Where Do You Really Feel At Home?

Home may be a place that you know well. Or a space that resonates with you. Or something that seems elusive. The feeling of being most at home is a multi-layered, complex construct, and it can be hard to explain.

As someone who is often caught in between Eastern and Western cultures and has lived in different countries surrounded by different languages, no place has ever felt like home to me. About a year ago, an evening stroll inspired me to think a bit more about this thing called home.

Sunset Blue Hour. Princes Bridge. Melbourne, Australia (1)

Striding down the Princes Bridge, the crisp autumn air picks up. Pulling the zipper up my puffer jacket, it is just another routine evening of sunset photography in Melbourne CBD. The cold is always a familiar part of it at this time of the year in May, no surprises.

Clouds blanket the skies above. Just what the weather app on my phone said this morning. The 5pm sun begins to slip past the horizon in the distance, rays peeking out from behind the clouds. I slow to my usual spot along the bridge overlooking the water and city skyline. As if on cue I fumble in my bag for my camera, turning it on. Settings set. Check. Glance at my phone for sundown, 5:27pm. Check. Pull my jacket’s hood over my head ahead of the impending night chill. Check.

Familiarity is what we come to expect of a place called home. That includes familiar sights, sounds, smells, tastes and atmospheres of your house and surrounds. Security and repetitive routines. Predictability and stability, the mundane happening on time like the sun rising and setting each day without a doubt.

Naturally home could be a place of familiarity and comfort, a place where you feel the pull of roots or memories of burgeoning beginnings that once were a lifetime ago. But not always. It could be somewhere where the tug of familiarity intermingles with dissonance. Just as a privileged home may be comforting, it may be unpredictable and unsettled. Chaotic perhaps.

Sunset Blue Hour. Princes Bridge. Melbourne, Australia (2)

The feeling of being at home is intertwined with a sense of belonging. When you feel at home somewhere, chances are you fit in. Belongingness, according to Baumeister and Leary, is a universal fundamental human need and maintained through lasting, stable interpersonal bonds. This is easier said than done when you have uprooted a fair bit in life, leaving things and people behind – and it feels as if there is no truly going back ‘home’.

Living the life of constantly moving around Asia and Australia, the constant screaming of my Chinese parents for teenage me to wear dresses as I dressed androgynous and the constant goodbyes to people I met, the typical notion of belongingness is relatively void to my being. For me, for most part, home is elusive.

Yet the ambiguity of home is not a bad thing. Some of the most important lessons come from searching for a way forward when you are on the sidelines. That is when you learn where the notion of home starts for you, and the true value of it.

Sunset Blue Hour. Princes Bridge. Melbourne, Australia (3)

Home is not purely rooted in relationships towards others, and its significance goes beyond physical foundations and the tangible. This idea echoes Emerson’s philosophy of transcendentalism which emphasises the power of intuition and looking within. It suggests self-reliance and remaining true to one’s identity leads to meaning, as well as nature nurtures our spirituality. With transcendentalism, each individual unlocks limitless potential when choosing to engage with both the physical and beyond.

Perhaps this is offers a way to profoundly reflect on the feelings of home: what do you cherish in the present? Where, and how, can you step into your true self and feel most comfortable and at ease?

Standing on the bridge lookout, my gaze traces the increasingly clouded skies above. No sign of tonight’s moonrise as keen as I am to catch it – more keen than seeing the sunset actually. Though this city is one I know so well having lived here half my life, I can never predict when the sun and moon will actually visibly shine over the skyscrapers.

Though you don’t always see the sun or the moon in the sky each day, they show up above and their presence can always be felt. It can be said that what ignites feelings of home are moments taken for granted. That could be someone a continent away reaching out to you. Or getting to go on your favourite hike each summer. Or finally having time to get lost in the creativity of art.

For me, there is an unexplainable feeling of peace, contentment and completeness every time I write or mess with art. It feels like where I want to be and where I am supposed to be when I am telling stories in the written word. In line with the philosophy of transcendentalism, connecting with your individual creativity is a way to understand and work through issues in life.

Arguably home is never just a place. It is a feeling within. It is emotion. Home can be unique moments and fleeting experiences that are hard to describe but simply speak to you.

Self-regulation (along with group conformity) is one way to fulfill belongingess. That involves adapting one’s behaviour, emotions and mindset to feel heightened belonging to ingroups, especially within supportive environments. When it comes to feeling at home, self-regulation can look like emphatic listening while others encouraging you to be who you are.

But not everyone has supportive environments. Maybe feeling at home involves blending in with conventions that resonate with you. Maybe, and likely more so, feeling at home involves being your true self without feeling like you are being a burden.

Sunset Blue Hour. Princes Bridge. Melbourne, Australia (4)

The clouded sky turns a deeper shade of blue across the city, and the sliver of sun slips past the horizon. No moon above to behold. I snap a few shots of the majestic dawn of blue hour this evening. The straggly homeless man sitting on the footpath a few feet behind me coughs. Weekday peak-hour pedestrians filter past without a glance at him. And without a glance at me and my camera.

I relate to being invisible and seen as ugly all my life. The years of blatant and silent racism encountered as a Chinese person in Australia is shocking yet memorably bittersweet: ‘Go back to where you came from!’ ‘Where is your accent from, Hong Kong?’ ‘You speak English very well!’

On one hand, discrimination divides. On the other, it is human nature to be wary of those different from us as we seek to care for and defend our tribe. At the end of the day, all of us inevitably seek to protect what home feels like to us – or continue the search to find the feeling of home.

It is hard to call myself Australian. In fact, I have never been comfortable saying, ‘I am from Australia’ when talking about myself, and I don’t. It feels like imposter syndrome and a lie when people reckon I hail from Australia and I am not sure what to say about that. And I just let it be. At the end of the day, the term ‘Australian’ to me is a formality of birthright. The experiences of being Asian in Australia are another thing altogether, though.

Though Australia is where I was born, grew up and spent a lot of time here, it feels like a stepping stone towards something greater and spaces elsewhere that speak to me on a deeper level.

Throughout life, not having a country or place to call home never bothered me despite the challenges along the way. Not fitting in in various spaces did bother me for some time but that is a story – fittingly for a book – for another day.

Sunset Blue Hour. Princes Bridge. Melbourne, Australia (5)

Critiquing transcendentalism, one can say it is a mindset that is overly optimistic and idealistic, maybe crazy. There is much to be attained when there is groundedness, intellect and purpose, and with the tangible and intangible co-existing. It begs the thought that there never really is a perfect home and cultivating belongingness – be it in the form of interpersonal bonds or relationships beyond our physical realm – takes work.

Over the years, writing has inspired and guided me towards where and what feels right for me. No matter how challenging it gets, I have always been the eternal optimist about it with structured routines to keep on writing. Writing is my passion, among other creative forms. It is often in your authentic self-expression that you realise what you desire and seek – and therefore encounter experiences that speak to you.

Perhaps feeling at home is a state of being where you accept and fully express yourself, ultimately connecting with yourself and then connecting with others or beyond. Feeling at home could be something you create or seek to create, and what matters to you matters as much as to the wider world. It comes from knowing yourself.

And sometimes it takes many lessons, many phases of growth and confronting temporality straight in the face to get to a point where a place, space or moment feels like home.

The sun now and truly well past the horizon, I snap a few more photos of the now deep blue hue of the city skyline. It is a beautiful sight tonight, with pink and orange hues weaving across the blue backdrop of the dusk sky.

