Where is “Home”?

Where is “Home?”
We are on the way back from a week in Georgia. For the last 20 years, Georgia was our home. We raised four children there. We have adopted the trees, the hills, the Big Chicken, and even the awful Atlanta traffic as our own.

But now, strangely, I have to pause when I think about what is “home.”

This was our first trip back since mid-February. Since then, one of our daughters has moved into our house. She is doing a fine job keeping it up, and we are glad she is staying there.

That said, it is a very strange experience coming back to our house as a “guest.” The house is ours…all the things inside are ours…and yet, it isn’t now our “home.” It is something different.

After we moved to Tokyo, it took a long time to think of our apartment as our “home.” I had a hard time referring to it as “home.” I called it our apartment…our place…just about anything else.

But as time has moved on, I find myself more and more thinking of our tiny apartment in Tokyo as “home.” It doesn’t have much of our stuff there. It certainly lacks many of the comforts of our house in Atlanta. And when we walk down the street, we have trouble communicating with 90 percent of the people we see.
And yet, this little place on the 30th floor in a building on Shibaura Island now feels like home. It is where we live. Where we are together.

Maybe that’s one of the lessons we’re supposed to learn from this experience. Home is, as the saying goes, where you make it. We have a lot of things and a really nice house in Atlanta. But for now, that isn’t “home.” Our home now is in a foreign land, thousands of miles from where we were born and in a place that is very, very different from what we are accustomed to.

Our home is now in Tokyo, Japan. In a couple of years, that will probably change. But today, we are going home. And that, strangely, seems to be the right thing to do.

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My husband and I were both born and raised in Kansas, but for the past 20+ years we have been living in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, with our children grown and out of the house, we have the opportunity to spend two years living in Tokyo. My husband will be working with the Japanese counterpart to his American company. UPDATE 2023... After 4-1/2 years in Tokyo, we returned to Atlanta. Now we are heading to London for a three year job assignment!

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