People don’t stay in the same location all their lives. Some people move from their parents’ to an apartment, to a small house, and then finally to a house where they raise their family. Some other people grow up in a house, inherit it, and raise their own family inside the same walls they were brought up in. Home works the same way, changing over time or persisting to stay the same, but home definitely isn’t restricted to a single area.

Ever since I was little, my family has taken regular vacations to Mexico, but unlike other families who go there for a luxurious resort with a five-star restaurant and a perfect view of a white beach, my family went to the heart of Mexico to reunite with close, distant families. This feeling of being surrounded by love and compassion mimicked my memories so I felt at home despite being thousands of miles away. This feeling of familiarity has stuck with me all these years and when the plane lands and I’m greeted by my uncle and cousin who drive us to my grandma’s house and when I walk through that broad wooden door, the past 24 hours of traveling feel like they have taken me in a loop.

However, my home doesn’t always stray so far from Olympia, going the opposite way and after 4 hours you find yourself in Victoria, BC. I always experience a feeling of warmth despite the temperate weather because the food feels like it was made with motherly love, the star-lit streets are guarded by a fatherly aura, and the hundreds of shops stocked by your siblings so that you always find something you’ll love. These things alone would create a wonderful place, but a home is more than all the good things, it’s the memories you have shared with places and people that create it. My aunt first showed me Victoria in 2019 for her birthday in which my aunt, mom, grandma, and I, spent the little time we had trying to see all the sites. I came again not long after revisiting memories with my mom and creating new ones with my father and brother. The last time I came was at the beginning of 2020 with my cousin who came all the way from Mexico and it felt like I was showing her the new place I had bought.

In a way, these places have become my new home and I feel lucky because when the time comes to move away and my parents sell our house, I will still have roots planted for me in other places. When I retire, Victoria will be my first choice and when it comes to Mexico, that will always be where my family comes home.