Homebody /’həʊmbɒdi/: A person who likes to stay at home, especially one who is perceived as unadventurous.
If there’s one thing I know I’m not, it’s a homebody. That’s probably pretty obvious when you consider that I literally moved alone to a city I’d never spent more than eight hours in before. It’s probably more obvious when you consider that I want to spend one year of my degree studying in Canada, a country I’ve never been to before.
The weird thing is, I had my life up to this point planned out since about the age of four. Minor details changed – studying history and English, rather than just English, for example – but everything else came pretty much instinctively. It’s probably been a good thing up to this point; I mean, I haven’t had to worry about the questions of what I want to do with my life, and going to university was never even a question. It’s saved me a lot of stress. Plus, I’ve always been clear on my interests, so I’ve always been able to pursue them.
But now that I’m here, knowing exactly how the next few years are going to pan out is the absolute least thing I want, and I knew that I’d feel that way. I like being open to different things, I want to see what opportunities stumble across my path, and frankly, I have no plans to settle anywhere for a long time.
I have a lot of ambitions for the future, a lot of dreams. I like to think I could achieve three in particular. But the ins and the outs of how I might get to achieve those things are wide open.
I see a lot of people who are perfectly happy to have a fairly static life – goodness knows there are too many people in my hometown whose parents moved there, they grew up there, and now they’re having or have had families there. Honestly, that life would be my worst nightmare. I see even more people who have had the exact same job for a really long time, sometimes decades upon decades. If I had that sort of unchanging career, I can’t tell you how quickly I’d go insane.
It runs in the family, to some extent – my mum’s side of the family came from Ireland and moved to England, and my mum for a long time was never in the exact same occupation for any more than a few years. My dad spent his childhood moving around and, similarly, never had exactly the same occupation for too long a time. They raised me with an appetite for travel, and being a bookworm, you become fascinated with escapism and everything that’s ‘other’ to what you know.
So yeah, that’s one thing I know for certain about myself, that I’m not a homebody. It’s something I could never see myself becoming. I’m constantly after new things, new people, new places.
Are you a homebody? If so, what holds you back? If not, what drives you forward?