I believe we all have an old home, not necessarily India, but someplace, some part of the earth where we feel particularly drawn to or some culture that feels somehow comfortable to our soul.
Many are still living in this place. Those who feel an extraordinary magnetism or excessive attachment toward their homeland or ones who have been displaced and feel obliged to return, they needn’t unwrap this riddle that plagues the rest of us.
Others, like some of the travelers and expats I meet, are different. They feel compelled to “return” to certain places they might have lived lifetimes ago—places where perhaps their ancestors lived for centuries. Places in which the cultures of the peoples inhabiting that space feel innately right to them.
I have a Swiss friend who fits this description. Although she travels around the world and embraces different countries and their cultures, she is drawn year after year, back to one place: Nepal. Her spirit is pulled there. Even at 74 years of age, she still returns. This desire, I believe, comes from a longing in the soul, and not just from the superficial enjoyment or interest of a culture or its people.
Another friend I met while traveling in South Korea. A North American, she explained to me that she was drawn to certain Latin American cultures, based on their outwardly sensual nature, their inhibition to express themselves with dance, their open displays of affection. She was lured to these characteristics. These were cultures and an environment that was comfortable to her, one where she thrived, not just survived. I believe she enjoyed the experience of living in Korea, but I could tell her heart was not 100% there.
So where is my “old home”? I think somewhere in Asia. I know, Asia is huge and hugely culturally diverse, but I’ve traveled the length and breadth of Asia, from Syria to South Korea, and these countries and cultures are vastly more compelling to me than those of any other places I’ve been.
It goes beyond interest or obsession; I’m drawn to these places subconsciously. I should be able to narrow it down to a country or region more specifically than the broadness of Asia, but I haven’t been able to yet. I’m not actively seeking to pinpoint a place or culture; just being aware of this phenomenon when I travel is enough for me right now. Recognizing and developing these ideas take years, and it takes deliberate effort.
Mueller calls us to try to remember these “memories” or as I interpret, bits and pieces of past lives. But it’s not easy. Remembering past lives is not something for the spiritually faint of heart. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with that, except for following your train of thought after experiencing déjà vu, which is not a simple task either.