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Rambling and the Process of Being at "Home"

Rambling and the Process of Being at “Home”
Buffalo, NY
August 29, 2007

These open fields and orchards are my home. This is where I grew up- out on the farms, riding bikes and playing football. The place where a person was raised, the place where they take their first bearings on the world, sticks with them through everything they do and everywhere they go. “Home” is an ingrained feeling that is forever with anyone, and I think that this feeling is all the more idealized by those who venture away from their homes. Anyone who experiences the contrast of a land that is not there own savors the idea of “home.” “Homeward Bound,” is tattooed upon the sailor’s hide. Perhaps this is what we are searching for? Perhaps this idea of “home” is something that we could not tolerate even if we were able to actualize it? Everyone needs a mulligan, everyone needs something to search for. Maybe this is why we travel.

I thought that I was looking for “home” for a long time. For many years I travelled looking for a place that I could fit into, a group of people that I could walk in stride with. Once I was in Japan browsing around a museum with a Japanese girl, and an exhibit caught my attention. I was standing over a scaled model of an old-time Japanese town, which had little wooden houses and imitation dirt streets. And in this little model town was a community of small action figures that were all dress in traditional Japanese garb. These models of people were all set up in ways that showed them to be interacting with each other. This model scene was of a community in full tilt.

I mentioned to my friend that the little medel scene was what I was looking for, that I just wanted a community to be a part of. She laughed in my face.

“You are a traveller,” she said, “you do not want that.”

I had to try hard to contain my anger. But later on I realized that she was right. That “home” could be a process, not a place. I have come to feel at home with the process of rambling.

Rambler. That is what my grandfather use to call me.

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Filed under: Family, North America, Travel Philosophy, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3161 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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