One of the most common questions anyone gets when traveling is “where are you from” or “where do you call home?” Personally, I find that question so difficult to answer. I never really felt any true affinity to where I grew up. I was always ready to get out at the first chance I got (the rural Northeast in the US didn’t suit me). Then I went to school in the city, but I never really felt like I could call the city home either. After meeting my husband this question became even more complex, we split our time between countries spending time in both India and the US. When in the US we were living in another city altogether away from my family, further clouding the definition of home in the States. Now, as we have decided to become a location independent family I find myself again faced with the question of where I call home.
I don’t feel a strong affinity towards any particular country. To be honest, as long as I have my basic needs met, I feel as though I am at home wherever I may be at that present moment. I don’t mind a complete upheaval of what food is available, where I’m sleeping, and what’s around me. For instance, I have felt both at peace and at home pretty much anywhere we have been be it the US, India, Nepal, Bali, etc. Thus, I believe I would feel at home as long as I am able to get my basic needs met (food, shelter, and of course wifi). I guess I have truly taken to heart the saying “home is where the heart is.” However, I will admit this has become somewhat more difficult with having children and making sure that they are also comfortable and can adapt to wherever our travels and adventures take us.
My husband and I struggled to determine which country we preferred the most. All countries present problems and struggles and you ultimately have to determine which set of problems you are most comfortable dealing with. This has led us to the decision to continue shifting between multiple countries and to take full advantage of what different regions of the world have to offer us. One question that does arise, however, is in leaving our children to also deal with this question of where their “home” is and to ultimately make the decision of where they feel they best fit in the world.
Truth be told, sometimes there is simply no simple answer for a question such as “where do you call home;” but all in all I don’t think that is a bad thing. There are so many beautiful places, people, and cultures in this world that if an individual has the opportunity to enrich their own lives by learning about and experiencing them, then by all means they must.
Personally, my difficulty with this question comes from my intense desire to travel, as well as from the unique perspective of the world my intercultural relationship has given me. For now, I will continue searching for “home,” but will be content with knowing that home will always be wherever I am with my family in tow.
As St.Augustine said, “the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”