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RECONQUISTA ~ An Ode to the Joys of Home

Last updated on May 13, 2019

A journey round my apartment in Gijón, Asturias (northern Spain).

Where is your home? Are you happy there or do you dream of moving elsewhere?

For most of my life I’ve been overwhelmed by an urgent desire to be somewhere other than where I am. To travel, to see the world and try to make some sort of sense of it all…

John Ruskin once said that “the twin purposes of art are to make sense of pain and to fathom the sources of beauty,” and I believe we can say the same of travel.

Reconquista - An Ode to the Joys of Home Photography Project By Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com30

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float
To gain all while you give
To roam the roads of lands remote
To travel is to live

~ Hans Christian Andersen

Spain Scratch Map Reconquista - An Ode to the Joys of Home Photography Project By Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com16
Where we plan our sojourns around Spain (with our cool Polo Cartographica scratch map – check out their Kickstarter campaign here).

But as passionate as I am about travel, I also love and need the solitude of home.

I wouldn’t last two minutes as a “digital nomad”. My intermittent stints as a vagabond are more than enough for me.

I remember reading something once that went a little like this: “Rather than trying to work out how you can travel more, why not try to work out how you can create a life that you don’t want to escape from?”.

It had a profound affect on me and contributed greatly to me upping sticks and moving to Barcelona all those years ago.

My home is indeed my castle. It’s a cocoon, my very own island.

It’s where my furry family is – Chica, Erica, Pablo and Café.

It’s where I hatch new travel plans. It’s my office, my workshop, a safe place to dream and create.

It’s where I try to decipher the Spanish language by eavesdropping on Rosana’s phone calls, where I learn how to make paella.

It’s where I write and read and ponder over the big and often paralysing questions of life.

It’s where my favourite coffee cup is, where I cook dinner while listening to audiobooks.

And although it may not look like it from what you see on this blog or on my Instagram feed, it’s where I spend most of my time.

Home is where every journey begins and ends.

Home is where chaos succumbs.

Home is the greatest escape of all.

Tell me about your home in the comments below. Where do you live? How do you feel about your home? Do you dream of living nomadically or do you need a place to call home?

Disclaimer: Our beautiful Spanish scratch map was gifted to us by the guys at Polo Cartographica – a great little gift idea for the Hispanophile in your life. 

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  1. Aly Aly

    I loved reading that Ben…. I’ve copied some of it to send to Kate… that cameo kind of pic of Rosana is just stunning ( as are the others obv as always)
    You write to us like a friend, warm honest..
    Thanks ax

  2. Michael Michael

    I enjoyed your spin on home being your escape. We find ourselves in a situation where we have chosen to move from sunny South Africa to the UK. But more importantly from a beautiful home ,we practically built with our own hands , thats sits nestled in nature and on a beautiful estuary. We now accept that we wont be able to afford the same in the Uk but will have to rent a small house for starters. The question is how will we adapt from being very home centered to a situation where the emphasis will be less about home and more about getting out and discovering new places of interest. Going to be interesting to see how it all unfolds…
    Keep up the amazing blog…

    • Gracias Michael. Thanks for sharing your story – I hope it goes well for you. Keep us updated. Ben

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