Skepticism

AI: Roots

As many of you know, I’ve been working away from home for the past few months.  At this point, I’m glad the job is nearing its end.  I’m ready to go home.  Well, more precisely, I’m ready to be with my husband and my pets.  I don’t feel particularly tied to my geographical home.  Minneapolis is a great city, and I love it, but the experience of living and working in a new place has been a good one.  I think I’m a bit of a nomad, at heart.  I like the idea of living in many different places and never really settling down.  Not that I don’t have roots, but that those roots are increasingly forming online, making geography sort of irrelevant.

How connected do you feel to where you live?  Would you be happy to stay in one place for the rest of your life?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

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45 Comments

  1. Interesting question. I used to be the most homesick person ever. I moved to Birmingham (UK) from a crappy town called Redditch when I was 15, and didn’t miss that for various reasons, but really struggled in my twenties whenever I had to spend time away. I didn’t even enjoy going on holiday. Then the more I had to travel, particularly in my late 20s for work, the more I started to enjoy it. Now I’ll go anywhere, sleep anywhere, I care not. I moved to London 18 months ago, the city used to scare the hell out of me but it took about a month of living here to fall totally in love with it. I feel like I have more ‘roots’ here than anywhere I’ve ever lived just because it suits me more. But missing my family back in Birmingham is a killer. The solution is to persuade them all to move here :D

  2. Oh, and to answer the second part, I may get tired of London but it’s not ‘one place’ because it’s so huge and diverse, so I could just move ten miles away and have a totally different living experience. Then again, a little cottage in the South of France would be nice.

  3. It’s not that I feel particularly connected to this place. It’s that I like it, and love my current place of employment, and think “you know what you’ve got, but not what you’ll get” more often than is good for my mental health.

    Also it’s conveniently located in relation to important people in my life.

    I’d be perfectly happy to live here for the rest of my life, but I believe I’d also be perfectly happy elsewhere.

  4. When I was 22, I moved from Halifax, Nova Scotia to London,England. Just cuz I wanted to. I’m Still in London because I love the city and choose to be here, But I wouldn’t say I feel tied to the place. It’s where I want to be right now, though lately I have felt the lure of Paris or New York.
    As for my actual roots, I don’t feel anything really for the place I grew in, but I do have strong connections to my family and the people I grew up with. Thanks in part to the internet, these connections are as strong as ever, but they are also portable.
    I think It’s important to step outside your home once in a while, see the world, and yourself, in a different way.

  5. I don’t feel particularly tired to the place as much as to my family and my family-in-law. I would be fine if we moved, but both of our families are here. If I’d gotten a job somewhere else right out of college, though, we’d have moved there instead.

    I have to say, though, some snow is a small price to pay for avoiding hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, eight-lane highways, flash floods, and most tornadoes.

  6. I dont really have roots anywhere.. I grew up in South Africa, but havent lived there for 10 years. Been in Singapore, Australia and now in London. Most of my family and friends dont live in SA anymore either and are spread all over the world, so there isnt much (aside from the weather and the fact that its a beautiful country) pulling me back to SA, and although I do like London, I dont feel like I’d like to be here for the rest of my life. There’s still more of the world to see!

  7. This week it will be 10 years since I moved to Los Angeles. Every year I hate it more.

    I’ll miss it when I leave the way you miss any place you’ve lived a long time, especially since many good things have happened to me here, but I cannot wait to get out of this hell-hole.

  8. Mpls has…..Dreamhaven (aka the place where Neil Gaiman frequents and sells rare signed things by him), the Lake Street hookers (i mean, toothless high-heeled escort/erotic masseuses), all the best music venues (First Avenue, The State Theatre, The Orpheum), and the best restaurant ever (Barbette). Plus beautiful people with an artsy sense of style nearly everywhere you look.

    Like Carr2d2 perfectly stated, the only saving thing about St. Paul is the Science Museum, and The Station (where my friend’s band only seems to play when in town).

    so p-shaw to your claim :p

  9. but to actually answer the question(s)…

    while i do love uptown mpls and the art, i cannot see us living in this state long-term. while one day i can see myself old and settled (wayyyyy down the line, like when i walk with a cane and wear red sweaters and play shuffleboard), the world is too damn beautiful and there are just too many amazing things i wan to see. so i like the idea of living all over the world, and soaking up all i can while i am able and sharing each experience alongside the most amazing person in my life.

    the connection for me, is more with the people then the actual definition of one geographical place to call “home”.

