I lived in the same house for fifteen years while growing up. In fact, my parents still live there. Both sets of grandparents called a single house a home for as long I have been alive. My extended family resides mainly in New York and Massachusetts just as they had when my parents grew up. I come from a family who makes “home” an undeniably predictable destination. You pick a place and live there for the rest of your life. You choose a place to live and everywhere else you visit on vacation.
The stagnant gene must have skipped over me. I always wanted to move out of Florida, as was my reason for going to college in Massachusetts, but I blame flight for my nomadic desires. I never felt restless until after I returned home from studying abroad in Italy during my junior year. It’s as Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” I felt comfortable moving to an unfamiliar country, and I felt just as comfortable returning home. I didn’t worry about what I would encounter living in a foreign city and not speaking the language. I didn’t experience culture shock on either end of that journey. I just knew my life had been forever changed.
The United States of America consists of 50 states. How can I choose where to settle down if I haven’t been to all of them? Why wouldn’t I want to live all over the country to experience the uniqueness of our nation? Lifestyles differ from coast to coast, region to region, and state to state. I embody the values of multiple areas. I value art and intellect as in the Northeast. I enjoy being earthy and green as in the Northwest. I crave the adventure and outdoor activities found in Colorado. Live music sounds like my idea of a fun Friday night and it thrives in Austin and Nashville. I could no sooner choose a star in the sky than the perfect place to live. My persona is just too diverse. I fit in everywhere but belong no where.
Despite this feeling of restlessness, I’m thankful for my gypsy soul. It allows me to understand the different points of views throughout America. I’d like to think it makes me more open-minded. I embrace the need to wander this country, to wander the world. In every place I live, in the special places I’ve visited, I leave behind a piece of my heart. If home is where the heart is, then my home is everywhere I’ve ever been.