This post explores the meaning of home and how deeply personal, but flexible it can be.
I was deeply inspired by Victoria’s post on her blog, In the Frow. In her post, she discusses the places that welcome her and that why they are so special to her. I was so moved by her post I decided to write one along the same vein.
Holland is a little suburb of Toledo, Ohio and my “home base.” This is where I was born and raised, and where my parents still have their roots deeply settled. I think that when I say that I’m going home, my heart means Holland. Does this mean I want to settle here? Never. But when almost all of your family lives here, there is a deep, innate love that I don’t think can ever be shaken. I had almost all of my “firsts” here: first date, first car, first kiss… You can’t just not love someplace where you have such deep history, in my opinion.
There is something so powerful about the first place that you’ve chosen to live, isn’t there? I went to the University of Cincinnati for my undergraduate degree, and I truly fell in love. Cincinnati was where I truly began to come into myself. Growing up, I was never sheltered, but there is only so much that you can experience in a smaller city. I still have such a special place in my heart for Cincinnati as so many of my college friends and sorority sisters live there. When I go to visit, even after years of being away, I still feel home.
I was lucky enough to live in Chicago for 6 weeks after graduating college. I was part of a teacher training program, and we had our institute in Chicago. Chicago was the first place that I felt comfortable exploring on my own, which sparked my love for solo travel. At the time, this was the biggest city I’ve visited. I remember during breaks and weekends, I would get a large iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts and just walk around the city. Even now, when I visit, it still feels like home.
Los Angeles, California
This is the only place on this list that I haven’t actually lived at. A few years ago, I went through a devastating break-up… one of those where you think you’re going to marry the person and then you realize that the relationship isn’t good for either of you. On impulse, I bought a ticket to LA to visit one of my best friends that lives there. At that time, I hadn’t seen her in years, so I thought there was no better time to visit to see her, take a trip, and clear my mind from the breakup.
There’s a reason why everyone wants to move to LA, and it’s not just the weather. Strangely enough, it rained two out of the three days I was there). There’s a certain vibe here that I don’t think can be recreated anywhere else. And I know that if I ever needed a couch to stay on or a should to cry on, I can go to LA and my bud will be there for me.
This is where I currently live, and I’m so, so lucky to be here. Although I have no idea if I want to live here long-term, this city will always be ridiculously important to me. Detroit is going through a bit of a “renaissance” right now. The media likes to portray Detroit as a sort of third world country, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Personally, I’ve had two careers here – one as a teacher and one working for a mortgage company, and I’m just stupidly lucky that Detroit has been so good to me, and is truly home.
Let me know in the comments where your “home” is!