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On Finding Home

Fernweh is a German word meaning homesickness for a place you've never been.

Hiraeth is a Welsh term meaning a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.

I don’t think there is an English equivalent that accurately conveys either of these.

The most at home I ever felt was in the house I grew up in. My dad, who died when I was two, built it. The house was situated on a few acres fifteen minutes outside of town. There was a tiny creek that ran along the edge of the property and a willow tree whose image I’ve carried in my heart ever since.

Bike rides, mud pies, thunderstorms enjoyed from the front porch swing, pool parties, farming the field. So many memories.

My mom and step-dad sold it when I was ten and we moved to town. I usually drive by whenever we’re in Ohio to visit and I swore if it ever came up for sale that I would find a way to buy it. The last time I saw it, the creek was dry and the willow tree was gone. And, just like that, the mystical power I felt it had over me, disappeared.

A few years ago it came on the market. I remembered what I swore and thought about it briefly. The magic and any connection I felt to it were no more, so there was no reason. I still carry a little of that grief.

I’ve been looking for home, for a place to belong, since I was ten.

We moved from the country into an older house in the small town.

Old houses come filled with memories made long ago by others we do not know. Ghosts of childhoods long forgotten linger in the corners waiting to be acknowledged. It’s the same feeling I sometimes find when shopping for clothes at the secondhand store. Those memories come out in the wash. Not so with houses. Those residues remain, even after remodeling, and until happier stories unfold, supplanting whatever came before.

I was so lost and had made such a mess that I left that small town as soon as I could. I enlisted in the Navy and was gone days after high school graduation. With no college fund and no passionate direction to go in, I didn’t know what else to do.

It may surprise you to learn that patriotic idealism and the desire to serve one’s country in military capacity are likely not the driving force of enlistment. Economic insecurity and a desire to be “anywhere but here,” are much more relevant, at least in my experience and observations. I learned on the bus ride to the Military Entrance Processing Station that I did not fit the typical image of someone about to head to bootcamp.

The guy in front of me turned around to incredulously ask, “What did you do to have to be here?” It was then that I learned that a good number of the people on that bus were highly encouraged to do so by order of the court.

That was a surprise to me. I had lived a somewhat sheltered life, a bit of a small town hick. I remember my recruiter dropping me off along with a guy from a neighboring town, but I can’t remember his name. I do remember that I wasn’t very nice. Not mean, but not nice.

Every time I look back on that experience, I have a little regret. We probably had more in common than I realized at that time, but I was already learning to inoculate myself against the outside world and didn’t have much tolerance for anything I perceived as weakness. I couldn’t tolerate it in myself, so nobody else stood a chance. I could feel his fear and I was unwilling to participate.

I made it through bootcamp and my 4.5 year enlistment.

In the almost 30 years since high school, I’ve moved 20 times, not including shorter stays during times of transition.

I still remember driving down from Chicago to Knoxville and holding on to the hope that this was it. I was finally going to feel at home. The further south I went, the more the mountains grew up around me, the more suffocated I started to feel, and the more my hope faded to resignation.

Outside of those first ten years, I’ve never truly felt as though I belonged anywhere. I’ve tried to look at this through multiple perspectives and the closest I come is that it’s up to me to build a home within myself and get that feeling of belonging from there.

Finding my person helped. Being in my Human Design experiment and getting to know the truest version of myself is helping me to level up. Progress is being made.

We’ve been in Ecuador for three years. We knew we wouldn’t be able to go all out in our experiments if we stayed in the U.S. Ecuador has afforded us the opportunity to lower our cost of living to the point that we could focus our attention elsewhere and we are grateful.

I know, the headlines are scary and this tiny little country has its hands full. But, it seems like instability across the world is becoming the norm and with so much uncertainty we still feel as though we are in the right place.

Since we’ve been here, we’ve explored three very different ways of living in three distinct areas of the Andean mountains. We are currently in the pueblo of Cotacachi. It’s a little like being lost in time, which surely resonates with me. It’s a traditional town that doesn’t seem to be too concerned with coming into the modern age.

We were contemplating going back to the future with a move to the suburbs of Quito. Which would help to fuel some of the fernweh or hiraeth-style wanderlust that I do so very much enjoy the chasing of.

