Monday, July 1, 2013

Home: It's Complicated

I've got a board on pinterest entitled "Home," and I essentially pin things based on where I'm feeling homesick for, as we've lived/spent a lot of time in quite a few places in the last few years...
...Philadelphia, PA, USA...
...Thoiry, France...
...Geneva, Switzerland...
...Margate, NJ, USA...
...and even Chicago before moving abroad.
{Washington Square Park, Philly, October 2009}
That board is a nice place for me to lay my feelings of homesickness, and search randomly for happy and sentimental images of the places I hold close to my heart.
{First French café experience, Ferney-Voltaire, France, 13 February 2010}
{Ferney-Voltaire market, 2010}
But lately I've just been feeling confused of where home actually is. Is it possible to consider multiple places to be your "home," that place that you come back to time and time again?
{Rocky poses at the Art Museum in Philly after we got married, January 2010}
It's been even more confusing over the last couple of months as we came incredibly close to moving back to Philadelphia this summer. Yesterday is pretty much the day that we were going to move back. And last minute, back in late May, we changed our minds. In Thoiry we would remain, for how long we know not.
And I'm left feeling torn. Had we ultimately moved back yesterday, I would have been excited for so many things - to be close to our family and friends, to be back in a wonderfully supportive Bikram yoga studio, to be able to shop at Whole Foods and Reading Terminal Market (and on a Sunday no less - zut alors!), coffees to-go, food to-go, pretzels, brunch at my favorite places with my favorite people, being able to buy kale on a daily basis (we haven't found it here in France yet), actually being able to use our Phillies season tickets, burritos, cupcakes, donuts, good beer, walks through Washington Square and Old City, being able to read my comics in English, having a child in my favorite city in the world...the list goes on and on. But had we indeed moved yesterday, packed up our life of the last 3.5 years, said good-bye to the Jura Mountains behind us, said good-bye to the amazing expat life that we've carved out for ourselves here in SwitzerFrance, well, I would have felt rushed, like it was just too soon. I don't know how much more time I need, but I know that yesterday was not it.
{Dan's first Philly cheesesteak, 2009}
And yet today I've felt myself searching for and pinning pictures of Philadelphia left and right onto my board entitled, "Home," and it's confusing to me. I often wish I could live there and here simultaneously: to go for a hike up to Reculet here in Thoiry on Saturday afternoon, dinner at Florimont in Gex on Saturday night, and then brunch at Sam's Morning Glory in Philadelphia on Sunday morning, followed by some afternoon baseball in South Philly with a hot dog and beer in each hand.  
{The Globe at CERN, Meyrin, Switzerland, August 2012}
So yes, the idea of home for me is a complicated thing. This isn't meant to be a complaining or venting post, so please don't take it as such. I'm really so lucky to have multiple cities that I can feel at home in, but it's hard to miss so many places and people all at once.
{Rittenhouse Square, Philly}
In the end, I'm happy we decided to stay. As I said earlier, it just wasn't time yet. There's more traveling to be done, more adventuring to be had (especially with our newest adventurer joining us in mid October), and I feel so lucky to be able to live out this expat existence for as long as we can. I believe things happen for a reason, and when it's the right time to move back to the United States, it'll happen. For now I'm just going to continue to pin pictures of all the places I love like crazy and be happy for everyday I can continue to feel such a love for all of my homes across the globe.
A la prochaine friends...


  1. I feel the same way... I don't know where home is anymore; Texas, Ireland, New York, France... I'm clueless, but all I know is, I'm not ready to leave here yet.

  2. @Sara Louise: Do you think you and The Husband will stay in France for the foreseeable future, or are there any plans of a spin-off blog, "The Husband in the Big Apple?" :)