I used to travel a lot, and even now, when I arrive at a hotel, I like to unpack completely even if it’s only for a day or two. I put my lingerie in one of the drawers, hang up my dresses, line up my shoes in the closet, and arrange my eau de toilette along the sink. It somehow makes me feel settled in, gypsy-style, not having to search through folded items strategically placed in my suitcase that inevitably hide whatever it is that I am looking for and melts me into a puddle of frustrated confusion. I feel at home.
Some places I’ve lived, like Toronto, felt like home the minute I started wandering the streets through Kensington Market and along Queen Street West. For other places, ‘home’ crept up on me. It was many years before I returned from a trip to NYC and breathed a sigh of relief at the LAX baggage claim; somewhere along the past decade, Los Angeles snuck up behind me and made me an Angeleno.
Home is not just a place, now, though, is it? A song on the radio. A memory. The crisp inhalation of air on a cold autumn day. A favorite yoga pose that releases everything in your chest. Your mother’s arms around you when you were five and fell on the sidewalk and skinned your knee. An earnest smile from a child as she gives you the first art project she ever made for you at preschool. The sincerity behind someone’s words when they welcome you into their apartment and listen to all that’s going on in your life. A lover who sees the most embarrassing, ugliest parts of you, at your absolute worst, completely exposed, who makes you feel safe no matter what.
Home is a feeling. It’s that wonderful, freeing place you want to come back to over and over and over again, hopefully something healthy and that means the world to you. Home is where the heart is, yes; home is, moreover, where your heart feels that it wants to be.
Designer/Stylist: Peggy Khoucasian / Writer: Christie Cole
Yogi: Michelle Muench / Photography: Big Camera Man