I have recently retuned from an epic vacation with my family. We traveled to California. This was our first post-COVID shutdown trip, and we decided to be ambitious, and go for it! It was amazing. We set up home base in Oceanside, near San Diego, and ventured out from there. We slept in beds in real houses, and tents in forests. We slept on the beach, on the ground, and on air mattresses. We familiarized ourselves with other people’s kitchens, and bathrooms.
What struck me this vacation, was the notion of home, and making a home, wherever you are, and for however long you are there.
I spend the majority of my work life thinking about home, and helping people figure out how to find and create the very best home they can. This is important because home is integral to our well-being, our productivity, our sense of self, our safety, and basically everything.
Even before we left our permanent Baltimore home, I spent days thinking about how I could cram into a suitcase or two the most essential comforts of home, so that my time away would be most enjoyable. My favorite outfits, my comfiest sweatshirt for camping, I even loaded up my devices with books and movies to take along – a teeny microcosm of home.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to go away just to feel like I’m home! I love a change of surroundings, different scenery, different climate, all new things to explore. I love it! But at the same time, as soon as I arrive to my destination, whether it’s my family’s house, or a tent we’ve pitched in the Sequoia National Forest, I start in right away – organizing my things, just like I like them. I set up home. It doesn’t take much, just a few things to make me feel anchored.
So it hit me, each time I reinvented our base at each new destination, how lucky I am to help people set up home, with every transaction I close. And all kinds of homes – all kinds of people. A good home is a good home! Whether I was using a Coleman propane stove to heat up my oatmeal and tea, or grabbing my water from a cooler of ice instead of using a Viking Stove or Subzero fridge, the feeling of settling in is the same. Whether I’m helping a client buy a luxury home with all the finest amenities, or a first time buyer buying a more modest home – I know that they will make it theirs. Hopefully, home will be a sanctuary – the comfiest of places to feel safe, productive, and calm. Home will be the very best place to be.
I realized, looking at the vast array of stars and planets through the top of my tent in the middle of the Giant Redwood forest, that the earth truly is our home. We are just tiny little beings that, if we’re very lucky, get to roam around on our beloved planet for some time. Some of us may stay exactly where we started, and live in just a few different places our whole lives. Others may move around, stray great distances from where they started, and live in countless homes. At the end of it all, we all share one big planet. I love that anywhere I travel, it’s pretty easy to feel “at home”.