I lower my camera, look up and take in the fleeting moments of blue hour. Watch darkness and light. Feel powerful and powerless. Well aware of divine timing, along with our free will and choice of unconscious surrender wherever we are, whether we are feeling at home or far from it.

Sunset Blue Hour. Princes Bridge. Melbourne, Australia (6)

Writer and author Winnifred Gallagher writes that each of us shapes ‘home’ just as much as it shapes us. Perhaps for some of us, her quote sums up our relations with home:

‘The feeling of being “at home” can’t be bought…it comes from an intimate relationship between us and our most personal place.’

I step out from the bridge lookout and onto the footpath. Time to head off. Striding ahead, the autumnal wind blows and I see the clouds part…and the crescent moon of the night shines high up in the royal blue sky.

My breath catches in my throat. I stride forward a little quicker and step up onto the next lookout. Eyes trained on the moon and moving clouds, I raise my camera and let the creativity from within take over.

The chilly wind blows again and the clouds move across the sky. And just like that, the moon disappears. It was a moment while it lasted.

I step onto the familiar footpath once again, blending in with the pedestrians and the fast descending night. For a moment, I belong.

The feeling of home could be right where you are. Or it could always be elusive. Sometimes, it is found within.

Where do you feel at home? What does home feel like to you?


142 thoughts on “Where Do You Really Feel At Home?

  1. I too moved around a lot although my moves were mostly up and down the east coast of Australia. It is hard to not have a place to call home physically but emotionally I call home where my family is. I was lucky to have a loving accepting family and I was happy to call wherever they were home. I now call where my children are home and I try to create that comfort and acceptance here for them.

    I do like what you said about it being a feeling we can nourish in ourselves. I am coming to my empty nest years with everyone spreading out so the thought that I can create my own ‘home’ feeling is interesting.


    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a really good way of explaining what home may feel, ‘feeling we can nourish in ourselves.’ It feels good when you nourish the different parts of yourself – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual etc. Creating a home can be really fun and it really can be anything you want it to be.

      Your comment really made me think that home is a changing concept over time. As you said, for you, you moved up and down the east coast of Australia and these days it sounds like it’s different, maybe more settled for you 🙂 I hope you find many ways that resonate with you to create the feeling of ‘home’ in the years to come. Thank you for a lovely comment, Jennifer.


  2. Hi Mabel,
    Another great post that provokes a lot of thought.
    I’m happy to call myself Australian because I’ve never lived in another country.
    That said home has changed for me. Originally it was Brisbane but on arriving and settling in Darwin it didn’t take long to think of Darwin as where I belonged. When I moved to Canberra, it took more than ten years for me to think of Canberra as home.


    • That is very interesting to hear about what means to home, Gaz. Perhaps sometimes a place grows on you right away, or it grows on you over time. Sounds like you have seen and lived around Australia quite a bit. I always enjoy reading what you get up to where you are 🙂


  3. The notion of home is something that I’ve thought about a lot. For years, I moved frequently across the US in an effort to find it. Then ultimately, moved abroad. I feel more American now, strangely enough, and I think it comes from seeing my culture from the other side of the world.

    Feeling ‘at home’ with one’s self is certainly a vital, yet elusive sense, and pivotal definition of home. For me, when I think of home, I think of Hawaii, where I was born and raised, but if my mom left or passed away, Hawaii would no longer hold that strong sense of home.

    There would be no reason to visit because it’s expensive and out of the way. The trip would be purely nostalgic even though I have some friends and distant relatives there. Even though my dad is buried there, I never felt his presence by his grave. And so, Hawaii is a marker, a wonderful place that I’m grateful for, but for me, home has to be wherever my mom is. xo


    • What a thoughtful, honest reflection, Lani. What was most intriguing to me was when you said that you feel more American now because of seeing your culture from the other side of the world altogether. Sometimes being among other cultures makes you question the culture you were born into or have always been used to – and from there you may affiliate with one culture or place more than the other.

      When you mentioned nostalgia, it made me think that nostalgia and home can be two very different things. And our individual concept of what is home to us does change over time. Nostalgia may be just some very good times we cherish that happened a long time ago, and that’s about it, simply good memories that we may long to happen again but can without.

      It is lovely to know where home lies for you, Lani. It is a good feeling, knowing where home is for you. Hope you are doing well and take care ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I appreciate America, the culture I was raised in, even though it is not considered fashionable to do so. There are many things Americans take for granted because they are isolated from how the rest of the world lives. Even if they think they know, they don’t in a way that you do when you live in a developing country, especially one where the culture is very different. Of course, there are problems, every place has them, and it has changed from when I left. But generally speaking, and perhaps I am nostalgic, I miss America. Thailand has taught me many things, the folks are generally nice, my mom is from here, but it will never be home in the most spiritual sense of the word. Let me put it this way, I’d rather be an outsider in my own country than an outsider in a country that will never accept me as their own.


        • So agree that every place has it’s problems. Things do change over time, but at the same time, the same problems can still persist. Sometimes people can be so caught up in their own cltural bubble. ‘I’d rather be an outsider in my own country than an outsider in a country that will never accept me as their own.’ Very interesting way to put it and that’s something I will need to think about. I honestly feel I have been an outside in both situations, and don’t mind being an outsider. For me, it’s a fine line between which I prefer and I guess it really depends on different factors too.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a thought-provoking post Mabel and the first thought that hit me is – home is where the heart is! Attachments play a vital role in “feeling at home.” We are born in a different home, which nurtures us but we have to leave it to set up our new home and when it gets warmer, it gets empty in no time! I like your concluding statement – we have to feel at home wherever we are! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, ‘home is where the heart is’. A saying that is common but one that probably holds a lot of meaning for many of us. I so agree with you there. We are born some place but as time goes on, we move along and set up home elsewhere…and home is what we make of it in the present moment. Attachments come and go, though some do last a long, long time. Maybe for some of us, these attachments will always play a defining role in what home is. Lovely to see you, Balroop. Hope you are doing well my friend 😊❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I ejoyed the flow and pacing of your post – and felt like i was with you – right as you zippered the jacket — and then each section just had my thinking and I really liked this:

    “Arguably home is never just a place. It is a feeling within. It is emotion. Home can be unique moments and fleeting experiences that are hard to describe but simply speak to you.”

    I recently had a discussion with some folks about the best term to use for the homeless (and like how you mentioned the person you saw on your walk) – and I guess the preferred term these days is to say “houseless” or “currently without a house” – because of the things you mentioned here – we can hav a home without a house, eh? Or the home is the feeling (or lack of)….


    • That quote you pulled from my post, it was one of the very last parts I fine-tuned until the very end 😄 It just came together as I was re-reading and rethinking about home.

      It is very interesting to think about discussing those without a home or shelter. Such demographics also face other societal issues which contribute to a lack of feeling belonging or what resonates.

