The expat life seems to have a lot of allure for many people. Don’t get me wrong, this is a life that I have chosen. And I almost don’t consider myself an expat. I’ve been living here since 2002, so twelve years almost at this point. I was seventeen, going on eighteen when I hopped on that plane, so I’ve almost now been here as long as I was there. I will always be nostalgic about “home” though. The air, the trees, family… A small, one stop sign town that saw me grow up and still looks pretty much exactly as it did twelve years ago when I left, and still even the same as it did twenty-five some odd years ago when we moved there.
Having roots like that is special. I am still friends with kids I went to school with in the first grade. Adults now, as children we pitted ourselves aganist one another in a reading contest at school. I can even remember who won, but I know it happened. And we can still laugh about it. People I know so well that I can read an email from them and hear it in their voice, in my mind. People I can meet up with once every few years and it is like we just had coffee the other day.
I desire roots. The kind of roots, that run deep, that are part of a persons blood, sweat and tears. The kind that dig deep and hang tightly to the Earth in their grips. This is something that I desire for my children. A place that is part of their hearts, that is undeniably home. A place that smells like home to them, a place they will bring their own children, someday, in many years, to remember.
A place where they’ll know the locals, be one of them. Where their hearts will always feel at home, even if they haven’t been there in several years. I dream of an old farmhouse, a certain amount of land, dogs, chickens, maybe even a pig. Where the kids can play outside with little worry of streets or cars. Where friends and family can visit. A place that is cosy, and warm. A place that oozes family. The past few years we’ve been on the move a lot. It is fun discovering new areas, but I am ready to find our ‘forever’ area, and find a long term home.
I want my children to have roots, so that they can grow wings.