Like most people in academia, I have moved around a decent amount. I've lived in multiple states and countries throughout my career, and may someday move again. The semi-nomadic lifestyle has some perks, particularly as it relates to gaining experience with different cultures and norms. I have made friends in far reaching places, especially as they spread to new places from where we met. My eldest daughter has two passports and I hope to bring her back to where she was born in the next couple of years. I see these as good things that have helped me develop my sense of values and perspective.
There are things, however, that rolling stones miss out on. I am once again teaching teachers for a few days this week and many of them have lived entire lives within a few mile radius of where they grew up. I've found myself lost in conversations about places and things (some still present, some long gone) that are familiar to them all. Nearly every one of them knows somebody who is a friend of someone else in the room.
The level of connection is astounding to someone who has spent much of their life disconnected from the permanent residents based on my transience. A few years here, a couple more there, a handful over yonder.
In about a week I will have been here for 4 years. That's roughly as long as the previous 3 places I have lived. This time is different, because there is potential that I will stay here for a considerable length of time. However, it still feels the same at this point and I wonder whether I'll settle into to my current environment or always remain a foreigner. Time will tell.