      ‘We can have a home without a house’. That is such a profound way to put it and sum up this post. Lots of food for thought…. Looking forward to catching up. You certainly have been on a roll with blogging lately 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah / I posted daily (almost) for a week, which is not my bit last MO these days – but it was also stretching because I did two interviews early (imagine that! Rather than postponed or delayed) I did them early so I can take a break from that kind of posting and focus on the book (smile ) and dickens challenge – (I am setting up some audio files for that challenge)

        Anyhow – enjoyed your blog post here and did I mention how much I loved the photos — wow – the lights and changes as the sky changed was such a great part of your creative post


        • Ah, so that explains it. Each time I looked at my feed this week and there you were, and am looking forward to going back to read the interviews. You always feature very interesting people, and amazing effort for keeping up the series. You certainly are organised. Definitely looking forward to what you are putting out next. Thank you for stopping by, reading and reflecting on this post, Y. I remember when I was taking these photos, the experience was like no other especially with the moon appearing only for a couple of minutes. It felt like a very special moment. And about a week ago I just had this feeling that I had to write this post and share it 😊


      • Oh yeah
        The “person without a house” was new to me – but it aligned with what we know about the way we refer to someone with a diagnosed disorder
        We never say “they are a schizophrenic” “that depressed person”
        Instead we say “they have symptoms of schizophrenia” or “symptoms of depression”
        So as to not label and log them in with permanence
        And ask I guess one more reason for saying “person without house” is similar (and then the home connection too)


        • I think this was your comment that went to Spam, and I had to un-Spam it to reduce your comments getting caught again. Agree with you on how we refer to others. It’s like for some demographics, I lean towards saying ‘differently abled’ or more generally for someone who may not have a house to go back to at the end of the day, that they are someone trying to find their way. It is a very interesting topic of discussion, labeling others.

          Liked by 1 person

    • That is lovely you read this post about home in your hometown, Frank. Hope your hometown is treating you well. I think each of us will always have unpleasant encounters with others. Racism is hard to justify and I do hope others will find their way. Enjoy your walks, Frank 😊


  6. Hi Mabel

    Thank you for writing an interesting post. Like you, I grew up in more than one location (although mine were both in Australia, so the culture shock was small).

    In recent years, my Dad’s health has declined and he now lives in a nursing home in my current city. As a young boy, I would stay on the farm we had, and my parents had a lot of local connections. But once they divorced, my Dad was really poor at maintaining such connections, and as such, I no longer know anyone at all in my home town; nor do I have any reason at all to go back and visit it.

    I am sorry to hear that you have copped racism, that’s terrible to hear. I wonder if I am coming at this from an opposite angle to you, but we are reaching similar conclusions. I say this because my family has been here on all four grandparents’ lines for at least 150 years.

    Now I work in tourism, and every day I have to deal with a lot of very stupid people, many from other backgrounds. It is quite stressful, especially when they don’t control their own, or their children’s behaviour.

    Australia is far more diverse than what it was, which has both pluses and minuses. The plus is that Australia is far less isolated than it used to be in terms of ideas and an understanding of other cultures; the down side is that we no longer have a common sense of etiquette or manners, the existence of which makes day-to-day life easier to deal with. So part of me feels that I also can’t go home again in my own nation, because it’s not the same one I grew up in. Being a digital immigrant, rather than a digital native, also contributes to this feeling of being stuck on a cultural island at times. And I also traveled around both domestically and overseas a lot when I was younger, which has weakened my relationships with extended family.

    I like how you refer to the sun and moon, and your habit of photographing them. At the end of the day, I think maybe this type of action is the way to go; having rituals and relationships help to give meaning to life. It is something we have much more control over than how our surroundings may change, or how other people may treat us. Getting in touch with nature, whether it’s bushwalking or gardening, is also a good way to feel grounded – literally!


    • Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful comment, Ryoma. Though you may have grown up in different parts of Australia, it probably was a very enriching experience in each location.

      I am sorry to hear you Dad’s health has declined. Hopefully he is doing well or as well as can be. It is interesting to hear that you don’t know anyone in your hometown and don’t have a reason to visit. Over time places change and people move on, and I think for many of us the idea of home – or even just a certain place – changes, and the sentimental aspect can fade away. Also priorities shift over time.

      It must take quite a bit of effort on your part to deal with frustrating people at work. I worked in customer service a while back, and yes, dealing with people can be stressful. I hope you manage the stress and it doesn’t get to you. On a positive note, it goes to show the diversity of people around in terms of backgrounds and personalities.

      It is also interesting to hear you say that Australia is still far isolated than it used to be in terms of diversity and other cultures. I definitely agree with that. Though I do feel that in rural Australia or the quieter towns around, this is not usually the case. The locals are always nice but have their own mindsets and view of the world. Building and maintaining relationships can be tricky, especially when you don’t have common ground, such as a connection to a place or some shared cultural understanding.

      You put it very thoughtful, ‘having rituals and relationships help to give meaning to life.’ I think having a balance makes life enriching. Sometimes we can get caught up and reactive within change and relationships, and routines help ground us. Staying stuck in rituals can stagnant growth and learning, so sometimes turning towards others gives more perspective. Again, thank you for a thoughtful comment 😊


  7. When John Howard Payne spoke about the sweetness of home, it conjures up cherished relationships and the space housing it:
    “Mid pleasures and palaces, though we may roam, / Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. / A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there, / Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere. / Home! sweet home! /
    There’s no place like home!”
    Yet, over 2600 years ago, Pungundranar, an Indian poet in Tamil language, gave eloquent expression to the sentiment of feeling at home. He effused without specifying any particular geography, “Yadum Oore Yavarum Kelir…” In English, the first four lines of the Tamil poem reads: “The whole world is my homeland and its people my kinsmen / Good and evil come not from others. / Pain and respite emanate from within; / Neither death is new nor life”.
    In summation, every place is ours or we belong everywhere to all members of a common ancestry. So you are not Australian or Chinese, but a true world citizen; all other details are insignificant.


    • Very intelligent of you to compare John Howard Payne’s words and Tamil poetry together, showing that there are different connotations of home. I like that both made reference to something larger and refer to the wide world on the feeling of home. It is usually when we roam, see places, meet different people and have new experiences, that we come to see home differently than we did.

      Feeling at home can be so different to different people, and it changes over time – and I think this is more pronounced from generation to generation, and among different demographics. Home is certainly not bounded by geography these days, and not everyone can define their homeland or have a desire to go back to it. I agree with your sentiments there at the end. We may all live in different countries, but we are one on this planet. Hope you are doing well, Raj. It is lovely to see you here. Thank you for stopping by and for your time 😊


      • On a musical note, Mabel, there is a popular song rendered by India’s all-time great singer, the late Muhammed Rafi: it is an English song and the opening lines are: “Although we hail from different lands, / We share one earth and sea and sky / Remember friends the world is one…” Please see if you can catch up with the song in YouTube. Cheers..!


  8. Hi Mabel. A thorough exploration of the term Home you offered us. (And beautiful pictures as well!) Home is a subject that puzzled me for a long time too. In my youth my parents and of course us children along with them moved a lot because of my fathers work. When I was twelve we lived in six different villages, all of them in the Netherlands. Even in a tiny country as mine there is a large quantity of dicalects, atmospheres and costums, and I had to undergo them all. Did I mind? No! Then I had no thoughts about moving again, we just went, I had no say in that. But I never disliked being in a new town, I took it as a new adventure, it was fun. However, as one might expect, what I became to lack was a genuine feeling of Home. There was no typical spot on earth where I had time to build a history, get to know people really well, get to understand what the place was about. Maybe an example is that I hardly remember any name of classmates or friends from my childhood. So what did this bring me? I discovered, like you did in your piece, that Home is not a particular place nor a system of relations, Home is a mindset. Home is one self. I know I can live anywhere and make myself feeling at home. Still, I found out, there specific places I feel more at ease, more belonging, more Home then other places. One is the small village I was born and left when I was five. About fifteen years ago I kind of rediscovered the place and since then I visit it at least once a year – and when I get of the bus I feel, I literally feel, at Home. Another such a place is a small village, again, on the island of Mallorca in Spain. Why there? I don’t know, I simply feel well in the streets, I love being there, it makes me feel happy, just that. So in the end Home perhaps is a place where one is happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really enjoyed reading your take on home and how your experiences have impacted on your feelings towards home. It must have been an enriching and eye opening experience living in different villages in the Netherlands, and sounded like you had a wonderful time with each its own adventure. You are so spot on in saying that when you were growing up and your family moved, you had to move and you had no say in that. When I was growing up and my parents decided to move yet again, I had to go along with it whether I liked it or not.

