Some nights like these I stay up browsing homes because that’s what we think will be on our horizon: a homeschooling home, more kids, a room for board games, and so on and so forth, all that goes into settling down. One friend recently purchased an apartment and crowed, “I finally have my box!” and we laughed because it was true. There’s plenty of people around us settling into their boxes.
There’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, there’s plenty of good about it. The box we’re in is close to family and friends. It’s warm and safe and full of food, and I am reminded often that these are precious treasures, not things to take for granted. Still, on nights like these, I wrestle with restlessness itself. The urge to move away.
I mean to move abroad again and live somewhere else where I don’t feel the temptation to compare and contrast my life with my friends. I play the comparison game in my head every now and then and it’s never a good space to enter; exit is a relief. It’s because of this that I wonder if leaving this frame of reference behind would just be easier, to have no reason and no basis for comparison. And then, of course, there’s the joy of seeing new things, the great fun of making new homes in new places.
Still, that’s running away, not working at contentment. And there are much more important things at home that can’t be found abroad. I hope to see the toddler enjoy and know her grandparents (what a blessing!). I hope to be there as my parents grow old and enjoy the fruits of their faithful labour. And I hope to know for myself that even at home there is the joy of seeing new things, the great fun of making new homes in old places. We’re here to stay, for now. Travel was yesterday, rest is today, and it is a good place to be.
Featured photo of the cherry blossoms in the Japanese gardens found in Dusseldorf’s Nordpark. Our first stop immediately after finding the hotel. The air was brisk and the sky was cold.