Home is where your stuff is

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Why there is nothing wrong with staying home

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. March 31, 2015

There is often this bludgeoning urge to go out and seize the day. On a Friday night, it sure seems like everyone is eager to make something of it, but more often than not, it just means going to the same restaurant or bar, with the same people, and stumbling home to a well-deserved Saturday morning hangover. With such a great desire to make it to the weekend or holiday break, maybe we should take some time to relax and just stay home.

I love travelling. It’s the passion that drives my very existence. Knowing that I have some place to go in the near future excites me the same way a new superhero movie may excite other people. I love travelling, but commuting sucks. Being out of my natural environment, the little niche I created for myself, sucks. I dislike long bus rides, and I can barely speak English let alone any other languages, so communicating in a foreign place is always a lengthy game of charades. I love travelling, but I can’t imagine doing it all the time.

Staycation, the term coined for the act of staying at home during a long weekend or a holiday season, is a perfectly reasonable way to take a break. Regular day-to-day life is stressful to say the least, and travelling—especially with a group—whether it’s down to the pub or to the other side of the world, is no less exhausting.

It’s a good idea to get out of the house once in a while and experience something other than television shows and instant noodles. But if you find yourself dashing here and there on a daily basis, stop, take a moment, lie down in your bed, walk out into your garden, open your closet, look out your window, scan your bookshelf, survey your pantry, and experience the very place you live in.

The grass may always seem greener. You look at a picturesque image of a beach in Thailand, you look at the happy photos of friends drinking in a bar, and you feel tempted. Embrace that temptation should it happen. Don’t force yourself to stay at home, but don’t force yourself to go out either. The choice is yours. Nevertheless, if your choice is to stay home, know this: you are going to have the freedom to do whatever you want, wear whatever you want, and nobody will kick you out or charge you a $10 cover to enter. You can fall asleep without having to transit home. You can leave a mess and nobody will get angry. You can listen to your own music, watch the shows you like, read the books you want, and eat the food you cooked.

Home is not a prison; it’s where your stuff is, and you’ve worked hard for all your stuff.

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