      You said it very well there about your experience moving around: that you didn’t have time to build a history and don’t really remember your classmates or friends. I wouldn’t say that you don’t have a foundation (your experiences are your foundation) but rather there is a lack of shared understanding. ‘Home is a mindset. Home is one self. I know I can live anywhere and make myself feeling at home.’ That really is so inspirational. I think, your there is such calmness and feeling of being at ease in many of street and nature photos you take – maybe this stems from these experiences of yours or your worldview that you can be content anywhere. I smiled when you mentioned Mallorca. It’s a place where I’ve wanted to visit. Maybe some day.

      Keep doing what you do, Peter. Very wise words from you and thank you for sharing them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think everyone feels like they don’t belong at some point in their lives. I often felt way out of place when surrounded by my husband’s family. They’re so very different from mine (My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie comes to mind). I also think that there is so much division in the world today, that’s it’s way more difficult to feel like we fit in anywhere. Everyone seems wary.

    As for me, I grew up in one house until I got married. Not the house, but the area where I grew up is where I always find my heart calling to as home. It was where all of my family lived, and especially my grandma, who always made me feel like I belonged.

    I actually wrote a blog post last year about home. You touched on some of the very things I talked about. It’s an old post where the comments are closed, but you are welcome to read it if you have time. Oh, and you’re right, the spiritual/otherworldly way of finding home is real, but it DOES take work.https://loreezlane.wordpress.com/2022/06/07/nomads/


    • That is a great observation, that ‘everyone feels like they don’t belong at some point in their lives.’ That could be not belonging in a place, space or around others. It is interesting to read your take on home in your blog post, especially the part where you mentioned you never felt at home where you moved to as an adult and you felt much more at home when you moved closer to your hometown. Some places and people resonate more with each of us, and for some of us it can come down to whether we are welcomed and feel like we belong.

      I also found it interesting when you said that your hometown isn’t the same yet you still felt contented and at home again. I guess some places and spaces are special and speak to you. Hope you get to go home and feel at home these days. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on home, and what you have written on it 😊


      • I think the reason the place felt like home is because I lived there for so long, and it’s where I made all of my friends. I felt grounded there. I do live near the area now, and things have changed, but I feel settled. Maybe “settled” is another way of feeling home? Thank you for reading that post, Mabel.


        • That is a good observation. Friends and the people whom we know a long time can ground us, helping us keep things in perspective. ‘Settled’ can be a way of describing feeling at home. For me, I think at times I feel settled, but for most part I really don’t. Always like reading your posts, Lori. Keep writing and being you 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I moved around a lot as a child–shuttling between different cities and different households of divorced parents. There are geographic places that feel like home, and attending holiday events with siblings that feel like home, too (but as you say, they are often chaotic). In movies/ books about the old American West, cowboys would drawl, “Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.” So when I was in my twenties, I would joke, “Wherever I have my cat, that’s my home.” But I think my favorite description of home comes from author Lois McMaster Bujold: “Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.” Everyone should have at least one home like that.


  11. Fantastic and insightful post, Mabel, on so many levels. 🙂 Home is a topic I’ve thought about for years, and I still have no concrete understanding or answers, but your writing here does help me think about a couple of things. The first idea of home is about family, memories, and friends I had growing up ~ my blessed childhood and a feeling of security. The second is the opposite extreme, the freedom of creating life elsewhere, finding unique experiences and opportunities… finding what is out there. It makes me think you are correct; there is no “perfect home” except for what lies in our minds.

    Creating a life, in my case in Asia and now Czechia… I still feel as close as ever to family, and this security makes it easy to stretch out and find new experiences and opportunities. Searching and moving forward. What got me a bit excited reading your post was the mention of Emerson’s philosophy of transcendentalism, of which I know very little (but I can promise you I will learn more… fascinating intro, thank you). Chasing experiences and dealing with difficulties and failures along the way creates moments where I can begin to understand the potential of what is out there. It spurs creativity, and for me – a very optimistic person – it makes it easier to look past any short-term difficulty and into the possibilities of what could be 🙂

    What is perfect with this post are your awesome photos of dusk on this cool night. I agree; sunsets are incredible, and you get lost in the warmth and colors (security). However, the blue hour follows is where my senses get ratcheted up a notch or two. The blue hour has more of an edge, making it easier to get lost in imagination and think of the mysteries of life. There are no options but to explore, generating a little excitement. Your photos also show this; a time when creativity moves freely… I think that makes this time more exciting… a bit like being away from home and the security of “happiness” similar to a sunset. A wonderful read, and I’ll be thinking about this for a while 🙂 Take care and enjoy your autumn, Mabel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a thought provoking reflection from you on so many levels, Randall. You summed up what I feel for most part about home, ‘I still have no concrete understanding or answers’. Agree is very hard to find a perfect home. But I have to disagree there slightly – home is what lies in our minds, and I also think also what lies in our hearts 🙂 As you alluded to, freedom of creating leads us to feeling at home and that is often something that starts off as a feeling.

      You certainly had quite a journey through life across different countries, and it must be enriching experiences when you follow where opportunities take you. And we are lucky to get a glimpse of wherever you have been through your photography. The creativity you showcase is always so seamless yet so thoughtful, showing us what there is to be thankful in present – which is often an aspect of home. It was actually your most recent post about your quest for meaning ahead that inspired me to write this post on home 😄 Always much to learn about philosophy…I have learnt a lot of that just from reading your posts.

      I so agree with you on blue hour, as you mentioned there’s some edge to it. With each sunset stroll, I hope to see blue hour. It’s just so ethereal, with the blue colours feeling so soothing. And it has to be the right conditions for it, similar to the conditions for a colourful sunset: some clouds but not completely overcast, no heavy rain, preferably no clear sky though that one is debatable. Happiness can certainly be tied to what is happening freely around us…the beauty of sunsets and moon rises being some of them. Thank you for the kind words, Randall. Already wishing it is summer over here. Enjoy your summer ahead and may you manage the hikes you want to this year 😊


      • What lies in our mind and heart ~ I definitely agree, Mabel. I think having a little peace in our mind/heart in terms of home gives us the courage to take those additional steps and risks that new opportunities present, knowing if we fail, there is a pillow of home waiting for us 🙂 And once anyone has a little taste of the ease it is to step beyond our comfort zone, we find that even with so many different cultures, people are very similar (and basically pretty awesome). I think it takes a mindset that is a bit more individualistic than usual to be able to venture out a bit further, which has both negatives and positives… and having a connection to home (at least for me) is essential. It is great to hear that you appreciated my recent post on the quest for meaning – and you created something unique and a step up with this one (I’ve ordered Emerson, but have yet to begin reading him 😂). Enjoy the winter sunsets & blue hours; one benefit I like about winter is the mornings arrive much later in the day, which makes it a little easier to catch the sunrises… the pre-dawn sky has always been my favorite 🙂


        • Definitely, having some peace in our minds or hearts that there is somewhere, someone or something to fall back on gives us the courage to move fowrards. People are indeed very similar and each of us have similarities in that we all have wants desires, hopes and dreams. Though I’d say at the end of the day, it’s easier said than done to find a place, space or person that speaks the language within that you speak – the thing that probably is the essence of home for many of us.

