Walk into any home, from a luxurious mansion in Hollywood to a prison cell in Denmark, and you will find stuff, and lots of it. The fake diploma you bought on the internet. Framed placentas from your children (who stopped visiting). A blackboard keeping track of who last did the dishes. A plethora of pictures and one sad digital photo frame that you never bothered setting up.
Our homes and the stuff with which we fill them is a projection of our personalities and our past. Inviting someone home is an intimate act where you grant access to your walk-in representation of yourself.
My home is a suitcase, and the precious 23kg (50lbs) into which I cram my life is reserved for the bare essentials. We nomads simply do not have a surface onto which we can project an image of ourselves. There is no home to decorate.
Like so many facets of the geo-independent lifestyle, this lack of self-expression has both good and bad sides.
The bad is obvious. Most people want to be seen and recognized, and a potent way to do so is through the stuff we own. Take that away leaves you feeling strangely disconnected and ephemeral.
This ephemeral feeling is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can be disconcerting and downright depressing. But it also gives you the chance to have a more fluid, dynamic and changing personality. You do not have a home full of old projections to anchor you to an old outgrown identity.
Stuff is also heavy on the mind. The more we own, the more we need to organize, polish, protect, maintain, store and insure. It is work. Most people have been living with this burden their whole lives and don’t realize just how taxing it is on the mind. Trust me. If you ever go through the process of getting rid of everything except what you really truly need, you’ll feel a weight of your mind that you had no idea was there.
An alternative to a home as one’s projection surface is the digital world of Facebook, Twitter and blogs. This is used by nomadic and geo-static individuals alike, but nomads have an extra incentive to make use of them. They are virtual walls onto which we can hang our memories. This very blog serves that purpose for yours truly.
The digital homes are not the same as their brick-and-mortar counterpart. While the latter evolves in some part through the subconscious, the digital homes are decorated only by the active mind. This makes them prone to being narcissistic vanity projects that says more about how the inhabitants want to be perceived rather than how they truly are.
(Go ahead; make the obvious jokes in the comments.)