Friday, 06 July 2012
Where you’re from and where you go has a hold on you. I like to look at it as a love story. I’ve not met anyone who doesn’t glaze over, or get fire in their eyes, when they talk about the city they grew up in, the holiday destination they wish they could go back to, or the place they met the love of their life. Do you have "Hometown Glory" like Adele?
Last night I was extolling the wonders of Glasgow, Scotland to my Philadelphian roommate. I didn’t love Glasgow till I moved to the U.S. three years ago for college and field hockey. Now I can’t say enough about the cobbled lanes in the West End of the city, littered with vintage shops, fairy lights and cafes. And the people. Upstate New York can’t even touch the eclecticism of young Brit fashion or the dryness of a Scot’s humor. What wouldn’t I give to be back there just for the day?
My roommate, camped with me in Syracuse while he does geography research over the summer, said he just wanted to be home, where saying “witter” instead of “water” doesn’t merit a stare. Where do you want to live when you grow up I asked. Philli, he said. It’s my home.
But your “place” isn’t always where you were born. People find their place in different countries, alien cultures or a two hour drive away.
I have a friend from home who doesn’t have a place. She works crazy hours in a Glaswegian café for a year, then goes searching for her “place” on a one way plane ticket. Her wanderlust has taken her all over the world. She nearly married in Spain, she taught kids for years in Thailand, and even though she has an amazing boyfriend in Glasgow she’s leaving for Australia in January. She loves him, he doesn’t want to go with her, but she just can’t stay in his place. Because it isn’t hers.
Feeling like you’re in the “right place” can have nothing to do with, or be all about the people. Syracuse has been my home for three years, but this summer, with my best friend back in London, my girlfriend in Barcelona, and a deserted campus, it doesn’t quite feel like my “place” the way it does in the fall and spring.
Where is your place? Is it all about the city or the people?