A traveler’s home is her stuff

Today, I was hanging out in my kitchen when my roommate, Alex, came home after going on a hike with our friend Megan. As only roommates can do (because no one else cares enough to listen), we began chatting about the most minute details of our day.

“I hadn’t seen Megan since before I got back from vacation (about one week ago),” Alex said. “And, of course, even though I put it in my bag, I forgot to give her the bracelet I got her.”

I told her how much that drove me nuts too. I hate having other people’s stuff in my house, I hate it when people leave things behind and, of course, I hate leaving my own things behind.

I like knowing that everything I need can fit in this backpack.

I like knowing that everything I need can fit in this backpack.

Even at my boyfriend’s house, where I stay a few times a week, I never leave anything behind (much to his annoyance). I refuse to leave any clothes, because what if I need to wear that particular shirt one day when I’m at home? I don’t leave my travel bottles of shampoo, because what if I stay somewhere else from the night and need them?

I think at the end of the day though (channeling my inner psychologist here) I choose to keep everything I own in one place because I have moved so much that it’s my stuff that makes me feel like I am home. 

There was only one residence I ever resided in that I lived in for more than two years. The other 10 (not joking) I packed up and moved away to the next within 24 months. That made it very easy to never really settle (and also throw away a lot of stuff).

I think that deep down, I like to know that even if I don’t have a defined home, these items are still mine and they will be with me. I know it’s all just stuff, but when every set of four walls you have ever been in turned out be more temporary than you expected, sometimes it’s only that stuff that you have.

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