Column: Life is an adventure and home is wherever you make it

Cloi Bryan
Oxford Stories

Since I was a young child, I have always enjoyed traveling and seeing what the world has to offer. Growing up, my family and I were always moving, which allowed me to view and appreciate new experiences. Throughout my life, I’ve called three states, six towns, and 11 houses my home. Each place I have lived has taught me an important lesson and has helped me grow. 

Life for me began in the tall Piney Woods of East Texas, then moved onto the desert heat of Las Vegas, Nevada, and then into the rocky mountains of Northern New Mexico, the oil fields of West Texas, and finally where I am today, the Hill Country of San Antonio. My family and I have always sought a new adventure in life.

Moving was an opportunity for us to try something new and be somewhere where we would feel a little more content than the last place we were living. During my adolescence, the whole concept of moving was very ordinary to me, and although I wish I could call one particular place my home, I’ve learned that my home is wherever I am currently in life and where I feel most happy. 

As a child, moving was a lot to take in. Although I’ve loved every place I’ve lived, I always felt something was missing in my life. That something was the feeling of being content and living in the moment. After my final move and before I had settled into my current home in San Antonio, Texas,  I had come to terms with the fact that I had taken some of the most important things I had in my life for granted and didn’t realize it until it was too late. I was 12 years old when I had to say goodbye to the one place I felt was truly my home. 

Although my family and I have lived in several different places throughout various points in my life, there was one place that seemed to always be the one I fell back on. This home of ours was tucked away in the Rocky Mountains of Northern New Mexico, located near the small town of Chama, just 20 minutes from the Colorado state border. The log cabin in which we lived was built by my dad and has been there ever since my sister and I were born. For more than half of my life, Chama was my home away from home. 

My days there would begin with my sister and I waking up early every morning and sitting on our front porch, which looked out to a field of trees and mountains that always took my breath away. The beauty which had inhabited our home was unique in its own way. From witnessing wildlife roam around in what was literally my backyard to looking at what had seemed to be an endless sky of starry nights is all something I would have never experienced elsewhere. 

During my time in the mountains, my twin sister was my rock and the person I relied on at all times. With her presence by my side, I never felt alone in anything I did. She is the one person with whom I’ve shared many hardships and joyful memories with which has helped us form a bond that will never fade away – all while shaping us into stronger people.

We, as humans, forget the idea that sometimes we have to take time for ourselves. Due to living in such a fast-paced world, we don’t always stop and notice what’s going on in our own lives. 

Looking back on it now, being secluded from reality allowed me to grow into the person I am today. At times, I would feel like the loneliest person in the world due to how far away I was from what seemed to be civilization. However, my family always reassured me that as long as we were together, my worries weren’t as big as I had pictured them to be. I have always been a firm believer in getting away from the world in which we live in order to take time for ourselves in pure silence and the beauty of nature. 

Throughout my life, I’ve learned that getting away from the chaos that overwhelms us would help me grow as an individual and be more at peace with myself and the things around me. Being tucked away in the mountains made me appreciate all of the beautiful scenes surrounding me. Chama was where I had grown as a person, and sadly, the beauty of it all is what I had soon taken for granted. I had always assumed that because this place was a significant part of my life and all I had known for so long, I never once thought it would be gone one day.

Right before my family’s move to San Antonio, I had received the news that we would be selling our home in Chama due to how inconvenient it had become to travel back and forth to and manage during the wintertime. This sudden notice had honestly broken my heart due to the many memories I had made at our home in the mountains. As I look back on it now, those memories that I made in New Mexico will always be close to my heart. However, growing up, I never made it apparent of how appreciative I was of the things I had at the moment. Instead, I would take the majority of things in my life for granted, mostly because I was blind to the beautiful things surrounding my life. 

When you are a child, you don’t understand the meaning behind things and the importance of certain situations. From my adolescent perspective, I never understood the value of living in the moment and focusing on things as they were happening. It wasn’t until I was much older when I realized all the significant memories I had made which seemed to have ended so quickly through the passing of time. As I grew old enough to think for myself, I came to the conclusion that it is essential to focus on the little things in life that make you happy because those things could be gone in the blink of an eye.

No matter where you are in life, it is essential to remember who you are and where you come from. Getting away from the crazy things in life and finding your heaven on Earth can always help you discover what you stand for in life. Home is different for everyone; however, it is always whatever you make it to be. 


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