Today, I’m sharing a feature piece from my magazine Untethered—that is available now in print, or digital. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever written—funny, deep, vivid, vulnerable—it dives into a tension that many of you have felt—reconciling the spaces between where we come from and where we find ourselves.
How has your idea of home changed over the years?
Thank you for sharing this Tobi 🙏 to say that reading this has been timely for me is an understatement. Your question inspired me to answer right away.
My idea of home has changed so much over the last 2 years, with major life changes, career changes etc. But, this idea has evolved exponentially over the last few weeks. Due to a recent spinal injury, (I’m very lucky & will make a full recovery), home over the last month has been many different places. Physically and mentally. Starting with a remote pine forest, high up in the Spanish Pyrenees where I crash landed my paraglider 4 weeks ago. Waiting and hoping for a helicopter rescue surrounded by the stillness, smells and beautiful bird song of the forest is vivid now as if it was an hour ago. Then hospitals including 2 weeks in Zaragoza, Spain. The kindest, most compassionate people cared for me. A repatriation via Barcelona with one of my best friends shrunk my idea of home even smaller as I relied on and trusted the kindness of strangers to keep me safe in their train carriages, their taxis and their aeroplane cabin. It wasn’t home in the traditional sense but I felt cared for and looked after. I also felt immensely humbled & grateful for the kindness and equanimity of these new temporary ‘house-mates’. I know they were professionals and doing their job but I strongly felt their humanity shine through.
For the last 2 weeks I’ve been staying in the loving homes of various family and friends in the south east of England.
My idea of home right now is the present moment. Being present, being in the moment, whether that’s with our loved ones, or strangers or just with ourselves in nature. Keeping present is healing, humbling and life affirming. That for me is home. ❤️
I loveeed and sooo related to this!
Home is a question for me with my sis ALSO in NJ, parents in Aus, bro/his gf and I in London but growing up in Penang, Malaysia and spending teens in Aus
"instead of wading through options like a multiple-choice exam, perhaps I should embrace the beauty of the feeling when it arrives. Home is to be felt and cherished, not intellectualized about." what a wonderful end to the piece
I think once you have lived abroad you forever yearn for a floating island home, that incorporates the best of all the places you have lived in. You are probably correct - you have to take it with you.
I love the images your writing conjures up.
Really enjoyed this Tobi! I know what you mean about the London winter. It’s pretty grim. Just grey really. Although this year we sit here in October and it’s hot! This doesn’t feel right.
I hope I will be able to shut up about how vivid your writing has become.
Now I can put into words why I subscribed to your writings, despite the earlier ones being a bit flat in their delivery but I must have gravitated to what lay underneath, now it has blossomed.
Beautiful and poignant Tobi. Your writing sings. Home is a melange (so apt) of feelings and they evolve as we breathe, move and live.
We are blessed to be able to travel and express how those feelings make us feel.
Pop to Zaragoza for a shimmy next time you visit Spain ;)