One of many common topics you hear come up when you have moved to another country is the question of where one’s home is. Most people think of the country they were born and raised in as “home,” whether or not they’ll be returning there any time soon, or ever. There are also many who say that home is wherever they live, wherever they’ve settled themselves for the moment. The answers are all over the board. I’m not sure what my answer to that question is anymore.
When I first came to Scotland, the month we stayed here, it felt like home right away. I felt like I was being torn in half when we had to go back to the US. It was awful. There is something in me that is bound to Scotland and always will be. That said, I have become keenly aware of an attachment to the US as well. I never realised I had this attachment until I moved away from the US. This doesn’t mean I want to move back, it just means that the definition of home gets a little more blurred.
I was asked by coworkers a few months ago where I consider home to be. The answer was obvious, it’s here in Scotland, but the question stuck with me and… well, maybe it’s really not that obvious. I don’t have a large family in the US. I am estranged from most of my family; however, the few members of my family that I’m close to are in the US, so naturally part of myself remains with them. Also, with exception to living in Germany for two years, I grew up in the US and am now more aware than ever as to just how much that has shaped who I am. So while I don’t have a large family in the US, or a huge friends network, or even one neighborhood that I’ve lived in for a long time, there is an element of “home” there. I still don’t consider it my singular “home” and I still find myself a little confused when people say “are you excited to go home for a visit?” I think because my first thought is “Scotland is my home, I live here.”
When I moved to Scotland I was sure this would be my singular “home,” since then my view has changed a little. I don’t mind being the one that’s different and I’m ok not really fitting in, but because of this I will always be reminded that I’m “other.” Not a week goes by where I’m not reminded that I’m not from here, that I don’t quite fit in (I’d say not a day goes by but some days I don’t leave our flat). It’s not uncommon when I’m out at a shop or a restaurant to be asked “are you on holiday?” or where my accent is from, or for people to consider me the ambassador for all things American. About 98% of the time I don’t mind any of that and I see it all in good humor, but it does serve as a regular reminder that I am originally from somewhere else and I will always be “the American.”
Given all of this, at this moment in my life Glasgow is my home. I love this city and I hope to live here for a very long time. In reflecting on this over the last few months I realise that maybe somehow the US is home as well and it’s ok, even if I don’t fully understand the feeling… also it must be home because I keep getting told by people here that it’s my home. LOL! I’m curious to see how my view on this changes over the years as we settle in more. I’m curious to see how I feel after my upcoming visit to the US.
This will be my only post for November. My next post should be mid to late December (fingers crossed). We will be moving into a new flat just down the road over the next month (signing our lease this week). I’m also working two jobs right now. One of those jobs is temporary but the project is huge and will eat up evenings and weekends for a little while. My short trip back to the US is right around the corner and I am beyond excited! And I must somehow squeeze in trapeze and cradle training as well (of course!). There is just a lot going on over the next month. I look forward to posting in December and reflecting on my first trip back to the US since we’ve moved. Ok, that’s all for now. I really do hope this post finds you well and I thank you for following along with me on this insane journey. Take care!