  10. The place doesn’t matter to me as much as the people living nearby. I’d consider anyplace home if my fam and in-law fam were near. OK, only part of my fam makes a locale feel like home. The other part is the reason I keep yearning to move.

    Family, a pleasure and pestilence all at the same time.

  11. I could move elsewhere without much concern. I’m not a very social person, so I don’t feel I leave much behind.

    If I could live in one place for life depends on what sort of a place the enviroment is.
    I like a quiet lifestyle.

  12. It’s not so much that I’m connected to the place we live, as that I’m happiest when we live near mountains – I want to see mountains when I look to the horizon, and be able to get to forest within at the most a half hour drive. (Visiting Texas did not make me happy.)

    And we’ve got lots of family near, which is nice. I’ve never lived in a big city, and I don’t think I would enjoy it. Crowds of people make me panicky.

  13. I was an army brat. We didn’t move around a whole heck of a lot compared to some people, but I never had that place that I lived in for like 20 years and got attached to like some people do. Since high school, I haven’t lived anywhere for more than 5 years, some places less than 4 months. I do miss Halifax though (the last place I lived), but I’m not terribly attached to any one place. I think another thing is that my friends live all over Canada, so there’s no one place where I know a lot of people.

    Ooh, and I’d *love* to live abroad at some point for a few years. I don’t travel much cause I’m po’ so I would use that as an opportunity to see some interesting places.

  14. I live in Philadelphia and have my entire life. I love it here and really am starting as I get older to find new things I love about this city.
    Having said that, when I chose a place to go to college, I did not look at Philadelphia schools. All of my choices were out of state. I love to travel and being in a new city, spending time there has always been some of the greatest things in my life. I love seeing how people act differently in different places and figuring out new places to shop or eat.
    Hopefully I’ll be accepted at my top choice, Brandeis in Boston. From there I hope to spend a semester abroad in the UK (no, I’m not doing some creepy homage to Rebecca lol).
    While I love Philadelphia and I certainly recommend anyone giving it a try (i’m getting a tattoo when I turn 18 in this city to remind myself of my roots. it will be hgttg but that’s not the point) I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life here.
    Though I could simply be echoing the thoughts of a thousand 17 year old seniors itching for independence and rebellion.

  15. I am in love with the City of Champions and I’m never leaving. At least, not for long. And I’m not disqualifying the suburbs. And barring the possibility that the city goes to hell.

    OK, so there are a lot of conditions that come to mind, but from where I’m sitting now, Pittsburgh is the greatest place on Earth. It’s got the culture, the attitude, the geography, (the awesome sports teams), and most importantly the university that’s paying me to avoid the real world for another couple of years.

  16. I was a theatre gypsy for 30 years. Now I live in the woods in the middle of nowhere and I couldn’t be happier about it. I loved the excitement, meeting new people, seeing new places and learning new things. But there’s a down side. It cost me my health. I met a lot of people but never had time to make close friends. I never had a chance to really explore a city. To give you an idea, once while doing a show at the Smithsonian I had invitations from the curators of 2 of the museums for personal tours. We were on a tight schedule and I had to get to another gig so I couldn’t accept…

  17. I hate my town. I really hate my town. If this whole village burned to the ground it would be the greatest thing to ever happen to urban sprawl… sprawl which I am, in every way, part of an partially responsible for since I bought this house in this subrural “suburb”.

    That said, I would have a hard time leaving Chicago… and I don’t think I could do it permanently. I love this city. It’s the reason I hate my town – I’m too damn far from the city.

    Mr Elyse had discussed a possibility of a possibility of maybe being offered a job that would require us to move to Kentucky. This was certainly nothing like, “They’re making me an offer.” But more of a “Hey, what if I got this job!”

    I flipped. I mean just short of an all-out-full-blown panic attack. After probably a good 45 minutes of sitting there in silence, mind racing, I looked at him, collected what breath I could, and said, “I can’t live in Kentucky. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.”

    The reality is that if the money is right, we may not have the option to say no to any job in any city in any horrible state. But it would be really hard.

