The Definition of Home and a Time to Move On

Projects and Sunsets-34 - editedThis morning I put the dog’s harness on and left the house for a few hours while two real estate agents, two average people and one inspector poked and prodded at every corner of the place I call home. Walden and I walked our normal morning loop, then added another neighborhood to our walk, then did our loop one more time before a touch of anxiety moved in.

The whole process took longer than expected. 

Finally, we walked to the dog park so Walden could get a drink of water and we could sit in the shade (it’s only April, but Las Vegas is already heating up), and there I contemplated this weird mixture of feelings swimming in my stomach.

One week on the market, 20 showings, three offers, one counter-offer, one signed agreement and one inspection later, and we’re that much closer to handing over our house keys and garage door openers. Now, we are only one appraisal and escrow process away from being tenants within the walls of this house as part of a lease-back agreement that lets us stay in the house through the end of June.

Only a couple more signatures, and Cory and I will being moving on from the very first house we’ve ever owned to Kyiv, Ukraine, where we will be strangers to the language, time zone, food and culture.

To say we’re beyond excited is an understatement.

Obviously I hope everything comes back clean and clear on the inspection report, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t, but we’re living in a strange state of limbo that is very new to me. We’ve moved before, of course, but this time is different.

This time we literally have ownership of a building and all of the quirks that make up our home – the fun-colored painted walls, the refrigerator that freezes liquids stored on the top shelf, the tub in the guest bathroom with the weird plumbing, the handmade compost pit, the naked corner of the yard where the big mesquite tree broke apart in a wind storm.

I know many people who refer to the city or even the physical house in which they grew up as “home.” For me, that was home at one point in time – when I lived there. And when I moved away to college, my dorm room (and then my first apartment) became home. These were places I felt comfortable and happy and part of a community.

I’ve since moved a few other times (since college, Cory has made these moves with me), and there’s never been a doubt in my mind (or his, I believe), that home is the place where we are together. It’s where we have special moments, build memories and create a life that is distinctly ours.

In this home, our global family was born and bloomed, while we said good-bye to others who left a paw print on our hearts. Both Cory and I started careers in earnest. We did grown-up things like pay the mortgage and install a water softener. We spent more hours cleaning than I care to count. We laughed and joked and had a hell of great time.

And we did it all within the walls of this house.

Right here and right now, is my home. Las Vegas. This house. Not the place I grew up, the place I went to college or the places I lived in afterward. I never want to be the person who is physically living in one place but has their heart, mind and intentions set on another.

And so, for now, I live here, in my home. And this home has been good for us. But, before too long, we’ll finish purging our physical possessions, packing a few bags, loading our pets into the car and saying good-bye to this, our home sweet home … until our next adventure begins.

4 Responses to “The Definition of Home and a Time to Move On”

  1. Laura

    Well stated! And a nerve racking situation nonetheless. I’ve always wondered why people get so attached to a specific place when there is so much to the world out there!

    I think there’s a level of fear or discomfort in a persons life that they might not even be aware of, and they use the home excuse to never leave or go outside their comfort zone.

    That makes me sad because I remember the first time I went abroad and it literally changed my view of life.

    Best of luck!

    • JoAnna

      Thank you so much, Laura! I agree that most people need that comfort in their lives, and I completely respect that. I know for us, though, now is definitely the time to embark on a new adventure!

  2. Selma

    Hope your adventures thus far have made this sale well worth the effort it took … I’ll bet it has!

    • JoAnna

      Hi Selma! Our house has officially been sold and we leave Las Vegas at the end of June. The real adventure begins then!


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