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, we are traveling and I find myself again faced with the question of where I call home.
I don’t feel a strong affinity towards the US, nor do I feel a strong affinity towards India either. 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 while we have been traveling in Nepal. However, should we be in Asia, Europe, or the Caribbean, 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.”
With my husband and I both desiring to travel the work with our children, I am sure this is a question that they will likely struggle with as well. 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.
Perhaps 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.”