The best journey takes you home

Published 12:21 pm Saturday, September 26, 2015

“The most underrated part of a road trip is when you return to within range of your car’s programmed radio stations,” I said to my girlfriend as the sounds of Real County 101.7 reverberated through the speakers. The constant pressing of the seek button on my dashboard came to a halt, signifying that my 21-hour round trip to and from Ohio was nearing its end, and I couldn’t have been more excited to crawl back into my bed.

It had been nearly a full year since I had seen my brother, sister or my grandparents. So, naturally, you’d expect that a trip in which one of its main objectives was to do just that would leave you with a feeling of overwhelming sadness. But as I got closer to my return destination, the sight of standstill traffic at the bridge tunnel, the sounds of waves hitting the coast and the smell of clean ocean air had a comforting familiarity to them.

It was at that moment that I began to ponder what the word “home” means.

“Is it where you grew up?”

“Is it with your family?”

“Is it wherever you are at that moment?”

Weaving effortlessly through traffic like I have countless times over the past 12 months, it became clear that home isn’t necessarily a physical place. To me, home is where you feel most comfortable, where things feel natural and routine. It’s a place that wraps itself around you like a warm blanket on cool fall night. It’s a place in which you know you belong.

I’ve been across the country, slept in fancy hotels and dined in luxurious restaurants with spectacular views, and there are still many places where I’d like to go. But while traveling, spending time with your family or going back to your alma mater is a wonderful experience, there’s nothing better than coming back to a world that you created for yourself.

That’s why Virginia is my home.

ANDREW LIND is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at (757) 562-3187 or