This month in Remote Year, we Meraki have a theme–Home.
I didn’t think much of this initially. It’s just a theme, and I march to my own beat for the most part, and who really cares about a theme? But throughout the course of the last two weeks, this theme has started to hit, ugh, do I have to say it? Home.
One of our tribe was away all last month. She traveled throughout Northern Peru and then down to Chile, and got to Cordoba a week later than most of us. When I saw her, I didn’t even think about it, I just said “Welcome home.” She was sort of surprised to realize that’s what it felt like. She’s never been to Cordoba before, she’s never seen her apartment before, but coming back to the rest of our tribe, our family, for her, was coming home.
I’ve heard similar from other people who went back “home” to the States for a week or two, that they felt like they were coming home when they rejoined the group.
Naturally, this got me thinking. Where is home for me now? I gave up my apartment. All of my belongings short of a 22kg duffel bag and a backpack with my laptop and other tech items are in a storage unit in Westchester or (thanks Rayna and Aaron) in Cortlandt stuffed in a closet somewhere.
Tonight, some of us got to experience an amazing event. Our city Experience Manager, Coti, set up an opportunity for some of us to go into her friends’ homes, make empenadas, and talk with the family. They opened up their home to us in the most personal way. Friends came by. Bottles of wine and beer were opened and enjoyed. A guitar came out and there was music and singing. An amazing 8-year old girl made drawings for us to take as souvenirs. And the matron of the household fed us (beyond just the empenadas) and gave us home-made (there’s that word again) jam to take with us.
I felt more at home tonight, inside someone else’s home, than I’ve felt in years. More so than when I was “home” in NYC in a lot of ways. And I realized that part of it was who I experienced with, not necessarily where.
Whether I get along with every other Meraki perfectly or not is irrelevant. We’re all on this year-long adventure together, and we’ve all developed a bond with one another that has brought us closer than friends. We use words like “tribe”, or “family”, or my personal favorite–“tramily” to describe ourselves and our relationship. And this month, more than any of the previous four, has shown me how real and how powerful that can be.
Home isn’t where you store your stuff. It isn’t where you lay your head. It isn’t “where the heart is”, to borrow from the cliche. It’s where your friends and family are, or, I guess in my case, tramily.
I know I’ll always have a home in NYC, and in New Orleans, and if I try, many other cities around the world where I have amazing friends. But for now, just this year, my home truly is itinerant. and shit if it isn’t amazing to know that wherever I go this year, so far away from home, I’m still home.
Shout out to my Meraki tramily for making this year so amazing, and to everyone back home, for supporting me while I do this. I’m truly a lucky human.