In a world constantly on the move, where the concept of home seems to be ever-evolving, finding a sense of belonging can be a challenging quest. As I crack open my weathered, leather-bound journal, the aroma of aged leather and the texture of worn paper transport me to a specific moment in time—one that marked the beginning of my vanlife adventure as I sat in Troy, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The blue-inked chicken scratch on the page dates back to September 30th, 2022.
"These past couple of days I have been feeling a little homesick. But the emptiness of this feels even greater when I don't really have a homestead to go back to. There is a song which mentions that home is when ever I'm with you (Home by Edith Whiskers). So when I take it from that perspective, I am homesick for the people I love."
Little did I know that this entry would become the starting point for a transformative journey, one that would stretch across the vast landscapes of the West coast and back. Through the highs and lows, I learned a profound lesson: true belonging begins within.
The essence of belonging is often tied to a place, a community, or the people we surround ourselves with. However, as the miles passed beneath my wheels (Lola my 2015 Sprinter Mercedes conversion), I discovered that the foundation of belonging lies in the relationship we cultivate with ourselves first. Vanlife, with its nomadic essence, became a canvas for my self-discovery.
Standing alone in the face of unfamiliar territories forced me to confront fundamental questions about my identity. Who am I when I stand on my own? What impact do I want to make in the world? What legacy do I want to be remembered for? These questions, seemingly unrelated to belonging, turned out to be the compass guiding me back home—home within myself.
The road, with its twists and turns, became a teacher, urging me to explore the core essentials of my values and purpose (Email me at email@example.com , any questions about values and purpose. I would like put together some FREE articles and worksheets on these for you). In the solitude of my van, surrounded by the vastness of nature, I found the space to understand and honor my own aspirations. It was only by belonging to myself that I could truly align with the people, places, and environments that resonated with my essence.
So, during those moments of displacement and vulnerability, where the road seemed endless, I discovered the power of introspection. These moments became opportunities to peel back the layers, uncovering the roots of my beliefs and desires. As I embraced my authenticity, I began to attract those who danced to the same beat, forging connections that felt like coming home.
Surprisingly some people in my past live, which I thought were long gone, starting to stride with me in ways they were never open to before. Just one of the many miracles in finding belonging within yourself.
In the grand tapestry of life, the lesson is clear: belonging is an internal journey before it becomes an external destination. By understanding and living our values and purpose daily, we create a magnetic force that draws in those who align with our unique melody.
As the wheels keep turning and the journey unfolds, the questions lingers: What is the soundtrack of your life? Who are the ones dancing to its rhythm with you? In the dance of belonging, the answer lies not only in the places we visit or the communities we join but, most importantly, in the harmony we cultivate within ourselves.
Here is a FREE Guided Meditation on Belonging (9 mins)
(Available starting February 8th, 2024)
Meet Jess Fraser, a vibrant Life Coach, retreat facilitator, podcast host, blogger, and avid book lover. With a passion for adventure, personal growth and transformation, Jess guides individuals on their journey towards self-discovery and empowerment. Her insightful writings and engaging podcasts inspire others to embrace change and embrace their true selves. If you enjoyed this article and would like to stay connected, join Jess at www.yourinnervitality.com to explore her latest projects, including her empowering guided journal, "Courage to Change Journal." Together, let's continue the journey of self-reflection, growth, and creating a life filled with courage and purpose.