This simple question has no simple answer. Is it where you are currently living? Where you were born? This question is increasingly complex for people to answer, as careers, families, and life take people from one place to another, to settle in a foreign place, or continue moving constantly.
Where are you from? is a common question amongst travelers. We have several responses that vary in depth, depending on how much we want to go on.
The basic - I'm from the states and my husband is Swedish.
Just a little more - ...and we live in Germany right now.
All the details - ....and we will be living in Amsterdam when we get back.
Sometimes Simon chimes in, and his response is clearly Germany. So here you have one family, 3 different members, and they each identify as being from 3 different countries.
So where is home? What defines home? This is a good question for the Oppenwig family.
I remember the first time I really considered the concept of home. Martin and I were living in Louisville, Kentucky and I was working a Kentucky Refugee Ministries, a refugee resettlement agency. Every year on June 20, the United Nations celebrates World Refugee Day to honor refugees around the world. And that first year, it must have been 2004, the theme was home. Part of my job was to teach citizenship classes for refugees preparing to become U.S. citizens. So I asked them, where is home for you?
I can't imagine a harder question for a group of people that were forced to leave their homes and lives behind, because staying would be far worse. They then resettle in a completely new country with a new language and culture, in search of safety and hope. As they were preparing to take this next step to become U.S. citizens, many considered the U.S. home. It wasn't where they were from, but it was where they now belonged. They were raising their children in America, never mind the lives they left behind. Those lives were painfully gone. Home was the United States.
For me, the word home is fluid. When I am getting ready for a trip to Minnesota to visit my family, I am without doubt going home. But I also have a family of my own now, and, cue the sappy music, they are my other home. Home is not always defined by a space or a place. For some it is, but for many I know that's just part of the larger concept.
|I always feel at home with these guys around.|
I will always be from Minnesota. But home? Well, it's always with me.
Check out how other traveling families conceptualize home. (Technical difficulties, will update soon.)
Bohemian Travelers: Home is Everywhere
Nomadic Family: I Hate Home, and That One, and That One
Flashpacker Family: My Heart Doesn't Lie At Home
A Lifechanging Year: I Never Thought We'd be Home for Christmas
A Minor Diversion: A Minor Diversion Comes Home
Grow in Grace Life: Home...Where Ever We Are, There We Are
Witness Humanity: Things I Will Miss About Home..
Discover. Share. Inspire: How to Always be Home for the Holidays
The Barefoot Nomad: Where's Home for a Barefoot Nomad?
Gypseekers: Are we home yet? Re-entering society after a round-the-world adventure.
Expat Experiment: Traveling Home