But what if it’s time to bring that chapter to a close? To allow the roots I’m becoming more aware of to spread a little more deeply into the soil of my existence?

We’re currently in a mostly gringo development and people will whisper rumors of what this place was like before, as if no one else knows. But they do. We’ve heard everything from it was built on a sacred burial ground to it used to be a lake where crimes were committed and bodies dumped. Shamans have been out to clear the land, but the past echoes into the present.

The New Moon in Gemini was last Thursday. Matt laid out our tarot cards and that brought up some things regarding the frequency of the house and the lower vibrations that are present here. We did some more clearing. We connected the grid of the house to grids of light to help flush out and transmute the energy of whatever it was that happened here.

That night, my first dream was of a bus purposely backing into me and crushing me against a wall. I screamed and jerked awake right before the moment of my demise. My heart was racing from the adrenaline and the rest of the night passed less than peacefully.

The next morning I used AI to look up the meaning of the dream: I’m feeling threatened by a dark force working against me.

Between the hammock debacle and the low level creepy vibes we feel here, I took the dream as further confirmation that it’s probably time to move on.

We were in need of some new mixing bowls, so when I saw a post in the local buy, sell, swap group, I set out to procure them. The couple selling the bowls was doing so because they are moving back to the states next week. Which means their rental house will soon be available.

I asked if I could have a look around and they said, “sure.”

And, wouldn’t you know, it checks almost every box. A mid century modern-esque house on the outskirts of town with an enclosed property for Lucas to run freely, and a panoramic mountain view.

I would say that 80% of being in my Human Design experiment has been about learning to wait.

As a generator, it’s about trusting that everything I need is coming to me. I don’t have to force or make anything happen. All I have to do is respond when it comes, according to my emotional authority.

As a projector, Matt is here to wait to be recognized and then invited.

I was on a solo mission to pick up the bowls. I responded to the potential of the house and then invited him to go see it. We went back together yesterday and had a lovely conversation with the current tenants. We are meeting with the owner’s real estate agent tomorrow.

The good and the bad of life in a small town is that we’re all very much connected even if we don’t immediately realize it. We tell one friend about the house we’re considering and he tells us that another couple we both know used to live there before. I get more details about their experience.

As with any potential home, there are things to take into consideration and we still have plenty to discuss with the agent tomorrow.

Nothing is set in stone, but the energy is building. I’m getting willow tree and creek vibes. It’s the first time in 37 years that vision feels organic in nature rather than contrived through force of will and desire.

We’ll see.

Moving requires a lot of energy and both of us are getting more and more curious about putting down roots and finding a place we’d really like to stay for the long-term, even if that feels like a foreign concept.

Having done much to create a home within myself, maybe finding a physical home is up next. Maybe we’ll find our community here and further explore what it means to belong.

I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it goes.

Have you found your home?

Do you feel a sense of home within yourself?

Do you experience a sense of belonging wherever you are?

If so, I would love to hear about it! Feel free to share in the comments.

I’ll leave you with the words of Maya Angelou, “You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

If you enjoyed this blog, please remember to give it a heart, share it with your friends, and let me know what you thought about it in the comments!

And, if you are not from around here, but are interdimensional in origin and would like a little guidance as to how to human and create a home within yourself, please reach out. I’d love the opportunity to work with you!

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Rachel G
Rachel G
Jun 24

Thanks for sharing. I’ve been enjoying reading along on your journey. <3


This resonates with me. I haven’t found home…and it feels strange. Because where is it if it’s not where I am? I swore into the AF when I was a fledgling adult but was honorably discharged before I even got to ship out. It was just a means to escape and I’m glad it didn’t happen. I don’t think the Airforce would have gotten me “home” either…just away.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself “I want to go home!” during times of complete emotional breakdowns. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this.

Kate Flynn
Kate Flynn
6 days ago
Replying to

Definitely not alone. 💞 I'm pretty sure I'm not from this planet, maybe that's why it doesn't feel like home. 🤔🤷🏻‍♀️


Are you at home? In a physical location? Within yourself? Or do you long for a home you've never known? Tell me all about it.

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