What to do when Home isnt where the heart is

Brooke Saward scotland
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Brooke in Ireland

It’s hard for me to admit this to myself let alone my family, friends, and the entire internet – but I’ve never been one to bend the truth and I can whole-heartedly say that for me, home isnt where the heart is.

I grew up in a small town – but I won’t bore you with that story here, for I’ve told it in greater detail here.

For years of my youth – long, tiresome years, I never felt as if I belonged. I had a great group of friends, incredible beyond incredible family as my support system, a good job, a good education, food on the table… you get the idea.

But I never felt as if I belonged. Whether it was in a group of friends or in a dance recital, I would always feel slightly on the edge of the group, like I would never be the girl front and centre with all eyes on her – regardless, I never really aimed to be that girl anyway… there were already so many of them doing such a good job of it.

I was never without anything, but there was always something missing.


I was in love with travel from a young age when I travelled overseas as part of a children’s choir to sing at a movie premier – i know, pretty cool at the ripe ol’ age of thirteen.

But this was a two-pronged sword as it not only gave me the opportunity to see the world for the first time, but it also opened up my eyes to a world beyond the one I knew back at home in Australia. Quite simply, I became obsessed.

I was obsessed with the unknown and discovering it – I wanted to go on adventures, explore, see the world, soak it up like a sponge, and come back to my little town on an island in Australia and share it with everyone and anyone who would listen.

But after a while I stopped wanting to come home. I wanted to keep going – seeing more, doing more, being more.

So then, what would I say you should do when home isn’t where your heart is?



Take the plunge and throw yourself into life head first. Spend your entire savings without fear of going broke. Leave your job without the fear that it won’t be there when you return. Live your life without fear of the repercussions of your actions and just follow your heart. After all, what do you have to lose? Sure, you could fire away with answers to this question. That’s fine. If you have excuses, don’t complain about not being able to travel. If you really want to go then you can. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.

You’re not alone. I’m not alone. Not all of us want to play the game of life and only free ourselves 4 weeks of the year when we go on a ‘holiday’. And remember — what have you got to lose?

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    February 20, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Finally someone who feels the way I do. I’m so happy I am not alone :’)

    May 20, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I can feel you! πŸ™‚

    Kathy Rose
    March 27, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    i feel blessed when someone like you post the blogs that carry the same feeling like mine. keep up the good work.

    January 18, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Wow – I can relate to your posts as if I had written them myself. It’s good to know there are others who feel the same way.

    Abhay Singh
    December 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Brooke Saward,
    Only a writer, a poet, a traveller and a child can define The beauty of nature .Famous Poet William Wordsworth has define β€˜The Beauty of Nature’ as a small child β€œLucy” in his poetry β€œLucy Gray” and famous Hindi poet Jayshankar Prashad has define in the character of β€œManu” and β€œShraddha” in his famous book β€œKamayani”.Thank you for sharing such post….You have proved the role of writer to defining the beauty of Nature.God bless you,best of for writing…

    November 27, 2014 at 6:36 am

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    September 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I love this! I have never been the homebody-type and I struggle to explain to my homebody-type friends why I feel that way. This pretty much sums it all up. πŸ™‚

    September 2, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! πŸ™‚

    August 21, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Ah i totally get this. I left my town in England when I was 21 and moved to Melbourne and fell in love with the city… and Australia! Having to come home after nearly 3 years of living there was so heart breaking and I’m still yearning to go back. I might be able to head back in a year or so, but my current home is not where my heart is. πŸ™

    August 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    My advice is to go while you can, because there may come a day when you really can’t (and l’m not talking about a load of silly excuses). Big health issues, sereously ill family members needing your attention, money issues (yes, not everyone on the planet have savings to use!). The list goes on. So, go travel while you can! Before l go, food for thought: ” a man travelled all over the world seaching for happiness, years later he returned home, feeling empty and lost, to find happiness sleeping at his garden gate.” Pam

    August 18, 2014 at 6:32 am

    I left my heart in Australia two years ago. πŸ™

    August 17, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    This post really spoke to me and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon it. As for me, I grew up in California (but moved to Hawai’i 7 months thanks to wanderlust). I lived a pretty great life and like you, I had great friends, amazing family, food on on the table, and a bachelor’s degree among other things, but I was always seeking for new adventures. I partly blame it on my parents and I’m thankful at the same time that they introduced me to traveling at the age of 3! Although we were only traveling to the Philippines every-single-time (my parents were born there) until I graduated high school, the fact that I kept traveling to the same country made me want to explore other countries especially Europe! I have yet to do so (but I’m planning on going on a trip next month!) but I’m at that place in my life where I just want to keep going!

    Again thank you soooo much for this! I’m motivated more than ever to keep going after my dreams (and that is to travel the world!).

