I had spent my entire life as a wild wandering woman. Having lived with over 40 different families during my travels to 20 countries before the age of thirty, I had evolved to the most adaptable, spontaneous, exciting and ultimately ungrounded version of myself. Home was always in my heart, but so was a perpetual aching to plant my feet firmly in the ground, to fill a physical space with my collections of art and words and friends gathered from my travels and come home to the arms of a loving partner and my own bed.
It wasn’t until I really uprooted, literally hauled all my lifes’ belongings (that’s three 60 lb packs in total) into a rented car and cruised cross Canada with my two BFF’s, that I realized that while I was flying wild and free I was missing one of the most important parts of being human – connection to earth. When things went awry during my wanders, I would barter yoga classes for food, shelter and safety. More times than necessary, I got caught in sticky situations that mom still doesn’t know about, but I was always so good at charming my way out of trouble -from military coups to armed robbery. The kicker was this, during the wild ride, I had no backup. I did not have the support behind me to take care of my body, mind, soul and business. It was like I was living in the most magnificent mansion, but the floorboards were cracking and any moment now, I was going to fall through. This perpetual fear of falling through the cracks manifested in the uprising of emotional issues including anxiety and physical symptoms – not surprisingly, I sprained my ankle bi-annually during my travelling days. If that was not telling me to stop moving so fast, I don’t know what was.
During my most recent 10 day roadtrip ventures across Canada I was granted the greatest gift imaginable. I fell in love. For the first time, instead of wandering onward to someone new and someplace different, I came back “home” to him, to our love, and now, to our home. I started ‘nesting’ as we joke. Two years later, I still ache for those early morning snuggles, french press and pancake breakfasts, for coming home and doing nothing together all night. It has been a year now since I have given myself permission to call Toronto “home”. I still travel loads and don’t even plan on stopping, but the anxiety, the sprains and the yearning for “something more” has been replaced by a genuine gratitude for the system of love and support that we have built together. Travelling is way more fun when there is family and a home to return to, when there is someone to share the tales with, when the fear of my next move is gone.
I finally feel ready. Ready to stand up straight and tall. Ready to plant my feet firmly into the ground. Ready to sink down into the mossy earth. Ready to come home.
P.S. My friends in Vancouver are helping me appreciate Canadian everything. Check out www.myinnerfire.ca and use my promo code “AshleyMc” when you purchase any of their locally made, sustainable, recycled yoga and meditation clothes.