It’s been more than a year since I’ve started a rather nomad style life, hopping from place to place for a few days at a time backpack and camera in tow. I never expected, or even really dreamed, that I would be a traveler and that my life would consist of adding up the mileage and days spent on the road. I kind of tripped and fell into the traveling life, starting with an incredible journey last year across the United States and then it steamrolled into a whirlwind trip around the world and continued to another crisscrossing of North America where I find myself now.
I get asked a lot about being homesick, about if I feel those pangs of restlessness or feelings of yearning for a familiar place. At first I always said no. And it was true! When everything is new and exciting it’s easy not to get homesick, you can look out the window of the car, plane, or hotel and see a new corner of the world that exists for you to explore. But over the last month or so I’ve been thinking a lot more about this question. Am I homesick? Do I miss home?
When I started thinking about it and really looking into my feelings and what I’ve been living like in the last year I realized it wasn’t necessarily home that I was missing but the “idea” of home. I didn’t miss my bed or couch or forest window view. I was missing those comforts that make up a home. Quiet morning coffee, little reminders of travels and history and the familiarity of home. For me, home isn’t just the walls and the doors and the roof it’s all those little puzzle pieces that together make up your home. And for me, that puzzle still exists I just happen to be carrying all the pieces with me as I go.
A few weeks ago we were staying at cute little Airbnb location in Seattle and I felt an immediate sense of ‘home’ there. The cupboards were filled with cute coffee mugs and the stairs had creaks and groans as we walked up from the rainy Seattle weather. I started to take little snapshots of the details in the house because I didn’t want to forget that feeling, that home feeling that I felt so deeply. At the end of the morning I uploaded them to tumblr and I liked the way it looked as a small mosaic. Seeing these photos building up the puzzle of this home really made me feel like I had a connection to this space and it was part of my story now. I knew I had started a new series.
My new photo series “Homes Away From Home” is a chance for me to explore the “home” feeling in every place I rest my head while traveling. Whether it’s from the comforts of a friend’s comfortable family house, from the inside of a tent on the top of a mountain overlooking the clouds below or a hotel in a new city, I know that there are elements that make up those feelings of comfort and I want to find those in each space.
I like the idea of finding those objects, moments and aspects of each space I spend time in and building them up to be the puzzle of that home. I chose not to photograph the people who own these spaces because I wanted the images to represent the home by themselves. The trinkets, balcony views, pets and tiny touches that we find comforting, make our spaces more than that…they make our homes, homes.
The series has given me time to appreciate the places I’ve been able to spend my time. I look through the windows with a new eye, I see the collections people hold dearly and the moments of their lives represented through their homes and it’s helped me feel at home there too. It’s given me a new passion for travel, to see people’s homes and celebrate their openness and love through photographs.
Thank you to those that have been part of my “Homes Away From Home” series so far and I can’t wait to add more to the series as my travels continue! You can see the images and follow the tumblr here: