It has sunk in this morning, hitting me like the big waves that I’ve been staring at on the beach. This is the first time in 2 ½ months that I’ve had a chance to sit and just reflect; to meditate on life a bit. As the waves rush in, the white water drowns my feet sinking them deep into the sand, and I’m suddenly physically planted on the beach – I’m reminded to enjoy the moment. Sometimes I move so fast I forget this simple rule in life. But don’t we all? When was the last time you just breathed in and out and thought about how wonderful and lucky we are to have this life. The nature that surrounds you, the friends and family, the aromas, the sounds – I needed this tactile moment in the sand, more than I had realized.
That was my first morning at Room753. Yesterday, as I entered the picture perfect apartment at Peppers Broadbeach that I would call home for a week, I felt like someone had put on the brakes. This was my time to put my nomadic lifestyle in ‘park’ for a week and reflect. As I looked around the impeccably decorated one bedroom apartment, I realized just how much I LOVE having a home – even if it’s temporary. A place where life can be normal for a bit.; where I can make my own coffee and breakfast, wash dishes, make my bed, take out the garbage, get on an exercise routine again, put my feet up on the furniture, listen to loud music without headphones, eat dinner in front of the TV, walk around in my pajamas all day, and leave my toothbrush out on the counter. These are all of the things you home dwellers take for granted. When you are nomadic – these are the things you live for – a slice of normalcy to your abnormal life.
Occasionally I get glimpses of normalcy like this where I slow down for a week and stop moving, but this one went even a step further. They had not only filled the Room753 apartment with my favorite food, drinks, fashions, movies, and music – but scattered throughout the apartment were picture frames. The frames had pictures of my family and me in them. As I sat and stared at the pic of my mother and me in Nova Scotia last summer, a wave of emotion swept over me. When you are homeless, you carry your life and memories with you everywhere, but physical pictures are not something you ever get the luxury of. I looked at the picture of my niece, Evie, and me in Vietnam last year and became choked up. It took me by surprise. I haven’t been in a place where I have personal pictures scattered about for years and years. These are the things that define a traditional home and after close to 8 years without a home, I forgot what that was like.
Home is a hard thing for me to put my finger on. I know as a nomad I’m supposed to say that home isn’t a place, it’s wherever I am. That’s what you all want to hear – right? But sometimes that doesn’t feel right and I’m not always one for saying what I’m ‘supposed to’ say. Home is being around my friends and family, and specifically it’s a place where I can be myself and not a guest. Like everything in my life – my definitions of home, happiness, and love all change with my mood I suppose – there are no hard and fast rules.
There are times when home feels like where I am, it feels like my dirty backpack. When traveling I feel that addictive rush of movement and something new to look forward to and that’s home to me. Other times home is staying in one place like at Room753. And yet other times home is the United States and a little plot of land that houses my parents in South Dakota.
After seeing the pictures of my family and friends on the nightstand, it has stirred up thoughts of home again. As I’ve written about before I am in search of a home again – or more like a home base. However I haven’t been searching too hard this year as I’ve been pre-occupied by other fun projects and moving around the globe. I keep telling myself I will work on it – but then I keep traveling and before I know it, it is October and I haven’t done anything to achieve this goal.
My changing desires are like the tide that keeps going in and out like the waves on the Gold Coast that plant me in the sand. I guess I will know when it’s the right time to jump in.
View a gallery of images of the personalized perks of my Room753 home:
More Information about the Room753 Project:
I am constantly getting asked if everyone who stays at Peppers Broadbeach gets this personalized treatment with family pictures, clothing and food! Actually not quite to the extent that I did. This was a special project to bring in bloggers and social media influencers to introduce them to the Gold Coast of Queensland and provide them a home to view it from. Many of these personalized perks were specific to the project, however Craig Smith, the General Manager at Peppers Broadbeach had this to say,
“whilst all of our guests at Peppers Broadbeach do not take part in the exact unique #Room 753 project we in fact do follow similar pre-arrival steps to personalize their stay also, which includes having guests providing us information about their preferences, as well as sharing any special occasion information which they may be celebrating during their stay so we can go the extra mile by personalizing their experience with us & really making it more special.”
Disclosure: I was invited to enjoy Queensland by the Queensland Tourism Board and Room753 lodging was provided by Peppers Broadbeach. However all the opinions expressed her are solely my own!