20160719_170512.jpgIt’s where the heart is.

It’s where the best doughnuts are.

You can always go there.

You can never go back, but at least you can shop there. (Thanks for that one, John Cusack and Grosse Pointe Blank.)

However you think of it, you probably have a very specific image of what home means to you. I have several. Actually, what I mean is when someone asks me where I’m from, I find I need to clarify what it is they really want to know.

Are you asking where I was born? Where I grew up? Where I live now? Where my family lives? Which family-my husband and children? my parents? my in-laws? my extended family? Or maybe you were just making small talk and you don’t really care, but that wouldn’t make for a very interesting blog post, now would it?

I started thinking about this because of a Facebook comment a friend of mine made. I’d wished a mutual friend well on their trip to the UK and mentioned that I was there, too (visiting). My friend replied to my comment with, “Are you glad to be home?”

And I replied with a quick and resounding, “Yes!”

I haven’t lived in the UK for three years now, but referring to it as “home” seems nearly as natural to me as calling Kalamazoo home. I’ll always be a girl from Kalamazoo, and in my deepest heart of hearts, Kalamazoo will always be the first thought that comes to mind when I think of home, but it occurs to me that I have called several places “home” over the years, and I know without a doubt that as I’ve left a piece of my heart in each location, each location has made an indelible imprint on me.

Kalamazoo - Chicago - New York - UAE - UK - Texas

I’m a Midwestern girl. Travel has opened my mind to previously foreign concepts like the joy (and agony) of public transportation, Indian food, year round school, and learning new languages. I wish people Ramadan Kareem and Eid Mubarak, as well as Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Holidays. I’m happy exploring the city, and equally happy losing myself in my garden. I’m completely comfortable using words like “trousers,” and “car park,” and “y’all,” and “you guys” all in the same sentence.

Hey you guys, will y’all keep your trousers on in the car park?

So, where is home? Depends on where I am and where I’m going when you ask me.

I know for certain that as my horizons expand and the physical definition of home gets blurry, the way I think of home becomes more about who I keep in my heart, and the values I hold at my core.

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