For the past couple of years, I have debated in my head about which city to call home. This debate is greatly
influenced by the fact that I have most of my loved ones split up between two very different countries. Thereâ€™s also the fact that Iâ€™ve met people from all over the world, and being with them makes me feel like I am home, even when Iâ€™m thousands of miles from where I am currently living. Whenever people ask the questions, â€œWhere are you from?â€ and â€œWhere is your hometown?â€, I am often unsure of what to say.
One October a few years ago, I was on a budget trip to Europe with a tour group that included people from all over the world. One night, we stayed in these little cabins on the outskirts of Venice. I shared a cabin with three girls, two from Canada and one from Nigeria. In the little time we actually spent inside, we organized our suitcases and made unsuccessful attempts to access the Wi-Fi, all while listening to music and talking about anything and everything. In those moments, I felt closer to those girls than I did to schoolmates I had known for years. It felt like I had known these tour group girls for years even though we were only together for ten days. While I canâ€™t recall the name of the place where we stayed that night or even the area in which it was located, I can tell you that it felt more like home than I could ever explain in words.
Between two-hour Skype sessions with friends from abroad, I wonder whether a place I stayed for less than twenty-four hours can actually be home. Not just in the sense of memories and the past, but also now, in the sense of the present, knowing that I have a university, and a city, to stay at for at least the next four years and consider home. I wonder how many other people ask themselves these sorts of questions.
I realized a few days ago that Trinity doesnâ€™t just feel like home: it is home. It has been home since the moment I first visited campus. The impact of my experiences here will outlast my memory of them. And that same thing happened in all the cities I have lived in and visited, even just for a few hours. It is a firm belief of mine that our experiences can continue to affect us greatly, even when we have forgotten large parts of them. They live on beyond the reaches of our minds and hands like an infinite ripple.
As you go out into the world and live your life, I hope you can think of home that way too. I hope you can find home in even the briefest of experiences and that these live on even beyond your memory of them. I hope you find home here and in other places.
Courtney Justus is a sophomore English and philosophy major with a minor in creative writing