Suitcase, A Container to Call Home


A homesick traveler is like a writer who’s progressively developing a severe case of carpal tunnel. Though the swirling dreams and magnetic passion still exists – both in mind and in heart – the traveler begins to feel physically incapable of continuing on in his journey. Like the blank page that once excited but now taunts the writer, the new and unfamiliar surroundings leave the homesick traveler finding dread where he once found so much joy. To fulfill their passions now, they must endure pain.

Though I feel blessed to have not been cursed with the onset of carpal tunnel – likely because I’m far too lazy to ever write that much – I have developed the former. I’ve become a homesick traveler. Or perhaps more accurately, I’ve become a traveler sick of not having a home. I have to consciously remind myself that a home is just a box, a protective shelter, and a container of sorts.

But still, the facts remain. How something as mere as a home can have so much emotion attached to it, and still haunt me in my dreams and cause me so much heartache, I just can’t fathom. How a beautiful crystal bedside lamp that once lit my room is still able to break my heart each time I think of it being broken, I really can’t say. All I know is that, obviously, I have an incredibly strong attachment to the inanimate objects of my life. I give them character, and love them as if they’re real people.

But for a logical gal like myself, this is the most illogical and confusing confession I can make. Am I really that emo?

I mean, when I think of it, I see that we’re all just walking containers living inside of progressively bigger containers, like those Russian nesting dolls I always adored but never had. Our skull is the container to our brain, our chest the container to our heart, our home the container to our bodies, thoughts, dreams, and dance moves. Our cities are the containers to our houses and our lives, our earth is the container to our cities and our universe is the container to our earth.

So if my skin is the container to all that is considered me, why should I feel any different about the container that is my home versus the container that is my body? The only answer I can logically conclude is that my skin has senses, and my brain produces chemicals which cause me to feel emotions, and both of those things yearn for something warm, safe, and cozy that feels like home. I certainly can’t sip a cup of tea inside a suitcase, after all.

But now as I write this, and drink a real cup of tea on my very own floor in my very own (temporary) home, I begin to understand the real meaning of home. With this, I begin to see what I’ve so desperately been missing.

A home is where I can just be. A place where I don’t have to look over my shoulder to ensure I’m not being followed or clutch securely onto my handbag to ensure I’m not secretly being pick-pocketed. A place where I don’t have to worry about communicating in a foreign language – and now that I have my own place for the very first time in my life – a place where I don’t have to worry about communicating at all. A home is a place where I can feel safe and secure, and though I still miss my family, a home is a place that hugs me with the warmth of its four walls each time I return to it.

Though my home is currently located in a foreign place that I’m still clawing to get accustomed to, I’ve found a sense of familiarity and comfort at least within its four walls to put me at ease. It’s true that home is where the heart is, except when the heart is throbbing for some place outside its own chest (container) to call home, in which case, home is where the bed, roof, tea kettle, and chocolate pudding is.

Now the only issue is that, without roommates to distract me, and preferring to stay in instead of going out, I have nothing but another, ever-frightening passion to distract me and consume me with all of its wickedness and glory.

Hello, home sweet home, and hello carpal tunnel.