By Diya Dwarankanath
Even the global citizen has a special place they associate with home. If you disagree, I recommend reading the short story, A Cosmopolitan in a Café, by the American author, O’Henry. In this piece of literature, a man, endearingly named by the narrator as a “cosmopolitan”, claims to have no piddling feelings for any one place; he says “It’ll be a better world when we quit being fools about some mildewed town or ten acres of swampland just because we happened to be born there.” But just when you, the reader, perhaps start to feel guilty for being sentimental for your own hometown, the cosmopolitan gets in a brawl over a negative remark said about his own birthplace in Maine. O’Henry’s fictional account inspired me to write about a recent family road trip.
Your hometown, home state, or home country means something to you. Often the meaning is small, but distinct – like the fresh smell of the soil when it rains, unique to my home state, Oregon. Actually, I’ve lived in two countries, India and the United States, and three states in America—Oregon, California, and Massachusetts. Whenever I move, people always ask me, “Where do you come from?” and “What’s it like back home?” Answering these questions make me more aware of my roots.
And more aware of what I am missing.
When my family moved to Oregon, one of the first things I remember learning about American life is that families went on road trips. Oregonian families specifically went on road trips to Crater Lake, one of the most famous attractions in Oregon. My friends told me about the road trips they took there, but that it was a multi-day commitment. As a child, I insisted that my family should go, but the timing never worked out.