On being a transplant | Travel Tuesday

Transplant

My first home- Idaho

A lot of the time I think and write about travel, I tend to only focus on the international travel I’ve done. The traveling I’ve done overseas has been great to me and is a huge part of who I am. However, I think that I am doing myself (and you, my readers) a sort of disservice by not also acknowledging and talking about travel within the borders of our own country. This travel has had an equally huge impact on me and has allowed me to grow and change just as much.

To begin talking about this travel, I think it is best to talk about where I’ve lived and the influence moving across the country (a few times) has had on me.


I am an Atlantan. When people ask me where I live I automatically answer with Atlanta. This is my home and where I’ve spent my adult years. This is where I’ve loved and lost and learned and worked the most. However, when I think of home, this isn’t the only place that flashes in my mind.

My story began in Idaho. In some ways, my story is still continuing there through my family. They are my life-blood and biggest supporters (hi Mom!). I lived in Idaho until I was 18, minus the one year I spent in Mexico during high school. Idaho shaped me and raised me and have me the foundation upon which I’ve built my life. I am an Idahoan.

Moving to Atlanta was quite possibly the best decision I ever made. I became who I am here. However, this is not where I’m from and in a lot of ways, I think living far away from where you grew up makes you a little different than those who’ve stayed close to where they were raised. Not better or worse, just different.

It makes you 2 different people, all at the same time. I am the small town girl who is probably a little too trusting of the world and sees life in a simple way with an open heart. But I am also the woman in the city who knows how to navigate her way with the awareness, confidence, and speed required for life around here. I am the Northern girl with a love for the beauty of snow and the hills and fresh air, and I am the Southern woman who doesn’t like the cold and prefers to sit by the pool in the sun after a day at the office in a suit.

You get the picture. They are both parts of who I am. I’ve been able to pick what works best and feels best to me based upon how I was raised and how I’ve adjusted as I’ve grown.

In this same light, I know that Chicago will change me in some ways as well. I will be learning the culture of a new city, and growing as a person learning to navigate this world.

Soon I will call Chicago home.

Though I’m not from there and won’t claim to be, my transplant status gives me a unique view of home. I see home as a feeling, not a place. It’s a feeling I had with my host family in Mexico, playing Wii with my host in France, cooking dinner with my Nun Mother in Uganda, etc. It is a feeling of peace, of calm, of home.

I feel like I’ve gotten to a point of rambling with this post, but I’m interested to know what you all think. Where have you found home? Did you stay in one place all your life or move around? What place do you consider to really be your home?

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “On being a transplant | Travel Tuesday

  1. What an eloquent thought. I grew up in Ohio, moved to Columbus for college, then to a new city with my husband. Several years ago, we moved to North Carolina, thinking it was THE place to live. Like you, though, I realize home is not a place. It IS a feeling. When I travel — whether with the family for pleasure or for a travel writing assignment — I find much about each place that influences who I am. Each place and experience rubs off on me, soaks in, and challenges me to become more me. To answer your question, I’m not sure where home is, but I do know it’s not in a place.

    Like

  2. I’ve had many different homes, and I can relate to this feeling very much! Every place shapes you a little–some more than others!

    Like

  3. Interesting post! As an adult, I’ve moved around roughly every 3-4 years all over the US because I find it’s a great way to really get to know a place. And each time the feeling of home didn’t start right away and I’d question whether I made the right decision. But as I’d accept my new surroundings and feel more comfortable as I made new friends, that old feeling of finding home “wherever you hang your hat” would come. Best of luck to you in Chicago! Hope it feels like home soon. 🙂

    Like

  4. “I see home as a feeling, not a place”. I would include family is a feeling, not always biology. No matter where you end up, the love and care of the people around you make them family. We always have someone we can count on! But when push comes to shove > what ever road you choose, I’m right behind YOU, win or lose! Loving you forever and always, mami

    Like

  5. I can totally relate!! It’s always so funny when people ask where I’m from because I stutter and say ermm… well… New Mexico? I don’t kow how to give a true answer because I have lived so many places that it’s hard to say. New Mexico will always have a huge place in my heart though and always be home to me!

    Like

  6. My family moved quite a bit while I was young, and I never really felt like one particular city was my “home.” For me, home was always wherever my family was located at the time… I will say, though, that I’ve claimed Texas (as an entire state) as home. After traveling to China for a summer, I’ll never forget landing in Dallas and hearing the voice over the intercom say, “Welcome back to Texas, ya’ll!” It was a great feeling, and I just knew I was where I belonged.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s