Sunset in Sweden
Musings, Sweden, Washington

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

There hasn’t been such a bittersweet Valentine’s Day for me in recent memory–plenty of bitter ones; the sweet ones have been fewer and farther between–but bitter AND sweet all wrapped up into one?

Now that’s a special kind of torture.

Much to my chagrin, I’ll be leaving Sweden in just three short days.

Much to my delight, I will be flying directly to Seattle.

The concept of home is a foreign one to me these days, but at present these two places–Sweden and Washington–are pulling me equally and oppositely.  I want very much to give more time and attention to this new approximation of home, yet at the same time, I can’t wait to get home to the people I know and love so well.

If we really want to throw a monkey wrench into this whole process of discovering home, then consider the fact that I also want very much to continue discovering new and yet unfamiliar parts of the world.

My heart wants Sweden.  My heart wants the United States.  My heart wants travel.

The heart wants what the heart wants.

But how?

Husiksvall, Sweden

In three short days, I’ll be boarding a flight to the US.

In three short days, I’m saying goodbye to the city I’ve worked hard to feel at home in through the harsh Scandinavian winter; I’d be lying to say I hadn’t succeeded in this.

The problem is, three short days are just that–short.

And so how do I give the heart what it wants, knowing full well it will continue to want things in spite of me?

The answer, as with most things in life, is compromise.

My ambition is to give the heart what it wants in equal parts; time in Sweden when I can spend time in Sweden (pending the immigration officers’ approval, of course), time in Washington when I need to be in Washington, and time on the road filling in the cracks.

It’s not a perfect system and I’m sure things will change.  Plans will go awry, I’ll fail to do things I planned and instead do things I never intended; this is generally how my life works, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon, regardless of my intentions.

But at the very least, I have intentions.

I have the desire to give the heart what it wants while still giving my mind and body the rest they need.


Until the heart sees things a little more clearly, I have no other choice.

But there is one message that the heart is sending me loud and clear–at the end of the day, the presence of people I love is what truly constitutes home.

Far more than it wants a place, the heart wants other people.  The heart wants comfort and familiarity.  The heart wants to be felt and understood; it wants requited love.

The heart wants what the heart wants.

Happy Valentine’s Day, from my heart to yours.

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  • Reply Emily Hammond February 14, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Home is such a complicated concept – I love being on the road with just a backpack and a husband in tow, but at the same time find myself scrolling through the interior design section of Pinterest far too often! I guess it’s human to want to put down roots in some way or another. Our trip has been amazing, but I can’t wait to figure out where ‘home’ will end up being!

    • Reply Leah Davis February 15, 2016 at 3:03 am

      I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this. I’ve been struggling with the pull to put down roots and still continue traveling. I want both so much. I hope you find what you’re looking for (and decorate it like your wildest Pinterest dreams!) 🙂
      Leah Davis recently posted…5 Maui Sunsets Worth Drooling OverMy Profile

  • Reply Andrea Anastasiou February 15, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Oh how I empathise/identify – I always feel like I’m torn between two opposites! The need to travel and the need to have a cosy corner to call my own. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be content, especially considering how I seem to flit between two very different extremes. I’m still trying to figure it all out.

    Best of luck!

    • Reply Leah Davis February 15, 2016 at 3:04 am

      Haha I often wonder the same thing! I guess we’ll have to be content with never being completely satisfied …unless the perfect balance of the two does, in fact, exist 😉 Good luck to you too!

  • Reply chewy February 15, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Well said!! I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have close friends here in London to support me through this grueling process which will hopefully be done in a year when I submit my PhD thesis. Thinking about what to do after that, my heart also wants many things. It wants to go home to see my nephew and niece grow up. It wants to go back to Asia, but also it wants to see more places it hasn’t seen yet like South America. It wants to be hip and cool and live in San Francisco or the Pacific Northwest. In the end, something will work out, but I like your strategy of giving your heart what it wants in equal parts!!
    chewy recently posted…Open letter to decent men who want to become great menMy Profile

  • Reply Jessica February 16, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I absolutely loved reading this. I can relate in so many ways (I’ve had more bitter Valentine’s Days than sweet ones too haha). The idea of home is such a hard one to really grasp and keep for those of us who love to travel. I find myself wanting a home too but I just don’t know the physical location of where that will be yet. In the meantime I will be trying your idea of compromise for dealing with this struggle. It’s probably the only way to do this whole travel and home thing at once. Like you said, once the next step is clearer you’ll take it, but in the meantime there’s no need to worry about it 🙂

    • Reply Leah Davis February 16, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Thanks, Jess! I knew finding “home” wouldn’t be a quick and painless process, but I do feel like I’m getting closer to understanding what it means for me. Hope you find yours one day too! 🙂

  • Reply solosophie February 18, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Oh my goodness, I can totally relate to this post!! I’m currently studying abroad in France but constantly miss my old home in England… yet still want to stay in France! Home is such a confusing concept!

    • Reply Leah Davis February 19, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      It IS confusing! Always glad to hear that I’m not alone in this, though. Sometimes I feel like people close to me don’t understand at all, and that just adds to the frustration!
      Leah Davis recently posted…Friday Snapshots: A Sunny Week in StockholmMy Profile

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