There’s something to be said about home life.
I find it hard to describe the simple happiness that comes along with having a home. A home of your own, that is. A home that you’re happy in. A home where you actually want to be. A home in a location that fits. A home that feels like a home.
Last Thursday Cheryl and I signed a lease that binds us to an apartment for the next four months of our lives. Most will think us silly – if not crazy. We’re both still jobless, so rent is sort of a stressful talking point for us, though no one can say we aren’t trying. We’ve handed out CVs to any store or restaurant willing to take them, as well as applied to dozens upon dozens of online job inquiries. So far all this has added up to four job interviews: two being busts on my end, and potential interviews for both Cheryl and myself tomorrow. So fingers crossed.
A part of me misses traveling. It does. I miss going to a new hostel, knowing I’ve only got three or four days there to take in as much as possible before I move on to the next one. I miss WWOOFing at strangers’ houses; learning their familial ways, adjusting to new sets of rules, and getting my hands dirty. I miss making friendly acquaintances whenever I get to a new town. I miss the sense of adventure. But that stuff will still be there four months down the line. It’s not going anywhere.
That being said, the apartment is a nice place. It’s a bit pricey, but then again all flats here are in comparison to the ones back in the States. It’s a tiny place, but already it feels like home. It came to us fully furnished – beds, washer and drier, working TV, plates and silverware, you name it – and now all we’re really waiting on is for the Internet supplier to come and hook up the WiFi. My one real complaint, besides lack of WiFi (thank goodness for the library) is that the sheets the apartment left for our beds are meant for twin sized beds. Ours are doubles. Cheryl caved and bought herself sheets, but I’m holding out till I start earning some wages. So let’s just say that sleeping bag my dad spent a pretty penny on for my travels? It’s finally being put to good use.
But home life, is just… it’s nice. It’s nice to have a couch where you can curl up and read each day, not having to worry about the loud group of backpackers talking and disrupting you. It’s nice to have a fridge to store your food in and not have to worry about someone stealing it. It’s nice to have a chance to unpack your clothes from your backpack, which they’ve been stuffed in for the past two months. It’s nice to have space; to have comfort. It’s nice to rest. Traveling is wonderful and I long for more of it in my life – and soon! – but it’s made me very aware that I am, and forever will be, a homebody.
It’s worth mentioning that I’m insanely in love with Wellington. Even on a day like today, where the wind blows so hard that we can feel our apartment shaking from up on the twelfth floor, I still find it beautiful. The buildings, the ocean view, the vibe of the town. What a wonderful place to be at this time in my life.
It’s also worth noting that we’ve taken full advantage of our lack of the lovely library just down the road. We’re able to go there to get our daily WiFi fix, yes, but there’s more. We’ve started renting movies, so we have fun ways to fill our evenings, and then there are books. In the past few days I have flown through three and a half books, with a whole stack waiting to be devoured, reminding myself that there’s a reason reading and writing are my greatest passions. (Side note: Old Man and the Sea is one of the dullest things I’ve ever read. Just. No.)
I can’t stop there though. Ah no. There’s more to the equation than just a comfortable home life. Looking back, during my last year of college my home life consisted of me sitting in my room all the time on my computer, only leaving to get food or to use the bathroom. It didn’t end up being a good fit for me, and I spent most of my second senior year feeling lonely whenever I was at home, longing for someone to spend time with. A conversation. Someone to sit with. Someone to laugh with or cook with. My ex-roommate is a lovely person and I am thankful she opened her home to me, but I spent my whole time living with her wishing she’d just open her door every once in a while and tell me about her day.
So I am thankful. I am thankful I have someone to dry dishes while I wash. I am thankful I have someone to sit in silence with as we both consume the literature grasped in our palms. I am thankful I have someone to crack jokes with and giggle with during Devil Wears Prada and who shares my love of sweets. I am thankful for someone to simply talk to. I spent so much of college trying to convince myself I am a solitary person – and, yes, I am a person who needs her space and to be alone on occasion – but this trip has convinced me that I am not someone who thrives on solitude. First Kathleen, and now Cheryl. Needless to say, I’m very thankful for both these ladies.
And yes, come next February or March or whenever, I’m probably going to venture back out into the world that is New Zealand and go it on my own for a bit. I think that’ll be good for me, to travel completely by myself. Scary, but good.
But for now I am thankful for my amazing roommate, my glass coffee table that holds my large stack of library books, my fridge full of food, and a place to rest my sleeping bag-clad body at day’s end.
I was so happy while I was traveling. I worried that happiness would cease once I planted my feet, but now I see that nothing’s changed. I am still so very content. And maybe that will change when I get a job, depending on what that job entails, or if I start dating someone or if I fall in with a certain crowd of people or money grows to be even tighter than it already is.
But right here? Right now? In this moment?
I am happy.
And that is all that matters.