  18. I really appreciate having a place to keep my stuff. I miss it when it’s not around. I miss my bed and shower. It’s great to be living in a town with everything I need in walking distance. I’m very happy with the lovely town I live in. But after a few days at home, I’m thinking about escaping.

  19. Mountains, forest and ocean are things I’d never choose to be away from and all three are really close by. I live in a small city with a good size university, good arts and music and an ever improving pub scene. I have all that, good friends and two incredible big cities 90 minuets north and south of me. I can not imagine moving for all those reasons on top of fairly fixed job situations for my wife and I. However I do think about dryer and warmer places with fewer hills and gook bike trails when pondering that thing called retirement.

  20. I like being in one place for a long time, since I get very connected to the land around me.

    I had a shot last month at a job in West Virginia…but I just couldn’t make myself apply. I just didn’t want to be marooned in the middle of a bunch of bible thumpers.

    Of course, that seems to be anywhere, these days :(

  21. I love Austin. I’m not leaving unless they kick me out. I love the size, the attitude, the demographic, my favorite club, all the great places to see live music, the assortment of restaurants. Oh, and the weather…except for that record breaking heat wave this summer. I also have more quality people that I love in this city than I’ve found collectively in other cities in my lifetime. It’s also the perfect distance from family – near, but not too near. *However*, I do not get homesick when I leave. I love traveling. I mean, eventually it’s nice to be back in my house with my stuff, but that’s about the extent of it. I have thought of moving, mostly to other countries. But I’m just too damn happy here. I don’t know that I could find anything close to this combination of factors anywhere else. But if Philadelphia weren’t so damn cold, I’d certainly think long and hard about it.

  22. With the way things are going in the US, I’ve toyed with the idea of moving to Canada or the UK. Then I realize that in my 40s, it would be really hard to start over in another country.

    Overall, I like the Chicago area, and I hope I can stay here comfortably for a long time.

  23. “Home is where the heart is” and I’m still looking for my heart. The closest I’ve come is when I look into the eyes of the guy I’m with now. He’s the only reason I haven’t packed up everything and moved as far away from the south as I can get.

    I no longer have a connection to the place I grew up; I’m not close to my family that still lives there. I have felt strong connections to places I’ve visited such as Portland, OR and London, UK.

    For the past 35 years, I’ve not spent more than three years at one address. I’ve never owned a house so I could always just pick up and move when I got tired of a place, neighborhood, or annoying neighbors.

    At 52, I’m seriously thinking of where I want to spend the rest of my life. I’m just not sure of where that should be.

  24. I feel very close to the area where I live. I’ve been here since I was 6 and have absolutely no desire to leave. I’ve moved about a half an hour away, but my hometown will always be a huge part of me.

    I’m sure I would be OK picking up and moving somewhere if I needed to, but I’m definitely not going to if I don’t have to.

    Sometimes I think that I’m weird for feeling this way, especially when inundated with movies about “escaping” from one’s hometown.

  25. Unfortunately, except for short stays in Troy, NH and New Orleans, LA when I was young, and two stupid moves to the Santa Cruz area of CA, I have lived in the town (and house) I have grown up in. I should’ve left this place long ago but I was always too scared or too poor or both. Now, until my grandmother passes away, I am stuck here. I try not to think of it as waiting for my grandmother to die but that’s really what it is. Then I sell the house (or the land as the house is falling apart and there is no money for repairs) and leave (looking at CO, NM, AZ, or UT). Until then, I try to get into Boston, Worcester and other areas of the state as much as possible (and some over nighters to NY and the like if I can swing it, as well as Vegas for TAM).

  26. I am definitely not attached to my geographical location and would dearly love the chance to live and work overseas. However, the issue is the logistics in doing so and the fact that I am not sure my girlfriend would want to uproot her whole life and come with me.

  27. I would really miss Missouri if I moved away, and I’d miss being near my friends and family. But I really want to get away from Saint Louis, because you can feel the city spreading out into suburban sprawl, downtown reclamation efforts notwithstanding, and it’s painful to watch.

  28. I lived in the same small town from the age of 2 until I was 15. After that I began a 10 year exodus around America. In the past 10 years I’ve lived in four countries and several cities. I don’t miss “home” at all. I don’t like living where I currently do, South Korea, but I wouldn’t go “home” without a lump sum payment to keep me busy with eBay and Netflix.

