To me, community is the sense of connection and safety I experience in the world. It is formed partly by environment, but primarily by people in my life. Right now, my community is spread across the planet like Vegemite on toast, including Australia, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, West Friesland, California, southern Portugal, Morocco, East Timor, London.
Why is community important?
Community forms a basic human need and directly contributes to our happiness and fulfilment. It’s a natural desire to feel familiar with our surroundings, our neighborhood, and know people to care about who care about us. And although ‘community’ is also used these days to denote online interaction, there is no substitute for real, physical proximity and interaction.
In August, a friend moved back to Australia from Europe because she felt a greater sense of community in her homeland. Another who hails from Toronto is contemplating the same move, because of a lack of community where she currently lives despite having spent 8 years there.
With my community so spread out, there’s no way I’ll ever have everyone in one spot, unless I kidnap all of you and put you on an island and keep you there. Insert evil laugh.
The better option is to make sure I’m living in a place that reflects my priorities and where I can experience community, and keep visiting the key people in my global posse on the side.
Travelling extensively this year has been an awesome opportunity to catch up with the dear peeps who form part of my community. It also helped me get clear on how ready and excited I am to put down roots, and build a less transient version of community around me. Namely: really ready, and extremely excited.
What is your community? Where is it, and what does it mean to you?