Home Is Where
Published: July 15, 2009 | | Submit An Inquiry

Dear Chivalry,

     I studied English at the university.  Before that, I lived abroad, like I'd always imagined I was going to.  I traveled a bit; I love traveling.  But now, it sort of bothers me morally to leave my home place in order to wander here and there and, what's worse, it seems to get me nowhere.  Whenever I come back I feel like I've been wasting my time.

     I thought it was my destiny to be an expatriate, but I realize I might as well become an average citizen in the country where I was born.  I've always thought I was bound to live in a foreign country lest I should die of boredom.  I thought I was an explorer, an adventuress, but today I want to take sewing lessons.

     Should I expatriate myself again like I once did?

Mrs. Bean

Dr. Mrs. Bean,

     Having only lived in the country where I was born, I can't say that I completely understand what it's like to be in your position.  I have had the experience of living in a few different cities reasonably far from my home town, and I feel like in some ways that can be comparable.  When I was growing up, the idea of staying put was always somehow correlated with a certain amount of failure.  In order to be considered a success, you had to move away and rise above your former circumstances.  But the more I learn, the more that theory just feels incredibly off.  Success is such a relative concept and can not be defined by something so incidental.

     I've never felt the deep need for travel as many people I've met over the years have.  For some reason it always seemed like a person with the desperate need to leave, to be far away from where they came from, would rely too much on the idea of traveling to solve their problems for them.  That they were, in essence, running away.  That's not to say there isn't value in exploring other places.  It can be just as dangerous to never step outside your comfort zone and see what else the world has to offer.  So it feels like trying to find a healthy balance of travel and implanting some kind of roots could be the best thing to strive for.  A good sign is when you're away from home for a while and you start to miss it.  That feeling of "home", of actually belonging somewhere, can be of infinite value and I would say that those lucky enough to have found that shouldn't take it for granted.

     I couldn't tell you if leaving again would be the right decision for you.  Instead I feel like you should ask yourself, when was the last time you were living somewhere that truly felt like home for you?  It's an important question, and I feel like the answer will help guide you in the right direction.

     Take care.




Tom Blood - "The Vanishing And The Wandering As A Dawning Within You"
Emeralds - "Lawn of Mirrors"
Pocahaunted - "Silk Fog Traveler"
John Cage - "In A Landscape"
Double Leopards - "Hemisphere In Your Hair"
Black Dice - "Things Will Never Be The Same"
Metallic Falcons - "Journey"
Mindflayer - "Each To Their Own Dark Path (Excerpt)"
Thanksgiving - "Welcome Home, Human"
Shoeb Ahmad - "Travelogue"

Film: La Strada