"There's no place like home"...
Updated: Oct 14, 2021
There’s no place like home – whether it be walking in the door after a long day at work, or arriving home from a well spent vacation.
I always feel a little like Dorothy, clicking her red heels, landing in the safe haven of familiar surroundings that bring us that 'ahhhh, its good to be back home' feeling.
I’m sitting here writing this blog in my beautiful 'valley view' holiday villa, at O'Reilly's Rainforest Resort , situated 930m in the beautiful Green Mountains of the Gold Coast Hinterland. As the name of my villa suggests, I have the most amazing views from my verandah overlooking the peaceful valleys below. The sunrise and sunsets here are spectacular and paint a different picture each and every day.
This wonderful retreat is surrounded by the beautiful rainforest of Lamington National Park , and is our favorite destination to hike, with a variety of different trails to choose from. These trails take you on an incredible journey through ancient rainforest, home to a variety of magnificent plants ,wildlife, and spectacular waterfalls.
I have mixed feelings about going home, for this place continually tugs at my heartstrings to return, as there's such a sense of peace and tranquility here -but hey, that's what makes holidays so special, right? Yet at the same time, I also look forward to that warm 'just arrived home' feeling , when we pull into the garage and are greeted by our faithful dog Teddy madly wagging his tail in anticipation of our return.
Hubby and I often fantasize about one day living in the mountains, and dividing our time between a beach house and a lofty mountain top home (a lottery win will need to be part of the equation! ) I would spend my time writing and painting in my art studio, and hubby has himself a ‘man shed’ where he can chill and have all his electronic gadgets and tinker on old cars … hmmm, ahhhh yes, it’s a sweet fantasy which got me pondering about the word ‘Home’ and what that word means. The idea of dividing our time between two different homes truly excites me, for home to me has never felt truly in one place. That may sound a little strange to some, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you’ve read ‘My Story’ you will recall how an author friend of mine, Ivan Scott, first encouraged me to start writing. He told me to begin my journey by writing one paragraph about the rainforest as he knew that was something that was close to my heart. When I had finished writing that first paragraph, it brought me such joy to see that passion described in words, and when he had finished reading the paragraph he asked me “And how does that make you feel, being in the rainforest?” to which I replied “ Home - the rainforest feels like Home ”.
I have such a strong connection to nature, which I attribute in part, to my aboriginal ancestry. Mother Earth is sacred and brings me such peace and joy when I can spend time with her. So yes, hiking and spending time in the rainforest feels just like going ‘home’ - home to Mother Earth.
As much as I love the mountains and the rainforest, I do wish this time it could have been a trip overseas to see our adult children, as its been a year and a half now since the pandemic caused the doors for international travel to close. However, its been a wonderful stay and we're very grateful that Covid restrictions are lifted right now and allowed us to take a holiday to our favorite local destination.
When meeting people for the first time, they inevitably ask the question, “So, where do you call ‘home’? I always reply, " I have two homes, my home here in Brisbane, Australia, and my second home, away from home - Hong Kong, where my children have resided for many years" So that’s three places I call ‘home’ already. Home too, will always be wherever my children may be, as a piece of my heart is always missing until I'm with them again.
Summer holidays were often spent by the seaside in a lovely beach town when our children were growing up.
We were very fortunate to have both of our children return home to Australia ( just before Covid shut down the world) and we decided to make the most of this golden opportunity to head off to our favorite beachside town for another family vacation.
All of those wonderful memories of family vacations came flooding back, and once again it felt like 'home' as we were reunited once more, reminiscing and creating wonderful new memories. Little did we know how much we would need to draw on those memories to get us through this very long period of separation. We often marvel at the timing of how lucky we were to have this special time together.
It was if God gave us this special gift of time to help see us through ahead, and we're so grateful for that gift.
Home really is so much more than a style of a dwelling or an address. It's the people you get to share it with, that make it so.
Hubby and I were very fortunate to take our first holiday to the UK in October 2019. We embarked on an adventurous road trip from London, right across the UK, all the way to Edinburgh.
