“Where are you from?”
I’ve gotten asked this question countless times. Even though I was born and grew up in Hawaii, I have a hard time answering this question. Over the past decade, I’ve lived in:
– 4 years in Philadelphia
– 1.5 years in Washington DC
– Countless weeks in Los Angeles
– 3 months each in Tokyo, Boston, Shanghai, and Taipei
Initially, I considered where I was raised to be my hometown. Under that definition, it’d be Hawaii. But over the past decade, I’ve come to realize that home means so much more than where you were born.
For me, living away from Hawaii has changed what I consider to be home:
– Extremely familiar with the area
– Have friends/family in the area that I am close with.
– See myself living in the area (in the near-term or long-term).
Under these criteria, I now consider two places home: Washington DC and Los Angeles. Washington DC is a fantastic city. There’s so much to do, it’s where I need to be professionally, and I’ve got some great friends there. More importantly, my friends are still located in the Northeast. With Los Angeles, even though I’ve never officially lived there, I actually held a CA drivers license for a couple years during college. I’m incredibly familiar with the area. I’ve gone there more times since graduating high school than going to Hawaii, I have a lot of family there, and above all, the weather is fantastic–it’s a great place to call “home!”