Oh, that little question, “Where are you from?” still gets me.  A question I never thought much about until we moved to Switzerland some ten years ago.  Growing up, we were a family that moved frequently.  Five States to be exact before I turned 16, but I always considered California home because to be honest, it was where we had lived the longest.

California is where I grew up.  Where long day and endless summers were spent exploring, playing tennis, swimming until my hair was tinted green and growing up along side of my best friend.  California, oh that Golden State, witnessed me go from child to adolescent and my heart was crushed when my dear father announced we would be moving East after finding a new place of employment. Even when residing in the States, I was always from Cali.   So, now, when people ask where I am from, I typically refer to the old standby, “Well, before moving to Switzerland, we were living outside of Philly, but honestly, I have lived all over America.”

The other night, as we were snuggled up in bed, our nightly conversation ensued.  “Can you believe we have lived here ten years?”  We both fell silent; “The longest I have lived anywhere,” I muttered.  Ten years is a decade, an almost lifetime in the eyes of our children, yet to us, this time together, creating our family, building careers and shying away, embarking on a whole slew of firsts, seems to have spun by ever so quickly.

When we think about the notion of home, especially this time of the year, most reflect on a place, but honestly, over the years and throughout my lifetime, I have come to learn that home is not necessarily a place, but rather a feeling.  And thus, as we embrace more indoors than out lately, this tiny place of ours feels just right and very much home.



6 thoughts on “Expat Life – Where Are You From?

  1. Interesting. At the age of 20 I left London in England on my own for Switzerland where I had found a job. 50 years later I am still in Switzerland at the age of 71. I even have a Swiss passport, but blame that on my husband. So one husband later and 2 sons, and a grandson I am still here. I no longer feel like an ex pat and Mr. Swiss (my husband) says I am sometimes more Swiss than he is and make a good rösti.

    1. I love your story! Oh, the amazing thing about being an expat is how the life can penetrate who you are and often, we end up staying for the long haul! All the best on your journey and thank you for stopping by!

  2. Totally agree that home isn’t always a physical place but can be a feeling or even who you are with. We don’t have a home anymore and just travel but our home is wherever we currently live together.

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