Nightwalking – Thoughts of Home

Home, where the heart is. Plain enough of a concept, one I’ve never grasped. “Home” to me, has always meant “the place where I’m staying,” sans the inherent warmth and glow and ties and sentiments that the word evokes. It’s simply a dwelling I come back to after the working day, shower, eat and sleep, a place where my stuff is stored.


The place where I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life, I call the Motherland. It was not home. I didn’t want it, it didn’t want me, and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out, even as a kid. Perth is the Great Escape (and I’ll warrant, a bloody nice one). I’ve lived here for 11 years and I’m pretty familiar with it, but it still feels temporary.



I guess you could say I’ve never experienced the concept of “home” as a safe haven of belonging and identity. And as much as everyone keeps trying to tell me I need to deal with my issues (what issues?!) and get settled, especially at my age, I don’t really want to. I’d love to never have a permanent place to call “home,” although I suppose it’ll happen someday when I am old and tired and mobility really is a problem.

But at the moment, I don’t want to be tied down somewhere, and have no good reason to be.


The idea of living in different places, never letting myself experience surroundings with complacency, light of foot and soul, consuming only as much as I need and wasting little, perspective staying fresh, is a wonderful one. I don’t want temporary travel, 4 or 6 weeks a year. I want this to be my life. I want my home to be in my mind, and that only. And yes, if anyone’s wondering, all of the above is partly why I’ve lived in so many places in this time. I also chafe at being stationary. Don’t have much of an attention span.

Call me idealistic, naive etcetera. I am, because I have no idea. But I won’t until I’ve done them, you know?



So of course, now that I’ve told you all of my thoughts not wanting a home, I also have to confess I’m fascinated by other people’s homes. The hows and whys that drive people to nest. The love and energy and time goes into creating that special space. How people change and grow in their homes. How, to some extent, they live for their homes, and their homes become so much more than just a place to rest.



Going walking is getting a glimpse into these things. Silhouettes in the window, hushed voices in the yard, surrounded by the lush cushion of a garden. A forgotten swing set in a backyard carpeted by dead leaves. I take pictures of them, half-/newly formed, matured or past their hey day and wonder what they’ll be like in 20 years, or what they were like when they were “young.” I’ll never find out.


And I keep walking, to the ebb and flow.




  1. Right back at ya!I have a house but I don’t look upon it as my only home. Home for me is the place I’m most comfortable. As a result, I have several “homes”, each offers me a sense of comfort and escape, security if you will. In this I take great peace of mind, yet there is also a downside… the knowledge that I can move freely means I do just that. Rarely can I stay in one spot for long without wanting to explore another. Friends ask how I can be so itinerant, I ask them how they can be so static!

  2. What a great read, loved this post. Isn't nightwalking slightly magical as well, being out and walking around at a time when most people are in their homes and the world seems to be on night standby – except for one self out and about in this empty surreal urbanscape.I had a home the first 18 years of my life, our family farm. When that was sold, so was any idea of home. Since then, home has just been where my stuff is stored. And now, homeless, bum, nomadic, hehe. I can go wherever I want. I learned though that I need to jump from base to base, permanent travelling is too hard. Need some sort of resting place once in a while, about every 3-4 months. Does not matter what it is. Just a re-charging place with friends around me. That's home!

  3. Wow…this really resonates. I haven't lived anywhere I've called 'home' since I was a teenager. I ended up in the UK for 10 years, but was always planning the next trip, or the next country. Some plans worked out, and others didn't and 14 years somehow passed.Now, I've come 'home' to Australia, but the feeling of settling down that I was expecting to feel once I got here, has just not materialised. I'm a nomad at heart, I think. Just as well I have my camera to keep me company!Lovely post Charlene.

  4. Nutters you lot are ;) Good to know I'm not the only crazy person around though!Graham,Moving around freely doesn't sound like a downside to me at all. It sounds like you've told all the nay sayers to stuff it you-know-where and followed your own way.FlemmingAgreed, one needs a base to come back to and stop every so often. Regroup, gather thoughts, rest. But not one to get held up in/by. "Settle down" + "have stuff" are the markers "home" that I've grown up being told I should aspire to. Every fibre of me is screaming "no". You're living the dream!Cathy,I often feel like I'm looking for something, but don't know what it is. Then I think maybe some have it in them to wander more than others.

  5. LOL we are a bunch of world travelers, at home with ourselves. Miss you, and have a ton to catch up on. Been terribly busy though with the damn theatre stuff. Hope you are well. BIG HUG.-c

  6. Yep we're all runaways at heart :) Long time no hear you! I got notified of your fringe festival activities. Break a leg, and yes we must catch up!

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