In the past year and a half I have journeyed extensively and restlessly through a dozen cities to catch up with and interview old friends and their friends, to find out what home meant for them, in the context of their geographical mobility and quite often transnational identities.
The one common feature amongst all these friends was that they were what I would call young mobile persons – persons, at most forty-ish years of age, single or partnered but (mostly) with no children, and who had lived away from their places of birth at some point in their lives in order to enjoy better economic or educational opportunities, a better quality of life or simply a new and exciting experience. They were a small subset of the world’s mobile population, but nonetheless, a swiftly growing one.
In each city, I played the role of an itinerant wanderer-jester, returning to rouse these latter-day nomads from their contented torpor with my bag of tricks – shared experiences, incendiary anecdotes, and above all, (seemingly) innocent questions about home and about cities that were actually deeper interrogations on Life and their Place in it; on Dreams and their Interpretation…
Through the course of this blog, many of these innocent questions, remarks made against these questions, and the conclusions I drew from them, will appear, alongside other spontaneous, on-going observations about the world-at-large and home-at-large.
The purpose is to do justice to the richness of the grand narratives of Home and Mobility each of my interviewees had constructed, and also to further my own exploration on the topic, which continues to fascinate and perplex in equal measure.