I’ve never really wanted to live anywhere other than where I was born in Houston, Texas, United States of America. It’s not that I lack an adventurous spirit but that I see no reason to go somewhere else when I’ve got everything that I want and need right here. I decided long ago that my hometown is a place that allows me to have a good standard of living and to stay in close touch with my family and friends. If I get the wanderlust I have the ability to travel, so why leave?
My father and his parents were like rolling stones. They were so often on the move that they never actually owned a home. I suppose that there is a certain level of excitement in such a lifestyle but I prefer the security that I have as a result of being more settled. I also know what it is like to go from one place to another and I have to admit that I didn’t care much for the idea.
When I was seven years old my father uprooted our family and took us on an adventure to San Jose, California. I was not at all impressed by the journey. I missed the Friday evening get togethers at my maternal grandmother’s home where I met up with all of my cousins. I was saddened in losing my friendships with neighbors and classmates around our home on Northdale in Houston. My new school in California was so crowded that we only had half day sessions which precluded recess, barring any way for me to make new acquaintances. It was all business from start to finish and I could tell that my teacher was annoyed with me for increasing her burden in the middle of a semester. There seemed to be no children on the street where we rented a house so my days were lonely and dreary.
When we later moved to Los Angeles there was little or no improvement and the same was true with our final journey to Corpus Christi. It was only when we returned to Houston that my world felt normal once again. Our neighbors were welcoming and friendly and there were other children everywhere with whom to play. Best of all I had my grandparents and cousins back.
I’ve heard people say that living in different places makes one more interesting and mature but I think that the same things can be accomplished in other ways without pulling up stakes. Travel is great but there really is no place like home. I wouldn’t mind being gone for months but in the end I want to be back among the people that I know and love.
If there were some unexpected reason why I might be forced to move I suppose that San Antonio, Texas would be my first choice. I like the people and the vibe there and it’s a pretty place with lots to do within easy driving distance. I have friends and relatives there and I would be within a few hours from Houston if I felt the urge to return.
I can’t imagine ever leaving Texas. It’s not at all like the stereotyping that pokes fun at it. It is a great state filled with good people, great opportunities, and some of the best food in the world. On top of that it’s a place where it doesn’t cost that much to live and since I’m retired that’s something important to consider. I like Colorado but I don’t think I would be able to afford to live there. I’d have to downgrade my lifestyle considerably if I were to go there and I would be essentially alone at a time in my life when I need to be around people who care about me more than ever.
I’ve never really thought of being in another country. In spite of all of its flaws I think that I am quite lucky to live in the United States. I have many friends from other countries who have told me that they know full well how wonderful this country actually is. They have seen firsthand what it is like elsewhere and they praise the USA with every breath. Nonetheless if there were some unforeseen cataclysm I suppose that my first choice might be Canada or perhaps London. I like both of those places and feel more comfortable there mostly because of language. I’m far too old to learn a new way of communicating at this stage of life. Still it would be quite an adjustment and something I would never want to do alone. I’d have to have a community of family and friends to be daring enough to do such a thing.
I am and have always been quite content with where I live. For me family and friend connections are more important than anything else. As long as the people that I most love live close by I will be more than satisfied with my life.
Young people enjoy the idea of taking risks and learning about new places. They most likely have plenty of time to explore and make new acquaintances. At my age that doesn’t sound enticing at all, besides my father-in-law and mother-in-law live here in Houston and they need to have me here more than ever. I would not worry them by suddenly moving away. I want them to always know that I am only minutes away when they need help with anything. I was always available for my mother and I intend to be the same for them.
So travel it is for me. As for where I live, for now at least Houston will always be my home.