    August 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Looking over the comments, it seems very clear that many of us can all relate to a soul that lust for traveling and knowing what is beyond the walls we live in. I would be lying if I didn’t agree with them, a life of travel would be a dream and being in college, I long for adventure and travel. I have always found that a set back in my hopes of travel and adventure have always been money and fear of the…I’m here now what? It is something the restless deep with in my mind. I always get these crazy ideas of one day traveling and seeing the world but I suppose reality sets in and like a ballon my dream quickly fades away. I guess what I would love to know is how to you do it, and how did you make a living at traveling? -From one wandering soul to another.

    Megan Enright
    August 16, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I love this post it is so inspiring and exactly what I am thinking and was thinking when I first had the passion for travel writing/ blogging. I am only 15 years of age but I think I have always known that I wanted travel but just didn’t know that I could do it as a job until recently. I always thought and was always told that I would have to have a high paying job and save up for my travels but now I know that’s not true and I couldn’t be happier. When I found this blog, I was so happy that I wasn’t the only one and I was so happy for you, that your following your dreams. If you happen to read this I would be over the moon to receive a reply from you giving advice on how I can follow in your footsteps and fulfill my passion for travelling. πŸ™‚

    August 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I’m such a fan of blog posts that leave me saying, “me too”!!! This is one of the realest blog posts on the internet! I saw another one the other day about how it feels to come home from traveling; I think you’d enjoy it! It’s not mine, but I have a few draft blog posts with the same theme, however I just feel like this girl is really on the money. Check it out,

    August 15, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I like your courage to share what you have experienced on your journeys, the way you let people have a look what you discover, what and which experiences have added value to your life. So you can encourage others to get out of their comfort zone more often (the first time was for me the most difficult one as I remember well it was 35 years ago, but at that time there was no blogger community to share such stories…..

    Only a few post cards we sent to some friends, collegues and family members which often arrived later than ourselves back in our home country.

    Time has changed so drastically as well as most of our daily habits since then, but the desire to share great things still is the same….Thank you!

    August 15, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Great story, as always. Inspirational, as always. I love how you can be so open

    August 14, 2014 at 6:48 am

    This sounds so very, very similar to what I was like when I was younger and still at home/school. So, I left and I’ve been gone for two years and it’s been the best decision I ever made. I definitely miss home and I head back at the end of August and I’m very ready to see my family once again, even if I’m not 100% I’ll be staying permanently.

    Karen Shakespeare
    August 12, 2014 at 10:12 am

    On returning to Australia last week, l received a $78 fine for jay walking. I had just returned from 6 months in Asia, walked out from the train station & saw a break in the traffic so l went for it. A policeman stopped me & explained that it was for my own safety that he fine me. I explained that l wasn’t from this state and l had just disembarked from an overnight flight. Henna still on my hands & bleary eyes as proof. I had survived crossing the roads of Asia for 6 months, it’s obvious l can look after myself in Australia. Traffic lights are just a mere suggestion over there, nothing to take seriously if you really want to get across the road. But lm off to Nepal in a couple of weeks for my 60th birthday. Australia feels like a bizarre foreign country to me now. And l wont be paying the fine.

    • worldofwanderlust
      August 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

      GREAT story thank you for sharing!! Its so so true x

    August 11, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I totally agree with what you have just said in your post! I recently just decided to ‘take the plunge’ too! Excited to embark on this new journey of mine. Sometimes, we overthink on stuff and doubt our abilities to do things outside the norm, but with determination and hard work anything is possible! πŸ™‚

    August 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    i love to travel as well. but luckily i have a home

    August 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Aww such a nice post! And so true, following your heart is the most important thing. Yesterday I told my manager at work that I’m quitting and leaving to go traveling again from this October on. I came back from traveling about 8 months ago and moved to this new place, but I feel like I don’t belong here, it doesn’t feel like home.. Maybe because I’m not ready to settle down yet? I guess the road will be my home until I’m ready to settle down πŸ™‚
    You’re a great support Brooke!


    August 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I read this at the perfect time! I can definitely relate and realized this years ago. I am 23 and the youngest in the family. All 3 of my brothers and most of my cousins have gotten married, had kids, and settled down near where they grew up. I spent sometime with them all today and it really hit me harder than ever that this was not what I wanted. I may get married and/or have kids someday but I know I don’t want to settle down here and have a life identical to everyone around me. I never felt at home here like the rest of my family seems to. (work in progress/currently under contruction)

    Department of Wandering
    August 11, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Brooke, your post definitely strikes a chord in me. This feeling is exactly what prompted me to pack up everything and move halfway around the world to Berlin. I’ve been here a year now and have never looked back. I’m not sure when I’ll be back home in Australia. This change has opened up a world of possibilities and I’m so excited about all the adventures that my future holds. I completely echo your advice: just go! After all, research has proven that we always regret the things we didn’t do rather than the things we did.
    Great post, as always x

    Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog
    August 11, 2014 at 6:48 am

    This is such a great, honest post. I definitely believe in following your heart. There are a million ‘reasons’ (read: ‘excuses) for not doing the things that really matter to you, but nearly all of them have counter-arguments. And so often we don’t do things simply because we’re afraid – whether that’s obvious to us, or disguised as ‘thinking rationally’. Living your dreams is definitely possible – you just have to allow yourself to do it. Thanks so much for posting – very inspirational! πŸ™‚

    CPO Experts
    August 11, 2014 at 6:43 am

    What a beautifully written article! I agree with you absolutely that loving connections with travelling can co-exist parallel to each other, society expects us to love just one person and one person only, but I believe that you can have feelings, even somewhat different, for others at the same.
    And I love this quote from you.
    The most beautiful moments we experience in life are fleeting, travel has taught me that.

    August 11, 2014 at 2:29 am

    I live in a hollow log house that was built with my own two little hands. I have wonderful friends in Pozzum, Mr. Wiggly, Birzy and Kingston. Oh, and I can forget my girl ferret friend, Sahsha. But there are times when I’m am most afraid of an evil bear named Meany. He likes to chase me around the Woodzley, lucky for me, his swiftness is met by my greater speed. It’s not all fun and games where I live. So, I love my home, even though I’m a far cry from my birth place. Oh, by the way, I am Ferald, I love life…and I’m upbeat and unruly!

    Betty J. Ogburn
    August 11, 2014 at 2:28 am

    …We’re totally on the same wavelength here: While I do have people who love me/support me where I’m from, due to a myriad of personal reasons, I just KNOW that I don’t belong here in Greensboro, N.C….If I stayed here for the rest of my life, I know that I could never be *truly* happy, especially if I forsaked my dream of traveling the world to stay in this small city where nothing ever changes and everything is the same…For this “Go The Distance” from Disney’s Hercules and “Breakaway” from Kelly Clarkson are my respective “anthems”, if you will!!…

    Thanks for sharing, Brooke, :-)!!…

    Betty J. Ogburn (The Pumpkin’s Head)

    August 11, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Great post! I’ve felt this way pretty much my entire life as well. Now I leave one month from today for a pretty much open-ended trip around the world (current time frame is 3 years). I can’t wait to get started and I truly feel that this is the beginning of something amazing for me.

    August 11, 2014 at 1:27 am

    everything i have felt and thought have just been completely explained in this post.

    life is too short not to take chances.

    absolutely love it !

    August 11, 2014 at 1:07 am

    I’ve done a fair amount of traveling, but always love getting home. I adore being home, it’s clearly where my heart is. I don’t like being away for very long. I’m wondering about how I’ll deal with my separation issues when my dear husband and I take a month to visit New Zealand.

    August 11, 2014 at 12:58 am

    This is truly inspiring. I have always felt the same way, like I never really fit in to any particular group. I consider myself a wandering individual, in search of who I am, and what I have to give to this world. I believe that through traveling solo, and going through adventures on my own, I will be able to accomplish that, and seeing your posts daily keeps me focused on making my dreams come true. Thank you, Brooke (:

    August 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Brooke, I can so relate to this, especially the “being more” part, as this is what I am striving for. It is so great to hear that from you because I feel exactly the same: wanting to go out there and see what this world holds for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    August 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I’m totally with you, however there’s one thing stopping me: money! I’m not good at blogging and have no idea how I would be able to keep a roof above my head. If I had a solution to this issue I would go.

    August 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    My story is pretty much the same! I’m originally from a big city in France and although I love my country and culture and have wonderful friends and family, I just never felt like I belonged. I knew from the age of 15 that France was not where I was going to spend the rest of my life. I’m so happy I found this post because I’ve never met anyone who understands this feeling or has felt it at some point. Long story short I eventually moved to England 5 years ago and I like it here but I’d really like to leave in a couple more countries. In the mean time, I try to go somewhere new every month. There is so much beauty in this world, I don’t want to miss anything! xx

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    August 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I can completely relate to this post, Brooke. Although Australia will always be home, I need to roam about and be free! Home is where you are, wherever you make it.

    August 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I totally agree. Congrats on all of your accomplishments love x

    August 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Great to read an article that so aptly sums up a lot of how I was feeling before starting my travelling journey from the UK, however since leaving I’ve realised that my home is where my heart is, I just didn’t want it to be the only place my heart was. I want to imprint as much of the world on it as possible but I will never completely leave my first home behind.

    August 10, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    You are young and a smart woman, DO what you want that makes you happy. I wish I would have had your courage to go out and see the world when I was your age. Life goes by too fast and it goes even faster when you get older. I have enjoyed your travels in your blog and really enjoyed the photos.

    August 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Home doesn’t always have to be where you grew up. It could anywhere at brings you joy and gives you peace.