, , , , , , , , ,

“People say go big or go home, as if going home is a bad thing? Like hell yeah I wanna go home, and I’m gonna take a nap when I get there.” — Josh Ostrovsky  
[Seattle ferry, image credit katdavis733 for Pixabay]

Feels like home?

As an expat, I’m frequently asked how often I get “home”. While I’ve been back in Seattle these past weeks, I’ve been thinking about home, and where it might be. Some thoughts (mostly suitable for couch pillow embroidery):

Home is—

  • “…the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. – Robert Frost
  • “When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.” – Thorton Wilder
  • “…where one starts from.” – T. S. Eliot
  • “…where somebody notices when you are no longer there.”– Aleksandar Hemon
  • “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” – Chinese Proverb
  • where there’s no place like. (ruby slippers optional)
  • where the heart is.

James Baldwin said “You don’t have a home until you leave it and then, when you have left it, you never can go back.” But I went back. Getting to Seattle, Washington from the Isle of Arran in Scotland was incredibly difficult [here] but I made it.

Only… this time America is different. Or maybe I am. I can’t understand the commercials. I like them the way I like but often don’t get art films and Booker prize books. But I have no idea what they’re advertising and a gut feeling that whatever it is, I don’t want it.

In my memories, America is a place where everyday overabundance means you don’t so much purchase something as curate your buying decisions. But on this trip, stores have weirdly empty aisles that seem more like Soviet-era Russia than the American Dream.

Kraft, manufacturers of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, is offering $20 NOT to bake holiday cheesecake during the current shmear shortage.


A store I love so much I threatened to name my next child Target—I think everyone was grateful we stopped at four kids—now has whole aisles that look like shops from Soviet-era Russia.

You only have to remember your correct barnyard animal to find your way back to your car.

But in all the best ways, Seattle is still the place I go back to that always lets me in.


So what is home?

It’s where your wifi automatically connects, and the best hairdresser on the planet will always squeeze you in for an emergency haircut.

Of COURSE it’s Seattle. Antonio (owner of Coco & Co.) believes in offering a full-service cut even to clients he now sees once a decade. This includes a special treatment: Angelo, effortlessly chic in overalls, curled up for a cuddle.

But where the heart is?

My heart (and hopefully, my luggage this time) is heading home to Scotland, to the Isle of Arran, for Christmas. Wish me luck!

Wishing each of you ends up in the home your heart chooses this holiday season!