After almost five months of repeated canceled flights and new border restrictions, we finally made it home to Argentina.
It wasn’t an easy process. In fact, in the end our flights were cancelled once more and we had to buy completely new tickets… from a completely different city across the country… which required a whole other set of flights.
And while I feel comfortable in saying it’s been an Odyssean journey… I have to ask if I achieved a modern day nostos?
The root of the word nostalgia, the ancient Greek term nostos means a return to one’s origins, a homecoming of sorts. The ancients, however, had a few important addenda to the concept, such as: nostos involves an epic hero, travel by sea, as well as an elevated status upon return.
Now, I’m pretty certain I can’t claim any of those additions… unless we are interpreting events very loosely through the eyes of my gracious and imaginative six year old.
But even with those extra caveats aside, can I claim nostos if my home is not my original origins?
For the perennial expat and third culture kid like myself, one who has lived in a dozen countries, whose accent is consistently American but with a birth certificate and ancestors from Europe, the idea of ‘home’ gets pretty muddled pretty quickly.
And I’m not the only one… In fact, we are now witnessing the highest levels of movement on record. About 258 million people, or one in every 30, are living outside their country of birth (as of 2017)…and the latest revised projection is that there will be 405 million international migrants by 2050.
Indeed, in our increasingly mobile world, ‘home’ is a hard concept to nail down… which brings us to this week’s mailbag question:
What is HOME? How should it be defined? Is it something chosen or bestowed? And is our modern understanding of Home very different from the ancients?
As always, you can comment below or write me directly at [email protected].