          Oh that is wonderful you are keen on reading Emerson. I hope you get something out of it. Philosophy is so interesting to read and explore…some which are more dense than others 😄 Yes, definitely easier to catch sunrises in winter. And the sunrises arrive much earlier which makes it easier for me to catch. Blue hour, be it at dawn or dusk, is always a marvellous sight 🙂


  12. Hi Mabel! Firstly, I was happy to see a new blog post here. I know you are busy, and it is lovely that you set aside time for this one, especially as I know you take such care with each post before hitting the publishing button (in a past post, you explained your process). Secondly, I am saddened that you have been the target of racism and feeling ugly. You are beautiful, not only physically in the photos I have seen here of you, but more importantly in your soul that writes so genuine and beautiful.

    Finally, I am thinking about the concept of “home” and wondering if writing, an activity, can bring the feelings often associated with a positive home environment – comfort, love, ease, and respect. I feel these things, all bundled into one, no matter where I am in terms of the physical location. About a decade ago, I said that “writing is home territory” and posted that slogan I penned across many of my profiles online. Hugs, Mabel.


    • It is lovely to see you hear, Christy. You do a wonderful job with keeping up your blog and your writing. It is fascinating to hear you say that ‘writing is home territory’ and was part of your online profiles a while ago. I have to agree with that, and for me writing is what makes me feel most comfortable in terms of being myself. Also agree with what you suggest about the feelings of home, ‘comfort, love, ease, and respect’. With these qualities wherever we are, chances are we probably will feel that is some sort of home to us.

      Thank you so much for your lovely words and for remembering what I’ve written. This post was something I wanted to write for a while, and the time felt right to think it over in depth and put it out there. Hope you are doing well, Christy. Take care and best wishes to you 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  13. At first, home might refer to a place. But then as many of us have realized, it’s a notion that is harder to explain in a straightforward manner. It is a feeling. It is where we feel most comfortable at, where we can just be us, where things feel easy, where we return to — both literally and figuratively. To me, home is not always tied to a physical place, but rather to a person with whom we feel all the things I mentioned earlier. But I won’t be surprised if others define home differently.


    • You put it very well, that home is hard to explain in a straightforward manner. Normally people will say that their home is their house or where they grew up…and from there it is harder to describe what ‘home’ feels like. I like how you said it, that home is ‘where we can just be us’. It is always a comforting feeling to just be us. Hope all is well with you, Bama 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hey Mabel :). What an awesome topic. ‘Home’. How illusive is it to some of us? As a military brat, I spent a lot of time on the move. Australia, England and Singapore. I went to school in 9 different schools n 3 countries. For me how is very fluid. I need to feel ‘welcomed’ by the environment and I find the environment the welcomes me most is the coastline. I think this may stem from my years living as a student in Singapore and having ready access to the sea and friends to share it with.
    I can also find home on occasions, simply by being with my wife on a country hike. Or even finding a new coffee shop in a quaint town.
    Home is where the heart is it is said, and I guess that is pretty true.
    Stay safe and warm Mabel. Hugs fromTassie.


    • Yes, home is so illusive to some of us. That is amazing you got to go to school and live in different countries over the years. Like you, I like the sea and water, and feel the places that resonate with me are the ones where the coastline is nearby – such as Singapore 😉 It is great that you had a good time in Singapore and had friends there, many memories for you.

      ‘Home is where the heart is’. It certainly can be. It sounds like you have settled in Tasmania. Enjoy your walks and exploring quint towns, and the peace. Hopefully not to cold for you. You stay safe too 😊


  15. The comments you generate are always interesting, Mabel, and I’m often conscious of not taking time to process my thoughts and absorb yours, but I’m conflicted again this morning with choices and things that need to be done. In any case, I suspect you know my feelings about home. I’m a Brit, and always will be, but with a quirky Polish twist. For me it’s very much ‘where the heart is’.


  16. I feel at home reading your eloquently written post, Mabel. I was born on one continent, lived on three and still am not sure where home is. My heart is with my husband, family and friends but they are scattered all over the world. America is my birthplace but current extreme opinions, gun laws and politics makes it feel alien. Your post is very thought-provoking. Bravo! K x


  17. For me home is “a state of being where you accept and fully express yourself.” In my life view home has less to do with a physical place, although I love our house, and more to do with feeling comfortable with who I am. Bien dans sa peau, as the French say.


  18. I’m not sure what’s home right now either, Mabel. I tend to think it includes family, and I am far from my children and my parents. I don’t feel a huge connection to my birthplace (perhaps to the land but not the people or towns), and I have lived in too many places to pick one of them as home. I guess home is where I am right now, which is OK for the time being.

    Beautiful sunset shots, and I hope that fleeting moment you had of belonging and feeling at home where you are will eventually grow and stick.


    • I like your thought, that home is where you are right now. I share the same sentiment. Home can be where we are in the moment, or where we are drawn too. And that can change over time.

      Thanks, Lex. This really was a beautiful sunset and blue hour. The moon appearing was like magic. Hope you are doing well and lovely to catch up on your travels over on your blog 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I haven’t felt at home since I sold my townhouse way back in 1992. I felt more at peace in that home than I had in the house I grew up in, which was under ten miles from that townhouse. The disquiet that has been with me ever since probably will never cease now. After all, I can’t see how I will live in that townhouse again. It brings on feeling of aloneness that diminishes only slightly when I’m with those I care about. The one thing that makes it bearable is I love adventure. Each day I try to find something new to be interested in if only for a short time.


    • This is an interesting reflection from you, Glynis. Maybe there was something special about that townhouse. Some places do hold special memories or feelings. That is great you love adventure and try something new. Sometimes the fun of it comes from just trying, and you will really good about yourself. Hope all is well 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Mabel, your ability to describe your innermost thoughts while at the same time describing where you are and what you are observing make your words stunningly poignant. Your perfection of word had me riveted and amazed. Your talent is mind-blowing, I really hope you know that. And I hope these posts are all practice for your book that you are destined to write.

    As for where I feel HOME the most, is out in a park, among Mother and Her creations. I’ve not fit in or felt at home for most of my life so to find this “feeling” of being one with Mother is a Great Honor. My cameras bring a sense of home to me. Communing with my cats brings a sense of home. Being hugged by those I love brings a sense of home. Sungazing brings a sense of home. Gazing at the night sky brings a sense of home. Sharing kisses with my horse friend brings a sense of home. Holding one of my cats like a baby brings a sense of home. Spending time with me brings a sense of home.

    I do not feel at home in this 3D world and I AM so grateful for all those wondrous Gifts I have around me to bring that sense of home to me.

