Saturday, July 23, 2016


"Traveling- it gives you homes in thousand strange places, then leaves you a stranger in your own land." -Ibn Battuta

Taken from the top of Mount Arthur, to the left is Golden Bay, to the right is Tasman Bay

Post 1 of 2. Today's musings will be in reference to the first half of the above quote, which has been iterated to me on several occasions by people whom I respect and love. Home in a thousand places. So far I have not been to a thousand places, but I can say of the lands I've visited, I often felt the familiarity of home.

I want to explore an idea I have come to relate closely with. Home is not a house, or a location, or an infrastructure. Home is with a familiar soul. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to say it. Home is where the heart is. I am so sorry to assault your mind with the cliche of the century, but it simply must be done.

Home is not a building in which you find yourself falling asleep on a Sunday afternoon watching a golf match (game? set?). Home can actually be made, though I'd argue, not entirely intentionally.

Before reaching the top

I left work at Founders early one day because we were slow and keeping two of us on couldn't be justified. I walked to my car, started the engine and realised that going "home" meant going to an empty house- where I would try to force avoidance of the readily available cake slices provided by my generous house-mate. I got out of my car and went back to the cafe where I sat and read around the people who had familiar souls. The cafe means the world to me, the brewery is incredibly special, but at the end of a shift I don't have a beer with the kegs, the sanitiser, or the coffee machine. I have moments with my people.

Not far from Founders is a home I frequent. Tasman Bay Backpackers did not begin as a home, but became full of comfort when I recognised the souls of the people around me. The managers, the Wwoofers, the friend who sits with me in the lobby and makes up songs about guests who check-in. These are home.

Just down the road from Tasman Bay is a home I never expected. A friend who began by paying me to clean her house became a home of immense importance.

I could go on for days and describe the soccer team, the friend who invited me to crash once and I stayed for 3 months, the church group who welcomed me with love, challenging topics, and snacks. All of these homes, and I haven't made it past Nelson yet. The Air BnB hosts who went above and beyond, the family members who conveniently moved to Wellington, the friends who gave me my first experience of home in New Zealand, and so many more. I may not have a home in a thousand places yet, but I have homes in many more strange places than before I left my own land.

Looking out at Tasman Bay and Beyond, also Bob the
way too kind woman who let a stray backpacker live in her home


  1. Lovely piece of writing Lauren,you'll always have a home in our hearts too. M.

  2. Lovely piece of writing Lauren,you'll always have a home in our hearts too. M.