life, thoughts


Am I the only one who gets stuck watching youtube videos?

You know, you go to youtube because of a link someone sent you and then end up following the recommended videos, one after another?

No? Just me?

Well, that happened to me recently, and I came across one person’s content I thought would make an interesting blog discussion.

I’m going to start by using a cliché, so bear with me.

Is it true that home is where the heart is?

The video I came across was by a man (we’ll call him J), and it was titled, “Why we’re leaving the United States FOREVER (and we’re in our 50s).”

Thinking the video was just an ungrateful, cranky American who was likely complaining for the entire video, I don’t know why I clicked on it. But I did.

It started out exactly the way I thought. J had edited together artistic drone scenes of his palatial acres of land and gorgeous remodeled 1950s farmhouse. The depiction of his place would be a dream home to many.

But he wasn’t fulfilled.

He explained that it wasn’t that he was unhappy with the United States, rather, he and his wife never really felt at home. They were originally from Argentina and had moved to the U.S. as teens.

Now, this struck a chord in me, because after I got married and moved away from my home state, it never truly felt like home to me either. So, I figured he was about to say they chose to move back to Argentina.


They both said they never felt at home in their native culture either . . . it never “clicked” within them. They’d lived in a couple different states in America and nothing felt like home to them. They described themselves as nomads.

Their two grown sons lived in Europe, each in a different country. They wanted to live closer to them. This made sense to me, because I hated living 1,200 miles away from my family, let alone if they were across an ocean.

I wondered . . . have I ever really felt at home anywhere? The answer? Absolutely. In fact, I published my book of short story memoirs about the topic. The street where I grew up on was even named – Home Avenue – which is the title of the anthology.

This is the my childhood street, Home Avenue. Except there weren’t sidewalks or curbs when I lived there.

But I never felt at home where I moved to as an adult.

Neighborhood where I moved to.

When we moved back near my hometown 27 years later, of course, things had changed. It’s not the same, yet I’m still completely contented and at home again.

New neighborhood back in my home state.

J showed scenes of what appeared to be a fulfilled life in America. They had access to good education, made a good living, and raised two gorgeous, healthy sons. A successful life. Yet, he and his wife lived for 50 plus years without ever feeling at home. I didn’t feel at home for half that time, but always had a core “knowing” of what home felt like. They didn’t seem to ever have that, even when raising their children.

Were they nomads because they’d never feel at home anywhere? Did he think they’d finally find a place to call home in Europe? Could living overseas bring J and his wife that inner feeling, or would they continue to feel like nomads in their new European home?

I’ve heard the saying, “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” Should J, his wife, and I have done an inner journey instead of an outer one? Is it really a matter of destination that brings us home? Is it something within our psyches that needs/needed addressing and/or replenishing? Or, maybe it’s family that makes some of us feel home?

Grateful to be back home again with family and friends gathered at our place.

It’s ironic that I came across this video at this time, because since finishing my last novel, I’ve been planning my next. The theme of the new one has been set for quite a while. It’s about finding home.

How ‘bout you? Have you ever felt like you didn’t have a home? Or, have you always been happy where you are?


12 thoughts on “Nomads”

  1. “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” That’s been pretty much my belief said in a different way. You can be happy (or miserable) anywhere. How you feel is not based on where you are. Right now, I’m sort of homeless but was most recently the happiest in a pretty unexpected place. Here’s a link to that post.

    Why do I want to live in a city that has a full time Historic Preservation Coordinator?

    After that, when I returned to the house where I grew up to take care of my mom, it was not the place I remembered so I was no longer comfortable there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like we agree on this, Sue. I wasn’t comfortable when I lived in Florida, but made the best of it. I read your post about Oak Ridge. Very interesting. How were the people there? In Florida, I found they weren’t so friendly. Were they friendly in Oak Ridge? My husband and I recently took a mini vacation to some midwestern cities (for research for a novel) and the people there were so welcoming. I wasn’t crazy about the rundown look of those cities, but if I lived there, I know the welcoming people would help me feel at home.

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  2. I’ve only felt that I belonged in one place I’ve lived. I was there for ten years, but it was so long ago that I’ve forgotten what it was like. Now I happily accept where I am because I realize I’m safe and happy enough, but I doubt that I’ll ever feel like I belong here. And that’s ok.

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    1. I completely understand that feeling, Ally. I was telling Lynette that when I lived in Florida I wrote a blog post where I compared how I felt living there to a door slightly ajar. I was still on the hinges but didn’t quite fit into the frame. I made it my home because it was where my husband was and that made it ok.
      Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  3. I’ve moved around a fair bit and have lived in three different countries, as well, including the US. For me, home is really a matter of being with my M, but there are things about particular places that make them feel comfortable, I think. I love the north, for instance, but it’s a hard life in many respects and after working here for five years, I’m only just being accepted (in 12 months I’ll be retiring, too). My home in the Okanagan has “become home.” M has worked hard to get it ready for my retirement and there are many nice things about the place. Cheers.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Lynette. When I lived in Florida, I felt the same about wherever my spouse was, that was home. So, I made it my home, but the actual place never felt quite right. I wrote a blog post once comparing it to a door slightly ajar from it’s frame. I was still on the hinges but didn’t quite fit in.
      I can imagine how difficult the far north is to live. It’s tough enough in the cold where I live. I’ll bet you’re looking forward to that retirement.

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  4. I’ve lived in 3 different states and felt at home in all of them once the house was the way I like it and I made friends. I never liked the initial period of adjustment though but I had it with every move.

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    1. Sounds like you’ve made home where your heart is, Kate. Yes, the adjustment period can get rocky. Especially when you’re doing updates to the new place, right? 😉
      I’m curious, are you originally from PA? Where else have you lived?

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