What does hometown mean to us?
I have the fortune of being able to call many places “home.” I have only moved a handful of times so far in my life but in each place that I’ve settled, even for a short while, I was able to live and grow. I love discovering a new city and making it my own. Down that street is my favorite coffee shop, over there is a place with the BEST tacos; once I find these places I can’t wait to show them to someone new. Each city that I was lucky enough to call home gave me the chance to explore and create a new me.
Sometimes a hometown is a place you can’t wait to leave, only to long for its familiarity as soon as you are gone. There will always be something about coming home to the place you spent your childhood but each place I have lived feels like home to me. While I left behind the location, the houses, and even those delicious tacos, I get to keep some of my best friends, even if they are scattered across the country. I have cherished the warm memories and even the tragedies that make a place home. It’s comforting to know that you can always find and make a home, no matter how far you go.
Obviously, I love to travel. When I travel, I really enjoy visiting locations where I know someone. Throughout my life, I have had the honor and privilege of meeting people from around the globe and, through my network, swear that I have contact just about anywhere in the world.
One of my favorite parts about visiting friends and family who live in different cities is when they give me a tour of their favorite spots and introduce me to their people. This is such a unique and intimate way to learn who, what, and where is important to your loved one. They’ve put thought into not only what they love about their hometown but also what you might enjoy as well. It’s a way to connect on a whole new level. Showing off my own hometown to a newcomer is just as exciting as visiting someone else’s, too!
Places carry emotional connotations. Places have stories. Places and the people with whom we interact give meaning to life. I like to think that by traveling, we get to live and love just a little bit more.
Home means many things to many people. I have had the absolute privilege of traveling around this vast world and along the way have found feelings of “home” in many places that I have visited. Through these travels and along my journey, I have found that my true hometown is always wherever I am. I leave pieces of my heart scattered across the globe but returning to my internal self is how I truly find HOME. In this way, no matter where I find myself, I am at peace.
One of the definitions for home is “where we flourish and from where we originate.” I am human and while I do have feelings of homesickness, I recognize that this sense belongs to scattered pieces of my soul calling to me to be found and welcomed back. I gather them, breathe a sigh of relief, and say, “Welcome home, Love.”