    Sending you so much love!! Bless you for sharing your heart!!! xoxo


    • I am not sure why your comments keep going to Spam. But I have unspammed them. Sometimes strange things happen. But then again, not all strange things are bad things. Now you and I think alike, and know that things others might find strange are

      What a thoughtful, kind and heart-felt comment from you, Amy. This was a post that I have felt for a long time but didn’t know how to write. But with time, here it is. I am sure I am destined to write a book (and some progress has been made), and I am completely humbled that you believe in me.

      I LOVE you description of home, ‘this “feeling” of being one with Mother is a Great Honor’. It truly is and you certainly know how what is important to you. Mother speaks to you and you are brave enough to surrender and hear the messages, and best of all have a conversation with the divine. Home for many of us – like me and you – just isn’t a place or one thing, but it can be different things within our actions, people and what our surroundings bring to us.

      Keep making the most of the wonderful gifts around you and within you. You have a gift with the camera and keep up the wonderful work with your photography. Thank you for stopping by. Sending you much love 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’ve gone and put tears in my eyes, dear friend. Conversations like this I so do cherish. Know this. I’ve had to make a very difficult decision and close comments starting with my next post in order to keep doing what I am being guided to do, not only here but with the rest of my life as well. I will miss terribly those like you who have their hearts wide open. My life is very intense right now and I just had to cut back some.

        As for my comments that keep landing in your spam, that yellow rose is just so threatening. Thank goodness you saved me, Mabel. And yes I have every confidence in YOU that what you put your mind to, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Bless you, bless you for refusing to bow to anything or anyone who tell you NOT to be you. You are a very courageous young woman and it is quite the honor for me to know you. Much love to you! xoxoxo


        • It really is such a pleasure to have connected and converse with you. You do you, and having boundaries are so important in order for us to feel like we are ourselves. I applaud you for checking in with yourself and giving yourself time and space.

          You mention the yellow rose is so threatening. I prefer to see/word it as a yellow rose shining so bright with Love and Light, unapologetically. Some have yet to see this, be it on here or offline. Thank you for your kindness and time, Amy. You sure know how to share and be yourself. Such an honour for me to know you too ✨💕

          Liked by 1 person

          • Love your gentle correction regarding my yellow rose. It makes so much sense to me in that it truly is a reflection of who I am, and yes so many as yet have yet to see me. From now on whenever I get set free from SPAM this is what I will say. Bless you, Mabel. Our words are very powerful!! And as I create my reality, I really thank you for the “check”. I LOVE honesty between those who dare to be. xoxo


            • Words are powerful indeed. You have a kind heart. Keep being you and shining bright. Honesty will get you far, so as daring to be you. Such a pleasure to chat and connect with you. Much love your way 💕

              Liked by 1 person

  21. Thought provoking post Mabel. I’m a firm believer in ‘home is where the heart is’ and that home can be anywhere that we feel at our utmost comfort. At this point in my life, I am once again searching for home. Perspectives change as life alters events. ❤


  22. Aye-yi-yi-eee, Mabel! Such a subject! I have pondered it many times in life, and continue to do so. Let me begin here with a quote from your post, “Some of the most important lessons come from searching for a way forward when you are on the sidelines.” Aren’t most of us Creatives sidelined or don’t we feel that way, in some way in life? Have we ever felt as if we ‘fit in?’ I never have. Not from day One in my memory.

    HoWeVeR: when I finally graduated high school (a place i DEFINITELY felt out of place, as my goals were dashed to dust with my parents’ parting, so ‘what then?’ I had no Plan B – nobody told me that was a good idea!) … anyhow … I left for the opposite coast of the US mainland, evading the long-expected 12 year college stretch toward a doctorate in medicine – to the woods and waters of Maine. (Thank God.) Where I lived for 34 years, where I really grew Up, grew into myself at the time, grew closer and closer to nature (and further away from western medicine!), as it seemed then as it does now that Mother Earth held the answers, at least for me. That part has never altered.

    HoWeVeR: after said 34 years, my bucolic life began being shattered by a widening highway, more noise where there was none, greedy people filling in loon nesting areas to build fancy houses across the lake, wildlife leaving, hunters encroaching, air pollution drifting out, waters getting polluted (we could Drink that water for most of my time there) … So. We left for Hawaii, Chris’ idea. It was an adventure, okay, beautiful, but not my home. Headed back to the US mainland to New Mexico, but after a year in not-so-great schools, my girls asked could we return to Maine. We could and did. A strange reunion. We left again after the youngest was out of undergrad college. For Hawaii again, different island.

    Some might call this a dreamy life – after all, we lived 17 total years on the Hawaiian islands. But it never felt like home to me. Beautiful, absolutely. But expensive too, Chris worked all the time. So we decided to head back to New Mexico, buying a ranch this time. Different place, different time. And nearly 3 years later, I am settling in. Do I feel at home here? More than I did. But my conclusion brings me to the main question of your post: for me at least, home will always reside in memory. In that discovery that I could and would always live in nature, no city life for me. If I could have frozen time in Maine, I would never have left. We would never have left. But we did. And now we are here. Are we here forever? I do not know. Maybe home truly is where the heart is. Still, I long for that huge granite boulder, our wolf by my side, watching as the Northern Lights ribboned and stroked across the night sky. Wonder is what keeps me engaged, if not secured to a feeling of home.

    Love to you, dear Mabel. You are still one of my favorite bloggers! 💕


    • This is such a thought provoking reflection, Bela. I think so, that many of us creatives are sidelines and feel too strange to fit in. For us, I don’t think the journey is about ‘fitting in’. Well, I think to a certain degree perhaps and to understand what it means to fit in…but then eventually come to realise that it is impossible to always fit in ALL the time.

      It was such a wonderful read of your journey of moving around, settling down and moving again, and yet again. Quite the adventure along the way. When you mentioned that your bucolic life was interrupted by developments, it made me think of how a lot of the time thing around us change. Places change, people change and so the idea of home is always changing, perhaps intangible for many of us. It is interesting how you moved to Hawaii, then away from it, then back again and once again away from it – and it never really felt like home despite the lush nature around you. Perhaps sometimes things are not what they seem, and your priorities change over time too.

      I really like how said this, ‘Different place, different time’, and how throughout your comment you illustrated different experiences in different places at different times of your life. Again, brings back the idea that home is intangible and ever changing. For me, Australia feels like a very different place to me compared to many years ago and having moved around. Maybe it’s the developments, maybe it’s the people coming and going, or something else altogether. I so agree with you that for some of us home resides in memory and what has been. Perhaps you can recreate that in some way, though maybe that feeling may never be completely found again. I do hope you get to see the Northern Lights again at some stage. It’s on my to-see list 😊

      Your comment disappeared into the Spam or Trash but I managed to rescue it. Not sure why but these things happen. Thank you for your kind words and for your time, Bela. It is a pleasure to connect and talk to you. I hope you are guided and doing alright this season ✨🙏😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mabel, so interesting, your comment! Maybe ‘it’s something altogether’ seems to fit. We live in the most extraordinary times, and I do think that those of us who follow The Muse/The Gods/Our Inner Guidance have … ‘interesting’ lives! It is so strange, I was thinking the other night, we have lived in/moved to/from 11 different residences in our 30 years together! It blew us both away – I asked Chris how many homes he thought we had had, off the top of his head. He said four! Though I think he was referring to how many homes we actually ‘bought’ (not that anyone can own any piece of the earth, though we do caretake/transform our corner/s). Still, strange, strange.

