As of November 1, 2016, I am officially homeless. Three days ago, my movers came to pick up my furniture and belongings. I am left with a backpack, a duffel bag and one medium-sized luggage to cover my needs and a few conveniences for the next few months. My travel itinerary includes seven countries, eight time zones and fifteen cities.
It feels strange not having a mailing address. Before this month, I could tell anyone where I was born, where I grew up, where I went to college, and where I spent most of my career. Now when people ask me where I'm from, I truly can't answer that question.
Being a voracious reader as a child, I had a quite an imagination. I dreamed about being a swashbuckling pirate sailing the seven seas, an astronaut exploring the universe or a whimsical gypsy wandering from place to place. The nomadic lifestyle was a common theme growing up. My family moved at least ten times before I turned eighteen; thus, I quickly learned to adapt to a new place and make new friends quickly. This migratory lifestyle didn't change even after I graduated from high school. From 2004-2010, I changed addresses five times. Eventually, being in one place for more than a few years made me uncomfortable.
As much as I yearned to have childhood friends or be a longtime "local", I was still fascinated with the thought of location independence. There was so much of the world to see, but I was still being held back. My LA roommate brought the issue up two months ago because it seemed less likely I would settle. Six weeks ago, I decided to let go of the last thing holding me back, my apartment. For the last six months, I was in LA for a grand total of 6 weeks. For the next four months, I will be in LA for less than 3 weeks. Paying more than $20,000 for a little over two months in the city didn't make a lot of sense. Imagine what I could do if I didn't have to pay rent. I could be writing my novel in Bali or starting my own business. By letting go of a physical location, those dreams have become reality.
California will always be home. It's not only where I made my career, but it's also where I met some of the most amazing and inspiring people in my life. Home was never a place but a community of people I aspire to be and draw inspiration from. In California, whether it was San Francisco or Los Angeles, somebody actually noticed when I was no longer there.
Perhaps one day I will become a local again. Until that day, the world is now my home.