• Jenn Sarfaty

I Leave Home to Better Define It

Traveling offers such a rich opportunity to both challenge and invest in yourself. For one, I don’t think I need to explain the beauty in choosing to spend a couple of weeks on the side of a mountain right as the flowers are blooming and the days are lengthening. It’s quite literally a breath of fresh air - in more ways than one. But a side of traveling that many don’t acknowledge is the fierce non-attachment that must go into the experience.


Non-attachment to not only that your time away in temporary, but also the comfort of the home you’re leaving, the routine that works so well for you, and the people you care about the most.


Maybe this is just me, but I choose to travel on my own with a very single-pointed focus in mind: non-attachment. Self-sufficiency. To shake any codependency I may or may not be developing for my very loving partner, beautiful home, and emotionally supportive animals.


So here I am. Alone in a beautiful, eco-friendly house deep in the North Carolina mountains on a beautiful property with a yoga studio, sauna, gardens, and a view of the night sky that makes you wish you had the power to save an image in your mind for the rest of your life. And although I truly feel grateful for the freedom to go where I want, when I want (let alone, run to the mountains any chance I get), sometimes my mind doesn’t entirely keep up.


In other words, being alone is hard. And that’s why it’s important for me to be prioritizing these solo-travel endeavors. Because I see it as if being alone is difficult for me, then maybe I’m not as good as friends with myself as I thought I was. Why would I be longing for someone else’s company on such a visceral level if I was confident in being my own best friend?


Maybe I’m asking for too much here, but also perhaps I’m not.


I’ve had people in the past judge my longing to be more self-reliant as a twisted defense mechanism that separates me from other people. But I see it as the complete opposite.


I cannot be the partner I’d like to be if I rely on him for my happiness. I cannot be the friend I want to be if I depend on them for my entertainment. I cannot be the person I want to be if I do not get to know who the hell that is. And knowing that “who I am” changes so frequently makes these sort of trips even more essential.


So while you see the highlights, there are nights where I sit outside, blank, questioning why I’m always seeking to make things more “difficult” for me by removing myself from the things that make me feel the most grounded.


But in that exact moment, there is not a single doubt in my bones what I consider my comforts to be. Leaving my home affirms where my home stands - in the hands of the man that loves me enough to encourage me to take trips just like these, in the eyes of my dogs whenever I walk in the door each day, in the sunsets that turn the whole sky pink over my city’s growing skyline, on the yoga mat that has seen every single one of my emotions - sometimes all at once, and on the running route that has pushed me, mocked me, seen me give up, and seen me persevere. But there’s more…


Home, in its most simple form, is my body. And I feel myself coming home again and again when I breath in air that is thinned by the height of mountains, and when I wake up early enough to see the sunrise, or whenever my brain sinks up with my heart and let’s me get the perfect words out for how I’m feeling - whether it’s in the form of a poem or scribbled on a napkin (or both).


I leave my home to try to better define it. And it’s so difficult but so rewarding.

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