        Well, since we ‘chatted,’ I have been working steadily in the greenhouse – we had gophers (not sure you have them there) – they dig massive burrows which can go 4′ underground. We had installed heavy mesh wire to prevent this, all around the g’house’s perimeter. But we only went 2 feet. Who knew. Anyhow, they got in last year and ruined a few vegetables (root crops are their favorites). So my helper and I dug out all 12 garden beds and put down wire, stapled to the beds and I concurrently went through all the soil and removed rocks and hard clumps and amended it with good loamy soil. It took us 2 steady weeks to accomplish this. (This is straight-up gardener talk, so forgive me if it’s not interesting.) Finally finished it two days ago, then planted another tree and created another large garden bed outside. This may not seem like a big deal (and in Hawaii for sure it is Not), but here in the high rocky mountain desert of New Mexico, it’s something to accomplish. And what is happening is that I am beginning to feel more at home here – working hand in hand with Mother Earth always does this, for me. So feeling at home is in process, as we speak! The gardens are a work in progress, but I am glad it’s no longer winter and I can be outside most of the time. (We have also had record precipitation this winter, and snowmelt has filled the river down the road from us. The sound of rushing water lulls us to sleep, so I am far more content, as I am very much a water person.)

        Many blessings to you, dear Mabel. May you enjoy peace and harmony in your daily meanderings! Love love love! b


        • I think when we learn to tap into The Muse, Guidance, Universe, the higher powers above or what you want to call it, life is interesting. You speak with nature and the energies around you, and it all shows you signs and lights up the way. That is quite a lot of times you have moved over the years, and no surprise that you and Chris has to take a moment to think about it. Incredible to have lived in different places and returned, and see where it all took you. And here you are where you are today!

          We do have gophers (rodents/rats) here in Australia but not too many where I am fortunately. That is amazing you and your helper sorted the garden and made it more gopher-proof. It sounds like quite an effort doing that two weeks straight. But it is disheartening and annoying to have your vegetables destroyed that way, and you do want to try to stop that happening again. And wow, planting a new tree too. It really does seem like you are connecting deeply with nature and it is nurturing your soul, so perfect for this season we are in this time of the year ✨😜

          Always a delight chatting with you, and seeing you on here. I hope you get to enjoy the warm weather your way, Bela. Happy Summer to you 💕

          Liked by 1 person

  23. A lot to unpack in this post, Mabel. I found myself mostly agreeing with your assessment–“familiarity is what we come to expect of a place called home”. True, probably more than comfort or safety or support. I liked that you included “not everyone has supportive environments”–a dream to have that, one I get from my husband and why I love him so much. I can’t imagine living in a foreign land–being Chinese in Australia. Yet, you don’t call yourself ex-pat? I read many blogs written by ex-pats and they seem to find a comfort level in their lives.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.


    • Certainly lots to unpack about the idea and feeling of home, Jacqui. That is amazing your husband is supportive of you – especially with all that you do, writing widely and publishing books! It is interesting the way you put it – being Chinese in Australian and then there are expats whom some may feel at home in Australia. I think it comes down to different people, different experiences – just like different definitions and feelings of home.

      Really appreciate you stopping by and reflecting 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is interesting, to hear you get asked, ‘Where are you from?’. Sometimes it can be an honest question, and it is interesting to get to know someone’s story. Other times, people ask that question based on assumptions.


  24. I’ve never lived in a different country, but I also don’t identify myself as “American,” or “new englander” (because that’s where I live now) or “Californian” because I lived in that state for many years, or “Virginian” when I lived there, or “New Jersean” etc (there are many more). :-0 I don’t belong to a place. I belong to ME. My soul is where my home is. That said, I love to make my physical home part of me. Fresh flowers every week, clean spaces, soft pillows on the chairs, warm comforting colors on the walls, and personal framed photos hung with care. This is HOME to me. When I sit and meditate, perhaps that is when I am most “home.”
    Thanks for taking the time to write an incredible post, Mabel. Lots of food for thought. Or, “home” for thought.


    • So interesting to hear what home means and feels to you, Pam. You must have many stories of each place where you lived. I love your thoughts, that ‘I belong to ME’. It’s so powerful, to feel that your soul is where your home is – within.

      I can just imagine how cozy and refreshing your physical home is, with the flowers, clean spaces and everything arranged with care. Sounds like such a comfortable space to be in. Treat your space with care and you will feel it reflected back at you.

      Thanks for stopping by, Pam. I always appreciated you reading and reflecting. Hope you are doing well 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Since I have some relatives who immigrated as adults in their 20’s CAnada (and most didn’t know any English), they are a stark reminder to myself as well as all experiences raised by immigrant parents, I most definitely do say ….Canada. Is my home and forever it will be.

    I was born in CAnada and have not lived anywhere else. It is by pure luck that my home is Canada which I consider an enormous benefit and privilege. There are hundreds of thousands people trying to get into Canada…and they literally die for it…via escape routes.


    • That is amazing you know where home is for you, and that Canada feels home to you. I am guessing there are many things about Canada that resonate that you, and so lead you to call it home. You bring up such an important issue, that some will cross borders the difficult way to in search of their home. It goes to show how each of us define home differently.


  26. Since I have lived and worked in 3 distinctly different regions of Canada (in terms of climate, geography and history), I admit I love Canada even more.

    I feel in my heart quite Canadian. And no one can take that away from me.


    • That is so lovely to hear, having experienced different regions of Canada and love Canada even more. It must be a place that loves you back. Haven’t seen a post from you in a while, so hope you are doing well, Jean. Enjoy the warmer season ahead over there 🙂


  27. It was interesting to read your perspective on home and on your life in Australia, Mabel. I wonder where you would feel you truly belong. I’m pleased you find an essence of that in your creativity. I wonder if any of us ever feel we truly belong. That seems to be one of the questions that many search for an answer to throughout their lives: Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I belong? I agree that home is somewhere that we feel comfort and content, a place of refuge and safety.
    I love your photos of the deep blue sky and enjoyed the way you wove them into your post. It added beauty to your ponderings.


    • Thank you for reading and reflecting on this one, Norah. I love the questions you posed there – they sound like simple questions, but they do make you wonder. Who am I? Why am I here? I admit I do ask myself these questions sometimes. Creativity is somewhere where I do feel like I am meant to be. I think belonging, and the feeling of home, changes for many of us as time goes on.

      The deep blue sky was beautiful. It felt so special when the moon came out for a few moments. It reminded me to cherish each moment, no matter how insignificant or small it may seem – because one day, they may be the big things. Hope you get some warmer weather (though not too warm) your way soon enough 😊💕


      • Creativity is a wonderful thing to dive into, Mabel. It can bring enormous joy.
        And I agree about the small things. In reality, it’s those small things that ultimately bring the most joy.


        • So agree that creativity can bring enormous joy. There are so many possibilities with creativity. The small things are very memorable. Sometimes we don’t think they are until much later.

          It is well and truly cold here right now. So early in the year too. Hope you are doing well over there, Norah 😊

          Liked by 1 person

  28. Thoughtful and beautifully written, as ever. Good to read you again- and great photos. I’m currently in my other “home” – in London- so your post was very meaningful to me. I think the relationships around you – family, friends, colleagues, neighbours- and the meaningful places and experiences of your life form strands that wrap around you like a nest, offering security and meaning. To me that is the sense of home which I’m feeling right now, away from physical home.


