A really random and strange thought occurred to me at the weekend. Whenever someone asks me where I’m from, I feel a little guilty about the answer I give. It’s not that I don’t love where I live, I honestly do, but I feel like I am being a little deceitful, like I am not being true to who I actually am.
I best clarify. You see I was born in Cardiff, Wales. I also lived in Wales for 11 months of my life, not that I remember a thing about that of course, so to me, my home has always been in Somerset where I have lived for most of my life. So when asked where I’m from, I am lying. I’m not from Somerset at all. I’m from Wales, surely. Of course if you asked where I live, well, the obvious answer is where I class as home. Yet whenever I’m asked where I’m from (never where I live) I can’t help but feel bad about the answer, especially as when I travel abroad or am asked to produce my driving license (I’ll have you know it’s not been for the police- as yet!) I am so evidently from Wales.
There are so many ‘home is’ sayings. Until this very bizarre thought occurred to me though, I didn’t really give them much thought but unless a ‘dilemma’ like this comes up, you really wouldn’t I suppose. Yet the where my hat is, in this scenario, is so very on point. The expression ‘home is where I hang my hat’ basically means home is wherever you are currently residing. This could be abroad on holiday, on an overnight stay in a hotel in the country or city, or simply be wherever or whatever you class as your home. Arguably, we choose to reside in these places. I mean, you pick the hotel you want to stay in when you go abroad and you view houses you want to live in. Very rarely do we choose to ‘live’ somewhere we don’t want to be- let’s skip over the fact that although I didn’t choose to live in Somerset as a baby/child, as an adult I wholeheartedly decided it’s where I wanted to live.
Most people wouldn’t see this as a problem, particularly some englishmen who do not see the appeal of Wales at all- however, it’s my heritage. Both my parents are Welsh, most of my family is from Wales and there are some incredibly beautiful aspects to the country- I’m a big fan of the Welsh cakes for a start!
Ok so this post is really about the distinction of from and live- which in my case, there is quite a difference. But think it poses a good debate. I mean there are people that are born in other countries that don’t have links to where they live and are born- obviously I have the advantage of being British which merges the two nicely and means I can reside in either with very little problem. Some people though could simply have a different country on their passport simply because that just happens to be where their parents were at the time but gives them dual nationality instantly; America for example have a birthright citizenship which gives someone born on US soil instant citizenship regardless of parental status. It gives a whole other meaning to ‘where I’m from’.
I just think next time, if someone asks where I’m from, tongue in cheek, I’ll tell them Wales, just to see their reaction, particularly as I have no accent.