I’ve moved around a lot in the last decade or so. I believe at one time my count was 12 different, official addresses in 10 years. It’s been a rather diverse array of places, both domestically and locally. While it might not appear so on a global scale, anyone who’s spent a decent amount of time in each place can tell you they are quite different.
I’m in the middle of a two week visit back to two of my favourite “homes,” Michigan and Oregon. Michigan, where I was born, raised, and my immediate family still resides, shaped who I am and the base of my identity as an adult. I have one tattoo, and it’s the Detroit Tigers Olde English D. The title of my blog has nothing to do with the team in Los Angeles, but rather the university in Allendale. A university my father and brother also attended and where my father was attending when he met my mother who was attending nursing school in Grand Rapids.
Oregon is a place where I did not live for long in comparison to Michigan (2 years, 2 months), but immediately felt at home. It was also the place I had lived the longest since I was still a permanent resident with my parents. The weather, the environment, and the people sucked me in and I tacitly agreed I would never leave, then London came up and it was one of those “Godfather Offers.”
While London is growing on me, and I love living in Europe, I was very excited about this return trip. The question I’ve answered the most, by far, is “How do you like it over there?” My answer always seems to shock people, but I think it’s only because I’ve been spoiled rotten in regards to where I’ve lived. That answer is “Mehhhhhh, it’s alright.”
Now, is it the worst place I’ve ever lived? Not even close! Is it the best? Well, that’s a bit tougher question to answer. It’s by far the most global place I’ve lived, and the history, culture, and places to explore could not be better. However, it’s also overpopulated, polluted, and very expensive. Also, while there’s plenty to do for hardcore city-dwellers, there’s not many options for the outdoors lover. I like it better than Minnesota and Ohio, but is it better than Australia and Oregon? To me, not so much.
However, after being back in the states I have realised how much has changed in both Michigan and Oregon since I left. My hometown, Dexter, MI, barely looks like the place I went to high school, but in the long-run its a good thing. Some more diverse businesses and places to eat, and upgrades to the infrastructure. Portland is much of the same, but that has been going on for a long time. I am still shocked at the changes I have seen though. The warehouse across from my old apartment is now a real estate office, and when I left they had not even begun construction.
I enjoy being back, but both places never really felt like the places I left. In a way they felt familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. However, I don’t think that is a bad thing. Progress is good, for the most part, and I try to welcome it as much as possible. I also realise, things are going to change, for good or bad, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Can you go home? Of course! Will it look the same? Probably not, but its still there.
Ok, rambling over.