We’ve all heard about soul mates. Supposedly there’s someone out there in this big world who is connected to us in some fundamental way, and when (if) you meet, you’ll fall madly in love and live happily ever after, because that’s just how it was destined. Yadda yadda yadda. That’s fine. If you find the Marshall to your Lily or the Rachel to your Ross, good for you. Thumbs up.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m talking about a soul place, not a soul person. The concepts are remarkably similar, though. Simply put, a soul place is somewhere in the world you are drawn to, for apparently no logical reason at all. It’s likely somewhere you’ve never been, maybe on the other side of the world. Or it could be the next town over (probably not, though).
It’s different from the thing we call “wanderlust,” which is basically just a romantic way of saying how badly you want to spend the little money you have on traveling to faraway countries and backpacking through ancient temples and crazy jungles, living in sketchy hole-in-the-walls and having a grand time experiencing life.
My soul place is England. Ever since I was little, I’ve been captivated by it. Enchanted. I dreamt about the peaceful rolling hills of the English countryside, dotted with cottages and taverns. I poured over images of beautiful Medieval castles, dark and gothic and mysterious. I thought of Victorian-era towns with cobblestone streets and the clacking of horse-drawn carriages.
But most of all I yearned for London. It was strange, for I had no reason too. I had grown up in huge multinational metropolises all my life. London was just another one in the stack. On the outside, it wasn’t too different from New York, or Tokyo, or Shanghai. Yet I craved it. Deep down, I felt connected to this foreign city, located on a continent I’d never set foot in, as though I somehow knew I belonged there.
I don’t know when it started. Some people come across their soul place in a book. They read about it and a peculiar feeling washes over them. Perhaps they learn about it in class and become attached. Or maybe they see an old photograph or catch a glimpse of a painting in a window. They could even hear a brief conversation in a language they don’t understand and become captivated.
Of course, you won’t know for sure if your soul place is “the one” until you actually get there. And once you do, there’s always the fear of being disappointed, let down, like it isn’t good enough. But that usually isn’t the case. Sure, the initial excitement will die down. But that’s when you become familiar with your soul place. Then you can really start to get to know each other, sharing your secrets, fears, and desires.
It’s a wonderful feeling to go to your soul place, an intoxicating fulfillment far beyond any material gain. So I encourage you to go to it. And if you haven’t found it yet, then go find it. Some people never find it until they stumble upon it in their travels. It’s like finding a home, far away from where you grew up.