  29. I grew up in a small town Maine. I could move back there tomorrow, but I don’t think I could tolerate the narrow-mindedness of the general population. I’ve actually considered moving to the West Coast. I would enjoy the changing of the seasons, the milder weather and the rain of the pacific NW. Oh, I live in Florida now. I hate it here. It smells like dentu-cream :) Ok, it’s really because I hate the heat. Can’t tolerate it. I burn VERY fast and get heat stroke easy. :)

  30. I love the geography of my home town, I like living near my family, I like the architecture and the history of the area… now to get rid of all the neo-cons and populate this place with some liberals.

  31. I was born in Lake Havasu, AZ (Spring Break capital of the world!) and grew up in Parker, AZ, which is right on the California border. I’m an Arizona native. I’ve lived in Phoenix for the last 9 years.

    I really, really love my state, and I’ve fallen in love with Phoenix, especially downtown and Central Phoenix (where I live).

    I’d say my roots are pretty solidly Arizona.

    However, the politics, especially of Maricopa County, are starting to wear me down. Gov. Brewer, who took over when Napolitano left to work under Obama’s administration, is a horrible, horrible woman. She’s anti-choice and anti-gay marriage. She’s anti-gay domestic partnership. She eliminated a year-old domestic partnership bill because god told her to. (NOT LYIN’). She is disgusting.

    And let’s not even mention Sheriff Fucking Joe.

    Basically I love this state but the politics are starting to wear me down.

    Thankfully I live in a little liberal bubble. Otherwise I’d go insane.

  32. @OnlyCheryl: Your connection to your hometown/area sounds a lot like mine, except I’m a single guy and the only reason I stay here (Long Island) is my dad, who’s in his eighties and lives a few miles away, and my sister, who lives in NJ (the “nice part”) with my nephews. Otherwise I would move to Portland, OR in a heartbeat.

    I’ve lived in the same general area all my life, but never felt a real connection. Particularly, over the last several years it’s been a real struggle not to just pick up and move away, or at least move into the city. But my jobs are here and I’m too old to start living in a roach-infested apartment in Queens with a roommate, or something. I sure as heck can’t afford an apartment in Manahattan.

    There’s also the beach only a few minutes away. That is something I know I would miss.

  33. I don’t feel a conection to any place. I’m 37 and doing the best count I could I have moved at least 20 times in my life and I might be missing one or two of the shorter stay’s. I went to three different schools for kindergarten. The longest I have ever lived in one home was just over 8 years. As soon as I move into a place I start planing for moving out. I have lived in this home for 6 years and plan to stay for 6 more. I am trying to give my kids the stability my parents weren’t able to give me. But my youngest is 12. When she is off to college I want to sell this place and get the hell out of Texas. I would like to live in a real city. If I get the perfect job I would love to live in San Francisco or Portland Or, or Seattle. But a city. I hated the country and haven’t been overly fond of suburbs.

  34. I have lived most of my adult life in a vehicle.

    I am a consultant, and often have to travel to client sites. Just as often, and increasingly more so, I work from home, especially after establishing myself with a client.

    Shortly after we were married, my wife and I bought a small used motorhome to use as comfortable transportation. Our reasoning was I would fly out to a client site, and my wife would follow in the RV with our pets and a lot of our stuff. When my client engagement ended, we would drive back together.

    We liked the RV so much that after returning from the first client engagement we immediately sold our house and our little RV, and bought a bigger RV. We have lived in various RVs ever since.

    Everything we own comes with us everywhere we go, so we take our roots with us. With the exception of family, of course, and we try to visit them each year for the holidays, if possible.

    We are currently parked in southern WI, because my current client is 100% work from home, and we like it here. After the holidays with our families (who all live in southern WI or northern IL), we will become southerners again. Maybe Austin, or Miami, or New Orleans. It doesn’t matter, as long as it has a good cell reception and a nearby airport.

    We have lived in or near: Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, Milwaukee, LA, Malibu (favorite place), Lincoln NE (surprisingly not sucky) Chattanooga, Cleveland (ugh – not RV friendly).

  35. Hmm. Good question. I moved from Canada to Ireland to be with the guy I love, but had to leave the family and friends I love behind. I couldn’t care less about WHERE I live, but I miss my family desperately. if I could just get everyone in one place, I’d be thrilled.

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