As a transplant from another state, and a transplant who has lived all over the country and even in another country, I often get stumped when meeting new people in our retirement community in Arizona when they ask ‘where are you from?’. Well, that depends.

Sometimes I say the name of the last state where we lived. Other times, I laugh and say, “I don’t know.” Other times, I say “From all over.”

I guess they’re all true. I’m not sure where I’m from.

This afternoon, my husband, daughter, and I were in a parking lot walking toward our car and I spotted a license plate holder on the back of the car parked beside ours. The holder gave the name of the dealership where they’d bought their car and also the name of the city and state. I got all excited because it the was the city where I’d mostly grown up and had lived for twenty years.

As I got in our car, I thought , Oh, wow, they’re from my hometown. That’s the first time I’ve seen someone from there since we moved away almost thirty years ago. How cool!

Then I realized that I thought of it as my hometown. The place where I’m from. Somehow, somewhere, deep inside me, apparently, I still think of it as home. How did that happen? As I said, I haven’t lived there in almost thirty years. I don’t have any family there. I rarely mention the place to anyone when they ask where I’m from.

Is it because that’s where I met my husband and got married? Or maybe because my mother died there after a long illness? Or maybe because I went to middle school and high school there?

If you move around a lot, as I have, what makes one place your hometown? I think my son and daughter may have the same questions, since they, too, moved around a lot as they were growing up.

I don’t have any answers. Just thought it was interesting to think about.