I don’t know what it’s like to have a hometown, and I still don’t know a simple answer to the question, “Where are you from?” I was born in Indiana. I spent 5 years in California. I knew my dad in Oregon. I felt happy in Texas. I cried hard when I left Maryland. I loved for the first time in Japan. I loved again in Germany and cried again when I left. But I can’t call even one of those places “home,” and I think it would be misleading to define myself by one or more of the places I’ve lived.
Anyway, my happiest memories aren’t of staying still. What comes to mind? Riding bikes in the dark back to Miesenbach with my brother after a pub night, dozing in the jump seat of my uncle’s truck on a drive through Utah, running up and over the impossibly steep hills of the Schwarzwald on trails to God-knows-where while the rest of town sleeps, boarding the train from Fussa with no destination in mind and hopping off at the flip of a coin, sleeping my way down the west coast in a tiny tent with a friend and two dogs, sharing a boat in Venice in Winter with the morning commuters, driving on an empty country road in Indiana with my music playing, daydreaming on the Greyhound Bus of my next trip to Illinois, or Washington, or Minnesota, or Montana, or wherever. All of those times were times I felt free, free from institutions, from houses, neighborhoods, jobs, acquaintances, and from so many of the things we own that we say we can’t live without.
It’s not wrong by any means to have a home, but I’ve made it this far without one, and I count myself lucky. I only know who I am when I’m in transit, and the farther I go, the lighter my burden becomes. Of course, it’s completely possible that I’ll want a home one day, but for now, I’ll just keep on moving.