I wrote a little bit about what home means to me in my post yesterday. Home is a word, a topic, that comes up a lot in my life, given that I live so far far away from a place that I might typically call home.
As you know we were in Pretoria recently, first for a week which was extended to two weeks. Two weeks in one place, which is enough time to start thinking of a place as home – temporarily, but no matter. After 4 days of dining out, I was itching to make use of our little home/hotel kitchenette, in an effort to truly feel more at home. At the store, we piled into our carts all the things that we haven’t seen in the past few months in Dar es Salaam: precious salmon steaks, flat skirt steaks, small packages of snap peas, whole raw almonds, seedless grapes, juicy limes, baby carrots, sweet cherry tomatoes. Once at “home” (hotel room, womp womp) we dressed our pre-washed lettuce salads with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, and pan fried the salmon on the stove. Dinner wasn’t fancy, certainly not as fancy or as unique as of our other nights dining out, but it was a taste of home- America home actually, a long-ago home, much different than Dar-home.
The kitchen is home, yes, but what I learned from my most recent trip away— and I do learn something on every trip, which is a huge reason I love to travel— is that home isn’t always something tangible. It might not be a physical house, or a computer, or a kitchen, but instead could be more closely associated with memory, with experience, with loved ones. A combination of all this, likely. Having that salmon, that baby lettuce salad lightly dressed with fancy olive oil and basalmic vinegar- that reminded me of home, even though they’re things that I never have in my Dar kitchen. Which meant that no matter where I go in this world, no matter how far I travel, I actually have the power to create my own sense of home.