My first home is St. Louis. The house I spent the first 18 years of my life in and the roads I first drove. The magic of The Muny and taste of frozen custard. A park full of free museums and a world class botanical garden. Pioneer football each Thanksgiving and a baseball team full of tradition. People who’ve known me since before I can remember.
I knew Chicago had become my second home when I’d talk about returning home at the end of breaks in St. Louis. Trips on the El waiting to hear State and Lake announced. Admiring the skyline each Sunday morning heading to church. Parkas worn through March on city adventures in the company of wonderful friends.
My little room overlooking Tay Ho became home in Vietnam for a brief time. The rev and honks of motorbikes. The shouts of Vietnamese over speakers. The light of the Lotte building at night. Eating at Joma and Salt ‘n Lime with fellow Americans in order to taste another home.
Now, I’m making Hawaii home. And while it’s not my first or even my second home, when people ask if I feel at home I can say it’s beginning to feel that way. The hum of H-1 and the air conditioning in unison. Beautiful sunsets and exhilerating hikes.
A place becoming home is a definite process I think, and it’s hard to say what it all entails, though I’m sure someone has researched that at some point. Home is where you make it, and for me that takes people to love and who love me, and places to just be me.
Photos of each place hang on the walls of my apartment. They’re all temporary homes though, because we’re all on a journey Home.