We made some wonderful lifelong friends along the way, climbing mountains, and exploring the picturesque countryside. I felt such a deep connection with some of the places we visited. I'm not sure if this was also in part due to the Celtic side of my ancestry, as I still miss this beautiful country and have a longing to return to it.
We decided to take the ocean road to cross over the border into Scotland, and it was well and truly worth the extra time it took to get there, so we could take in the beauty of the rolling hills and stunning clifftop ocean views.
Perhaps it was just the rush of being on holiday, exploring new places, and my vivid imagination, that made it all so exciting. Edinburgh though, in particular, felt like we were arriving home - this charming city literally took my breath away as we drove down her history laden streets just as the sun was setting.
A strange sense of de ja vu washed over me, and I felt a flutter of excitement as I took in the old world charm and history that laid within her beautiful sandstone walls. I made it a mission to soak up all the history I could in the time we had, by taking tours of the Old City and Edinburgh Castle, to name a few.
This then brought me to the conclusion that I must have lived here at some point in time, since I felt such a deep connection to it . That, and the fact that I pretty much felt like one of the locals already with my red hair and fair complexion . Lets just add Edinburgh to the list of places that are ‘home’ for fun and imaginations sake . I love the idea of having lived there in a previous life, in ancient times– who knows, perhaps I was a medieval princess in that beautiful castle on the hill? One is only limited by one's imagination after all!
I highly recommend taking a Hop on Hop off bus to tour any new city you visit, its such a great way to learn about the city and get an overall picture of its history and main attractions.
Word of advice : Be sure to pack thermals, when visiting Edinburgh! I was dressed in 3 layers and still freezing, but it didn't stop me from enjoying this beautiful city in the slightest.
Sydney - My Home to the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
I get such a nostalgic sense of arriving ‘home’ whenever those wheels hit the tarmac and the pilot makes the welcome announcement on the overhead speaker. Sydney is my birthplace, so there is always that special 'grass roots' feeling, even though I have few memories of those early years (we moved interstate when I was four years old) my connection to this beautiful city lies deep within my bones. Happy memories of school vacations to visit relatives and ferry trips across the harbour, will will always hold a special place in my heart.
Now that I’m getting older, I also have a longing to visit the town I spent most of my childhood, in country Victoria. It’s been over 30 years since I’ve returned, and I know I will feel a little nostalgic and sentimental when we drive into this sleepy little country town. It will be exciting to see what has changed, and what has stayed the same, and visit with old school friends.
Hubby and I were listening to ‘Jimmy Barnes’ new album on our journey up the mountain to the rainforest retreat. There's a song Jimmy sings called ‘Coming Home’ and it got me to thinking about how many songs have been written about 'Home' and returning to it. A few favorites came straight to mind: 'Take me Home, Country Roads (John Denver) 'Mull of Kintyre' (Paul McCartney) 'I am Sailing' (Rod Stewart) and ‘I still call Australia Home’ (Peter Alan) - a favourite of mine which always makes me feel homesick for Australia when I've been away for a long period of time.
Perhaps with age we become more sentimental, and we cant help but reminisce about the places we’ve lived and visited over time. For many, like myself, it's also about revisiting and rediscovering your roots, to find that deeper connection with places old and new.
I think I’m just a happy wanderer and can make almost any place feel like ‘home’ for the time I'm there - There’s something very exciting about visiting a place for the very first time and getting to know the people and experience the culture.
I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘home’ for me, is quite simply where my heart is,
the place where happy memories are made.
For now, however, 'home' ‘is a very permanent address, with borders shut and restricted travel due to Covid, however, I’m so thankful I have a whole lot of beautiful memories and look forward to the day when I can travel to find more places to add to my list of places to call ‘home'.
Do you have a favourite place you call home, or a place you fantasize about calling home? I’ve shared but just a few of mine. If you’d like to share, please feel free to drop me a line, and share your travel tips if you have some.
I’d love to hear your ‘No place like Home’ stories too!