Happy Holidays, wherever you are! Hope you’re staying in festive spirits and spending time with family and friends.
I’ve just arrived back home in NYC after two airplane flights and two bus rides. And I have to say, there’s something about traveling for me – as in, the actual act of commuting, that puts me in a hyper reflective state of mind. Do you feel that way, too?
In the past few years, plane rides have become evaluation periods – time to look back on how I feel about my life. And today, perhaps because it was the holidays, I was thinking about the idea of home. I felt a weird sense of not knowing if home was LA or if home was NY. I’ve lived in LA now for almost two and a half years, and while it’s increasingly feeling like “my city,” it’s still foreign to me. And yet, I don’t feel as though NY is my home either. People I love are here, but there’s no professional tie for me.
In my travels today, I started wondering the percentage of people who live where they grew up. And thanks to the power of Google and diligent researchers around the world, we can find that information pretty easily.
Apparently, according to a Pew Social trends report (from 2008), 37% of American adults have never left their hometown.
I was very surprised by this. And I got a small swell of pride for having the courage to try living in a new place.
But, this was even more shocking to me: 57% of Americans have not lived out of the current home state in the US.
I also loved this part of the study: the idea of a “heart home;” a place where you feel most deeply connected. According to their research, more than one-in-five-U.S.-born adults say they don’t feel they are currently living in their “heart home.”
Personally, I’m really not sure. But maybe I can have two “heart homes.” Or do you have to be monogamous to a place for it to be your “heart home”?
Interesting food for thought.
Wherever you find yourself this holiday season, “heart home” or not, try and appreciate whatever ways, however small, that it feels like home to you.