How Long New Cities Have Taken to Feel Like Home
I moved enough growing up that I've always been fascinated by what makes a place home. When I moved a month ago, I started thinking about this again. A half-complete list of kind-of homes.
- •New York - a few weeksI've been here a month now. I was never one of those people who pined for New York, but there's a certain ease and inevitability in being here. Maybe I'm just growing up. People generally make a place feel like home, for me. I don't have many friends here yet, but for once I don't doubt that I will find them (there are so many people here! I'm sure I'll like a handful!)
- •DC - two yearsI love this city but it took years to feel like mine. I cycled through lots of people, lots of hobbies, lots of FOMO. All my friends from college were building lives together in London and I was stuck in a city where people said things like "patriotism is sexy".
- •Oxford - eight monthsI realized that Oxford was my weird college home when I got very sick right before spring vacation of my first year of college. And literally five of my new friends offered to let me (very contagious me) go home and recover with them.
- •New Jersey - it's complicatedWhile my parents' home is the family home (a comfortable and safe space), the town has never felt like home to me. In high school, I always half-expected us to up and leave. We don't have any real roots in the community, and familiarity never felt like enough reason to call a place home.
- •Mumbai - alwaysI only lived here for three years but it's the only place I would call a hometown. I can barely navigate the streets and I return only for a few days every year. But this is a city full of familiar faces -- grandparents, family friends, now my brother and sister-in-law.