I believe such a dichotomy can occur if the traveler, while remaining home, becomes immersed into previously unexplored societies or groups within the region. For example:
Alyah is a Hebrew term that refers to the honored act of “going up” to the Torah to read; it is also used to describe a return to Israel (not as a visit put as a return home). Despite a youth spent in the rolling Missouri Ozark hills, for the most basic reasons that many may not understand, I consider my only actual home to be located in a small town in north central Montana, near Glacier National Park. If I were to return there one day for a “temporary break from the traveling life”, then I would most likely attempt to embed myself, for a handful of years, into one of the region’s local Hutterite colonies in order to better understand and appreciate their unique communal lives. Perhaps my realization of Santa Fe’s California-style-Zen, has led me to question if the true northern Anabaptist communes (that are completely unfamiliar with the teachings of Lao Tzu, Mencius and Buddha) may have a firmer grasp on embracing fleeting existence.
That is not to say that the Hutterites are the only option for a wandering artist and moonlight-anthropologist. Possibly someone else would take the same region and prefer to explore the neighboring Blackfeet Nation in order to present a more accurate reflection of Native Americans in the 21st Century.
I admit that I have no immediate plans for a temporary sabbatical from my present travel itinerary; but that’s the funny thing about a home – although its very nature produces a sense of comfort, that same place can continuously maintain the mystery of return. I haven’t seen my little English cottage on the prairie in over a year. It has been even longer since I bird-hunted with my young friend while his black Lab, Mandy, scared pheasant from the northern Montana field bottoms. I can still hear his yell, “Hunt’em-up, Mandy!” For a brief moment, last week, when it came time to carve the Thanksgiving turkey; it was where my heart most longed to exist. – DN