Safety, security, stability. They are three friends we will always need in our lives. Or rather, we need them in order to calm that voice within ourselves to go explore and fulfill our dreams.
That nagging voice – it will never stop if you let it. It will scream for security louder and louder, the more uncertainty you bring to your life. And that is exactly why, you need a safe haven to which you can return to in case something fails, you can’t pay the bills anymore, you have to put off pursuing your dream for a moment, or you need some time to recover from taking in all those new experiences.
A friend of mine once told me this, which I believe to be very wise: especially as you get older, you will need a place to return to and to collect energy for a while until you are ready take another leap into the unknown. These times where you need to return to your safe haven, they are not bad times. Not at all. They may feel like you are stagnating, but that’s not the case at all. You are taking your time to refill energy and, most importantly, to reflect on the experiences you had so far, and what your plan for the future is.
Perhaps you may never even have to return to that safe haven. Perhaps, you will always be drawn towards the new and exciting, without ever wanting to have such a break. But then, at least having this possibility of returning to port will have a soothing effect on the nagging voice in your head. And that’s always important.
John Le Carre once wrote that “home is where you go when you run out of homes”. You may move on, and on, and on, but where do you go when there is no place left for you to move on to?
For me personally, I am still looking for such a place. Germany is a home I could always return to if all else fails. A beautiful country and a loving family who would be more than happy if I was to return for a while. Indonesia is a country where there will always be opportunities for me since I have the rare blessing of being able to speak the language sufficiently to get by and since I have a fairly large network there. Australia is a country that provides a unique mix of being safe, extremely beautiful, and multicultural.
All of these are options that I could return to, if I wanted to. Yet, I am not really sure whether they are what I would call a ‘safe haven’ for me. They are all extremely important to me and make up an important part of my identity – but are they really the home I’d go to if I was to run out of homes? I am not sure…yet.
What I encourage you to do is, like me, to at least keep this at the back of your mind, and to always keep looking for your own personal safe haven. Your nagging voice will thank you – and you will thank yourself for making sure it stays quiet.