Saturday, July 1, 2017

Finding "Home"

Sarah Hoyt is a naturalized American, a native of Portugal, a science fiction author, a Ph.D., a regular guest blogger at Instapundit, and therefore a conservative. Like many immigrants she loves the U.S., and in her latest column for PJ Media she reminisces about how she came to the States.

You could accurately call her either a successful American or a failed Portuguese, as many immigrants likely were failed whatevers wherever "home" was. Part of the magic of life is moving to where you fit in, feel comfortable.

For example, I knew expat "haoles" on Guam who loved it there and, while they'd visit "the mainland," wouldn't voluntarily move back to the States. I knew others who moved back for family reasons and regretted it. And some, like me, who moved back and had no regrets doing so.

I've had the same experience with brief (1-2 year) sojourns in the Washington, DC, area and in the Dallas area. All 3 were fun, interesting, and ultimately impermanent. I suppose for most of my life I fit into a category labeled "serial expat," I liked the expat experience but didn't want to make it permanent.

Ronald Reagan said something like "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, they left me" meaning they changed while he didn't. I've had that experience with California; it has evolved into something with which I'm no longer comfortable. It wasn't always that way, I once loved it and am sad about it's degeneration.

On the other hand, this is our 25th year of association with Wyoming, as property owners and, since 2004, residents. After 25 years I'm still an expat in WY - I still lock my house and car when leaving them, have never applied for a hunting license, and still flee the looooong winters. Expat or no, it is home and I'm proud of it, like any happy immigrant.

It's an experience I've had repeatedly in my life, the keep-looking-till-you-find-the-right-fit experience. It's how I ended up in a career I enjoyed, a 46 year marriage I cherish, and a state I admire. I believe I can relate to some of Sarah Hoyt's experience.