leaves you pining for it from your new homes.

  4. I must admit that my “travels” have been extremely limited to within 1000 miles of “home”. Although my soul yearns to see the rest of the world…or at least some of it… my heart stays here with those I love and cherish. Like Carolyn(above) I love the feeling of being part of the world I live in. As any travels we now take would be purely vacation, finances limit the extent.

  5. I have travelled to Dubai and Qatar a couple of years back. That was the farthest place i have ever travelled. I yearn to travel to Europe sometime…Nice Post :)

  6. When I was in college I spent a semester in Germany. I am from Minnesota, USA. That was a big adventure. I love to travel, but stick a little closer to home, now that I have kids. Some day, though, I’ll be back out there!

  7. My husband and I did a lot of traveling BC (before children): most of Europe, England, Scotland, Japan, and we lived a year in Prague when it was still located the Czechoslovakia. We discovered our kids liked to travel so we went to Hawaii, Alaska, Africa and the Galapagos with them. Since retiring, we’ve been to Egypt and Jordan. Still looking forward to Italy, Greece and Russia! We were worry-free until we got older and had friends who got sick on trips to the far corners of the world; now we make sure we have trip insurance and access to medical care, just in case. But the travel bug is still alive and well!

  8. Much of my childhood was spent in different parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe due to my father’s profession. I don’t know whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. It just was … it meant adapting I suppose; but that has its extreme which could lead to over-adaptability …

    I enjoy travelling to new places from home here in South Africa. I’ve climbed Machu Picchu, summitted Mt Kilimanjaro, been to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Crete, America, UK ….

    It may be a cliche but one which resonates with me .. home is where the heart is, or where I lay down my hat. So long as there is depth.

    Thank you Sylvia, I enjoyed this post and the comments … we are all a part of the world as Patricia and Carolyn say.

    • Wow, Susan. You climbed Machu Picchu! Yeah, traveling is super fun, and returning home is soooo relaxing. I love going back to Europe now and then, but my heart is in the US now, and I love coming back to my familiar corner of the world.

  9. I grew up in the States, Ohio and the farthest I have gone is Spain. I loved it for the short trip but was so glad to get back home. In addition, I was 16,it was my very first time away from home,well, that far and without family. It was quite an adventure :)

  10. I didn’t really have home. It was wherever my parents were because we moved so much. Even now, a grown woman whose family is moving far from her home, I’m only 2 minutes away from my parents.

  11. Hi there. The farthest I’ve been is from Los Angeles to Amsterdam. I thought it was San Francisco to Yokohama, but that turned out to be 500 miles less. Thank you for visiting my blog!

  12. I was born and bred in Sheffield, UK. The furthest I’ve ever travelled is to the West Coast of USA. Over 5,000 miles I believe (thanks to a quick google search)

    Though in my mind, I’ve travelled to the edges of the universe :)

  13. Cool post, Silvia, and interesting thoughts. Indeed, the world has grown smaller–we can travel much faster, and farther. At the same time, it’s grown bigger–our world, that is. Our horizons have expanded, so that–like you say–the whole world is “home”.

    I was born in Mexico City, grew up in Cuernavaca (just south of MC), spent a couple of years in New Jersey, moved to Cancun, then to Curaçao (about 2000 miles away from MC). I haven’t ever lived outside America (the continent). But I’ve traveled just over half a world away–the farthest I’ve been is India, where we spent two months for work. Just this year I crossed the Equator–we spent a couple of weeks in Perú. There’s still so much of the world I want to see, though… *Sigh*

  14. It’s so true that “home is where the heart is.”

    Everyone has a different comfort zone. I know someone who rents a beach cottage at the same beach for two weeks every summer. The beach is IN the same town she lives in the rest of the year. But she loves it, so I’m happy for her.

    I used to travel more before the kids – and when airfare was cheaper and the hassle less. Now I prefer driving. We can take the bikes and as much as we can fit and don’t have to pay extra for an overweight bag!

  15. emilycrostonwrites

    Definitely the U.K.! England and Scotland specifically. I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to travel a little bit and see places other than the one that I come from!

  16. The old comment, ‘Home is where the heart is’, rings true to me. I was born in Florida, traveled to Spain, Costa Rica, PEI, Albuquerque, NM and lived for 34 years just outside of Ottawa, ON Canada. While with my husband in Ontario I felt at home, but at the death of my husband I felt lost. When given the chance I sold everything and moved back to Florida to be near family.

    Home truly is where the heart is. Wherever that may be at any given time.

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