    • So lovely to hear from you, Dr D. I like what you said that, that what is meaningful wrapping around you like a nest and offer you what is important. It can be hard finding what is meaningful, but I think it comes with time. I saw you post the other day (haven’t seen you in so long!), will come over. Enjoy London and may there be some sunshine and nice weather while you are 😊there


  29. Thank you so much for this thoughtful post Mabel! I like how nuanced this post is and how it doesn’t assume is necessarily a positive place or will inspire positive emotions. People’s feelings about where they grew up can be complex and I think you do a great job of honoring that in this post. For me, I always wanted to escape my home so earlier in my life I was reluctant to call a place home, though now I feel more confident and comfortable trying to make a certain geographic area my home, after having healed from my trauma. Appreciate your writing as always.


    • This is such a thoughtful comment from you, Thomas. Definitely some of us grew up in complex environments, or maybe currently going through challenging phases and so home takes on a more abstract meaning. Not feeling at home should be normalised, and I think many of us feel question what ‘home’ is at some point in our lives. That is good to hear you are more confident and comfortable these days, and hope you find stability and feel safe wherever you are. Take care and keep being you 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Mabel, I hope that one day you write that book that is within you because I have absolutely no doubt it would be remarkable. And resonate with so many people. You have such a gift, you articulate your thoughts so beautifully and I’m sure, with all of your experiences, it would touch so many lives.

    Home? Well, yes, it’s more than just a physical space. I know many people (many of my friends and family) equate home with a physical house and a sense of security, and everyone thinks differently, but I believe it’s much deeper than that. Home is where the heart is, might be cliche, but I do believe its true and that it comes from within. Home is also family but when they leave home, as my two kids have, then it becomes just a place.

    Now that we’re full time travellers and we have no physical house, home is honestly wherever we’re parked, wherever we are in the moment and, although that might sound vague and airy fairy, it’s truly how I feel. I love our caravan, love whatever home we’re looking after and am grateful for all the different opportunities. Not sure what my mum would think (she always called me a vagabanda) but I’d like to think she be happy that I’m happy.

    Great post Mabel, loved the pics and the pace of your writing. Keep being true to yourself and keep writing! Take care. 😊💗


    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Miriam. You are so kind and generous with your time. I know I will write and publish that book some day – that is the message I feel I am always getting. And I know I will go on to write more.

      It is so true that everyone thinks differently about home. As you said, some of your friends equate it to a physical house. For others it is more a feeling from within, and ‘home’ changes over time. Sometimes home is where we are in a moment in time. It is amazing that you are able to live a life of travel in a caravan and living in the moment, and feel that it works for you. You get to see the world and have so many experiences – everyday is an adventure. Hope you are doing well and wishing you well. Looking forward to seeing where you are headed 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great to know you’re feeling that nudge to write that book Mabel. I’ve no doubt you’ll write so much more, it’s such a wonderful way of expressing ourselves.
        Home is “a moment in time,” I love that. And you’re right, every day IS an adventure but really we can all say that can’t we. It’s how we choose to live and our attitude to everything that’s around us. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Warmest wishes my friend. 💗😊


        • You really are very kind, Miriam. Thank you. I love writing, so let’s see where that takes me. It is amazing to see you choose the way you want to live and live it. Keep on adventuring and expressing yourself the way you do, through photography, writing, however you want. Much love to you my friend 😊💕

          Liked by 1 person

  31. This is such a beautifully written article, Mabel. Those wonderful photography walks would give wonderful times of reflection.
    I currently live only 15 kilometers from my childhood home, which I am guessing is somewhat unusual for Western standards. My wife is quite the opposite. She spent her 1st 9 years in India. The next 10 years in New Zealand. And the past 35 years here in Canada. Though I live in a house, the hardwood forests in the area is where I feel most at home in.


    • Thank you for your kind words, Carl. I do like photography walks around sunset especially when it’s not too cold.

      That is an interesting to note, that living near one’s childhood home may not be that common. These day many tend to move around. But sometimes it feels right to live where you grew up. Your wife certainly sounds like she has been places. I hope you get to spend time in the hardwood forests every now and then, be it for a run or walk and feel most at home. Hope you are doing well, Carl. Looking forward to catching up with you soon 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome, Mabel. I do agree. Looking around the community where I am at, the vast majority of neighbors are people who have moved here. They may stay for a few years and move on. We’ve had 7 new neighbors in the house the one side of us in this house I have lived for the past 31 years.
        The last few days I have been taking my camera in the hardwood forests for some photos now. Everything is lush and green as the trees have just budded. And the forest floor is a carpet of wildflowers. The trees lost their leaves in the 2nd week of October, which is 7 months ago. 😀🌳📸


        • That is interesting to hear of the people in your neighbourhood. That is quite a few neighbours you’ve had over the years. Some do more around more than others.

          It sounds like beautiful hardwood forests you get to wander through. Enjoy the carpet of wildflowers, and happy walking and running 🌳😊


  32. This is a really interesting topic, because as a Eurasian in Malaysia, I do feel like an outsider sometimes. And because my heritage is so messy, it’s not as if I have a ‘motherland’ to return to. I’ve found that I don’t bother so much about the definition of home though. Right now, it’s with my loved ones and family. So wherever that is, is where my home will always be.


    • That is such a good way to think of ‘home’, that it’s with your loved ones and family. No matter where we go, sometimes no place may ever feel like home. It is a bit like that for some of us, maybe even a bit uncertain and unsettling. But I think many of us come to feel home as where we can be ourselves and are comfortable. Thank you so much for stopping by, Stuart 😊


  33. Such a profound topic, Mabel. Not surprising coming from you. Your writing here is more personal than previous posts and I really dig that. HOME is such a broad meaning.

    I love this: “Watch darkness and light. Feel powerful and powerless. Well aware of divine timing, along with our free will and choice of unconscious surrender wherever we are, whether we are feeling at home or far from it.”

    I’ve heard of people going to a place they’ve never been before and knowing they are finally home. I spent many years trying to make a home in a place I didn’t really belong. Well, home is where the HEART is, in the end.


    • I am so humbled that you love this post and the writing that is more personal. I really enjoyed writing this post, and on home, a topic that resonates so differently with everyone.

      It is interesting how we can visit a place for the first time and just feel at home. It’s like a feeling where you have longed for your whole life, and sometimes so hard to explain. You offer a way to put it – that is where the heart is. Hope you are well, Lisa. Thank you for your kind words and take care 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I thought I had commented your excellent post. Home? A tough question. Being a Frenchman born in India, raised in Asia and Africa, educated in France and the US, and finally living in Latin America, I’m not sure I would know where to start.
    Being a chameleon (virtually no accent in the languages I mumble) I can “blend in” in many cultures… (We may have commented that before).
    I would say “home” is language. If you speak several, you have several homes… 😉
    Bye “Peng-Yu”🙏🏻


    • And now you have commented on this post 😄 The question of ‘home’ is indeed a tough one. You do have a colourful background and life there – definitely challenging to find a starting point to describe yourself. Being a chameleon is skill, and it sounds like a skill that allows you to get along with others – and they are willing to connect with you. Home is what you want it to be at any moment, and what you feel in many ways. Always a pleasure conversing with you, Amigo 😊

      Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts. Join the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.