Finding My Home Away from Home

Familiar, safe and known.  A haven and a place to belong. 

We all crave security in our surroundings, but when the world spins faster than Joey Chestnut inhaling hot dogs, it’s all too easy to go a little crazy.  With a recent move, I’ve experienced my share fair of “new.”  I recently moved for, really, the first time in my life (unless you count the move I made when I was a week old), and it hasn’t been a stroll along the Seine.  Yes, I’ve met some great people and joined some fab activities, but it’s been quite overwhelming.  Let me assure you it’s gone as well as it could have: kind roommate, wonderful schedule and access to fresh pineapple (priorities, people…).  But sometimes the unknown gets to be too much: new bed, new bathroom, new desk, new schedule, new friends, new food (other than the pineapple).  Not bad, just new.

The main way I’ve dealt with this change has been trips to Starbucks.  I’ve adopted Starbucks as my home away from home.  I know this sounds like a pretty ridiculous, stupid statement.   And it’s pretty basic especially for a travel blogger who is supposed to try new things, be brave and ooze adventure.  This statement also sounds like it’s coming from a first-world socialite with a superior, condescending aura as fragrant as a spritz of Viva La Juicy.  But hear me out: this idea of home relates to even the non-coffee drinkers, the McCafe enthusiasts and the broke, uncaffeinated college student.Version 2

Something you should know about me: I’m hopelessly addicted to coffee (especially Starbucks).  I’ve been a Gold Card member since 2011, and within a year’s time I received around $200 in Starbucks gift cards from family and friends.  I received earned the senior superlative of Most Likely to be Found at Starbucks.  These days you can find me at this spot three or four days each week.  (And FYI the second small table from the door pretty much has my name written on it, so you’ve been warned.)

When I travel, I like to push myself outside my comfort zone and not go to Starbucks much, if at all.  Because, obviously, I have an ample number of Starbucks within my reach at home.  Even more, travel is all about expanding our minds and understanding as well as pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone and stretching our scope.  (I know that’s a lot to ask of a simple cup of coffee.)  However, I’ve found the beauty of the commercial brand we call Starbucks.

This past summer I boarded a plane for the first time without the company of any friends or family.  While the experience was a tad daunting, I found it completely exhilarating.  But as with all unknowns, it can be all too easy to feel displaced or overwhelmed.  Each airport varies with tacky tourist items, number of terminals and food options, but almost every airport includes a Starbucks.  I could be in Los Angeles or London, but I know I can find that wonderful green and white logo for some java.  Before boarding my plane to L.A. aka lots of unknown, I stopped by Starbucks for a drink to prepare for the big journey ahead of me.  Call me basic, but choosing the familiar is not always bad.Getty Center Los Angeles Pano

Sometimes the most refreshing thing is the known.  And fortunately, there’s a Starbucks just a short walk from my abode which I frequent.  (My goal is that the baristas won’t have to ask me for my name in the next month!)  No, my fitted sheets refuse to stay on my new bed.  And the shower water pressure isn’t what I’m used to.  Command Hooks refuse to work on my new walls.  But I know that only steps from my place, I can order a tall caramel iced coffee with nonfat and light ice.  I can sit at the wooden tables, sip on my coffee, write in my prayer journal, listen to the gentle chatter of fellow coffee drinkers and discover a new way to spell my name.  It’s a wonderful reminder that yes, this year has seen more change than ever before, but some things don’t change.

While the study of physics and how to achieve the perfect smokey eye don’t relate to everyone on this planet, the word “home” strikes a chord with every single human being whether it’s a two-story with a white picket fence, a nice warm hug from a parent (s/o to my mama!!), grandma’s home-baked goodies or a comfy bed.  In times of change, where do you find your constant, your safe place?

For me, it’s Starbucks.  And if you’re here to tell me I’m a basic white girl who’s throwing away all her money, you might want to hold your tongue.  Honestly, basic is underrated.  But this is a conditional statement.  Basic is underrated if it’s YOU.  If you hate Starbucks, it’s probably not and shouldn’t be your adopted home.  I also hear people often complain of the outrageous price of an iced mocha and the CRAY name spellings.  I may not know your budget, and your name may be entirely too easy to spell.  All consumerism and commercialism aside, I know we can all relate to the idea of home, a place we recognize and where we have a routine.  Knowing that I can travel the world or move to a new city and still have a familiar, safe place to think, write and pray is completely worth every penny for me.  Sometimes you need to step of your comfort zone.  But other times, that’s exactly where you need to be.



{Where is your home away from home?  I’d love to hear it in the comments!}

9 thoughts on “Finding My Home Away from Home

  1. sojournersays says:

    Kristin, I know exactly what you mean in this post!! There’s something comforting about having a place you can return to, and you know what to expect from it! My home away from home is any mom and pop coffee shop I can find, and if I can’t find one like Starbucks is always my backup. I will happily pay for my $4.65 cup of comfort!

    Liked by 2 people

    • roundtriptravel says:

      Hi Imani! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I love hearing from you and how you experience your idea of home! And I wanted to let you know that I love your bio pic with the pink donut–so cute! Sincerely, your sister in Christ ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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