Before I begin, I must give props to Gina’s thoughts on living in North Carolina for inspiring this post (whether she knows it or not). Thanks, Gina!
As I’ve said on here before, North Carolina is my “original” home. My parents were born and raised in the state, although in different regions, and met in college at UNC. I was born close to my dad’s hometown and lived in another town called Kernersville when I was young. We made our first move to metro Atlanta when I was 5 years old. Even though we haven’t lived in North Carolina since the late 90s, my parents’ families are still here, and we visit several times a year.
My family moved back and forth between metro Atlanta and the Philadelphia suburbs three times. Most of my childhood memories are rooted in metro Atlanta, especially from our second stint there. Even though we’ve lived in Pennsylvania the longest–nine years next July, ew–I’ve always told people that Atlanta is home. We really didn’t think we’d be in Pennsylvania for longer than five years, as we’d never stayed in one place for any longer. And yet, we’re still there.
Now I’m back in North Carolina for grad school. I was excited to move back because I knew I’d be closer to my grandparents and extended family, not to mention good barbecue. But since I’ve been back, my pride in my “original” home state has blossomed and I feel like I’m falling in love with it all over again. The Piedmont region has so much to offer, from cities and larger towns like Raleigh, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem, beautiful wineries and parks, natural scenery, food festivals, holiday events, traditions, charm, and everything in between. I feel like I could drive around the Triad for hours and never run out of new places and things to explore. Not to mention North Carolina beaches are to die for (not that I’m anywhere close to a beach, but I’m much closer than I was before).
I used to say that I wanted to go back to Atlanta as soon as possible. My “plan” all throughout undergrad was to finish college and grad school, find a job in Atlanta, and go back. But now that I’ve been back in North Carolina for several months, what’s the rush? The Triad area, and even Charlotte a little farther south, have just as many opportunities for me job wise as Atlanta would. Lately I’ve thought that I’ll stay in this area for a few years after grad school, just to get on my feet, get started in the working world, and then go onward to Atlanta, or maybe even Nashville.
And who knows, maybe once my parents finish building their lake house down here, I won’t want to be too far away.
Maybe I don’t have to go back to Atlanta to go home. Maybe I’m already here. I’ve got time to decide.
Where’s home for you?