A few months ago, I moved from Miami to my childhood hometown of Richmond, Virginia. I had lived in Miami and surrounding areas for the past eight years, and had always said that I would never consider moving back to Virginia.
But, contrary to that statement, things seemed to align themselves for me to return. And within just a month of the idea, I had found an apartment there. Touring it for the first time, I looked up at the high ceilings, the granite countertops, the beautiful hardwood floors… “This is how much per month?” I asked the realtor. For the price of this apartment, I would have had to pay double, or quite possibly triple, back in Miami.
The main draw to Richmond, however, wasn’t the cheap rent (though that certainly helped). It was my sisters. Growing up, my family moved from place to place endlessly, often with little warning. It never bothered me all that much, largely due to the fact that I didn’t have to worry about missing my friends – all of my sisters moved with me.
But when I first moved away from home, to go to university, my sisters didn’t come with me. And through the years, I continued the nomadic, fluid-housing lifestyle that my parents had, moving from state to state and in and out of dozens of different apartments. My sisters, for the most part, stayed in Richmond. I would fly home to see them and feel that I had returned to the past.
I wondered, flying into Richmond, if I would feel in any way that I was “coming home.” I had spent most (but definitely not all) of my childhood in Virginia, after all.
Instead, I felt that Richmond was for the most part a new city, for me to rediscover. But the fact that I could call my sister Blair and be out at coffee with her ten minutes later, or that I could walk to my sister Brynn’s house in five minutes, was a revelation for me. I think that when we were little kids, planning our grown-up futures, this is what we imagined.
My search for the word home was further complicated by the fact that I was preparing for a long trip overseas, and potentially full-time travel after that.
I decided that it wasn’t Richmond that was my home, or Miami – though if I had to give a place, it’d be one of those two. Home was with people.
watch my video about moving from Miami to Richmond on my Youtube channel.