Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Me + Mom

Last night, I returned from over a week in California.  It felt good to be home.

"Home" is a concept I struggle with.  I was born outside of the United States, lived a huge chunk of my life in southern California, and lived most of what I consider to be my adult life in Portland, Southeast Asia, and now Washington DC.  I feel like I leave little bits and pieces of myself in the cities I've lived.

For as long as I've lived outside California, every time I've visited, I have always ask myself if I could ever move back.  Could I imagine myself doing the long commute in a car to my workplace in x?  Actually, could I even imagine myself spending that much time, daily, in a car? The whole southern California dependence on a car would probably kill me a little and moreso Ethan, who bikes everywhere.

But: Could I imagine being able to have weekend dinner with my family at the drop of a hat?  And reliable childcare?  Diversity?  Good food?  Constant sunshine?

This internal dialogue has been going on for over ten years.

After weighing every factor, I always come to the same conclusion: "No, I can't. Not right now." That was the answer I came up with last night on the plane back to DC, as my thoughts wandered through the week, to the baby shower that I was foisted on me, to the wedding prep, to my sister's stunning wedding, the driving, the eating, the constant chatter, the warmth of being around people who just know me.  It pains me a little to say goodbye each time.

I wonder if someday that answer will change.


  1. I'm in a similar situation, and I've come to the point where I would drop everything to be closer to home. I've spent the past 10 years living as a transient. Friends come and go, everyone seems to be on the move except for the ones who never roamed far from home in the first place. I would love to be able to have regular weekend dinners with my family. I would love for my children to spend time with their grandparents instead of seeing them once a year. The language thing is hard. I'm not fluent in Korean, but I can read, write, and understand most conversations. Not being able to communicate with my grandmother is one of my biggest regrets.

    If it weren't for the children, I think it would take me at least 10 more years before I seriously considered moving back home, and that would also be for family reasons. Elder care is going to be a huge issue for us, and I'd rather go to them than ask them to move to a place with miserable weather. Hawaii 2025, who's with me?!?

    1. Erica, I think the same reasons will compel us to move closer to either my family or Ethan's family. With M's arrival, we're thinking hard about where it makes sense to live long-term in the US. CA certainly has its pros - diversity being one of them, which is important to me as a raise a biracial child. Elder care is also an issue for us, though we have a few years (hopefully). Before then, we hope to have one more short-term move abroad...


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