Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

There's no place like home

In Guilin China, studying Mandarin, my girlfriend says, “We are SO far from home!”

Seems to be an obvious statement, so I was surprised I disagreed.

Why didn’t I feel far from home? It took me a while to realize:

No one place feels like home. Home is wherever I’m sleeping that night.

When people ask where I’m from, I don’t know how to answer. I’m not really from any one place.

Though I was born in California, we moved to England when I was 5. Then Chicago, and I’ve been moving around ever since. Boston, New York City, Woodstock, Portland, Santa Monica, London, Seattle.

No one place got my allegiance. They’re all home.

I’m officially a “Person of Indian Origin”. Currently a legal resident of Singapore, New Zealand, and Belgium. Now where is home, again?

Someone once asked what I’m running from. When you sit in your kitchen, are you running from your living room? They’re all just rooms in your house. You sit in them at different times for different needs.

Imagine living a few years each in Melbourne, Reykjavík, Panama, Vienna, Cambridge, Kyoto, Kerala, Curitiba, and Jerusalem. Long enough so that each place feels like home. Eventually you can spin the globe, and feel connected to all parts.

Maybe this background keeps me from getting too attached to any one mindset.

Any time you move to a new place, you learn some new things and unlearn some others. It keeps you from feeling you’re right and others are wrong. It keeps the brain in constant circulation.

No one place feels like home.

Derek Sivers and friends