Australia, Destinations, Lifestyle, Living Abroad, North America, Relationships, Travel, USA, Yoga

What Home Really Means

I knew this day was coming for a long. To be fair, every time I’ve visited home for the last three years, I’ve been told that it would be my last stay at the family home. But time and time again, my parents have stuck around in that house, for one last hoorah, for one last party.

I haven’t spent much time at this house in comparison to other houses. We’ve been there for 8 years, but we moved in just a few months before I graduated high school and went off to college. I think the longest I’ve stayed in that house at one time was six months, and after that just a few weeks here and there. But for me this house holds the most memories. Graduation parties, Christmas holiday get togethers, late night movies with friends and family. It’s the home I brought my Aussie partner to for the first time. It’s the home where we got our family dog Bubba.  It’s the home I think of when I remember some of the best memories in my life.

For someone who has preached for years about “getting out there” in the world and traveling, you wouldn’t think I would have such a strong attachment to my hometown, let alone a house. When I got the news that this time it was for real, that they were actually packing up boxes and chucking out what was deemed as junk, it finally sunk in, that I wouldn’t step foot into that house again.

I was walking across the Anzac Bridge in Sydney to get to work on a Monday morning when I got the text that my parents had closed on the house and would be moving out April 3rd. I felt a mix of emotions, but the strongest one was sadness. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, resisting the urge to let them all go. This house had been such a distinct aspect of what I thought was home. I was sad I wouldn’t be able to say “goodbye”, to see one last gorgeous sunset on the dock.

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Sunsets off our dock

I’ve been going through the journey of Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training for the last two months, and one of the main things we’ve been learning about is around attachments and our need to protect the identity we’ve created for ourselves, clinging on to this identity at all costs. This comes in form as many things, but at that present moment, this came into being through my tears – crying over a house. Crying over a building with a few rooms and a few showers, a building with a kitchen and a pool. At the end of the day, it’s a building. A bloody beautiful building, but that’s all it really is. The people, the love, the support, the laughter – those things are all still there. That’s what made the house special, and those things will follow us no matter where the family home is located next. With my siblings moving around the states and me in Australia, it’s more important than ever to understand and accept this.

So while it is an end of an era, it’s also a really exciting and important new chapter for our family. It’s also nice to remember how close I feel to family even though I live on the other side of the world. This process of moving out has unearthed some amazing hidden treasures that were hiding in dusty boxes in closets around the house – photos, journals, trophies, books. It’s also an incredibly cleansing process – throwing out old items, memories that no longer serve us. Even though I wasn’t there to help, I do feel a connectedness to my family through this moving out phase, and I’m reminded how incredibly lucky I am to have such a loving relationship with them.

I’ve learned no matter how far away I may adventure around this world, there is always that connection to home.

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November 2016 – last time we were all gathered together in the house

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