A Place to Call Home

by Penny M


A follower on our Going Global website describes himself as being without location. Personally, I have many places to go. I am staying in my seventh home (besides my own) in the last seven months. At the time of starting the outline for our book, Going Global – Technology made simple, designed for travelling from your armchair along the airwaves, I had no idea that I would be physically leaving home as often as I have in the last few months.

Until recently, the only packing required was a laptop, modem, clothing for a defined weather pattern and potkos (Afrikaans for tuck food or snacks). I soon learnt that packing is an acquired skill. Each destination requires a different set of clothing, accessories and sustenance, for example packing for a two month stay with children in two different cities in Australia entails garments and shoes for all climates, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, phone, memory sticks, camera, chargers and compatible adaptors. I had to arrange chronic medication with authorisations for collection before I left and a visa.

Toiletries are a given; it’s where to pack each item that complicates matters. I am gradually getting used to keeping several toiletry and cosmetic bags aside for this purpose; two for the hold, one for carry on. I try to keep one toiletry bag semi-stocked at all in-between-times. Well that’s the idea anyway.

Preparing for a two to three day stay in hospital, followed by a plus/minus two week time of recuperation at one or more addresses, with few or no steps to climb, no physical exertion or driving, posed a new set of challenges.

My home freezer is stuffed with Bulgarian Yoghurt pots full of various catering options, ready for my return. Unused fresh produce, the makings of my daily breakfast, some wicked biscuits and rooibos teabags etcetera were sent ahead, complete with minimal provisions, clothing, bedding and towels for who knew how long, to my first recuperative destination at the home of a gracious friend. After five days there, I relocated to another friend’s home.

John Meyer’s song, A Place to Call Home, drew my attention as I was pondering my immediate future.

I’m an architect
Of days that haven’t happened yet
I can’t believe a month is all it’s been
You know my paper heart
The one I fill with pencil marks
I think I might have gone and inked you in

I don’t need tea leaves to see more globetrotting on the horizon; no, not a caravan of camels, but a couple (give or take a few) of bags on wheels, my tablet and an umbrella. Perhaps I should be writing articles for the Getaway Magazine.

Watch this space; I might have inked you in!


6 thoughts on “A Place to Call Home

  1. jacky says:

    I think you’ve just earned yourself another version of your name Penny – Peripatetic! except that you’re not Aristotle wandering around the Lyceum sprouting words of wisdom. I hope your days of discomfort and no stairs are over now – there’s a lot to be said for putting your feet up in your own home and leaving the world outside. Getaway’s a good idea, so please add one camera to your umbrella and tablet!

  2. Penny M says:

    Thanks, Jacky – you are so right! A camera is an essential, provided of course that I don’t have a suitable one on my smart phone. My cousin is a photographer and was short listed in an international competition for a photograph he took on his mobile. Unfortunately, they requested a more high-powered print for final judging purposes which he could not supply.

    • jacky says:

      Ah that’s sad Penny. So often it’s just the phone that’s available at the right time – perhaps there’ll be a new model which does high res pics. A customer brought in a superb set of wildlife shots to our lab some years ago, all shot on a very good professional camera. One shot was a c/u of an elephant’s eye and part of his mouth with several wisps of grass sticking out mid-munch. I persueded her to send it to Getaway and the reply was that they only accepted transparencies of the highest possible quality, not prints. Such a shame. That’s all changed now of course – so don’t give up before you’ve started!!

  3. Penny M says:

    In the words of Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained, or so men say’. Make no mistake though, the rest of that tale doesn’t apply to me! There is a vast difference between a cradle and a camera, and I don’t intend to be a ‘sack of rubbish in my bed’.

  4. Susan says:

    The idea of being “without location” could also mean that there are so many places one calls home that “home” cannot be limited to just one of them. If home is where the heart is, then surely the heart is big enough to embrace them all?

  5. Penny M says:

    The term ‘without location’ referred to the particular follower’s online occupations, one of which was poker at which he apparently made a small fortune. I imagine he was without fixed abode for tax purposes? Don’t worry, my heart is big enough to extend to far more than seven homes. As mentioned, I might have inked you in. 🙂

    I am plotting to stash a wardrobe in my more permanent destinations for future use, so that I can travel light thereafter.

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