When traveling you are constantly asked “where are you from?”. It’s practically the second half of saying hello. While in Central America, I gave two answers to this question. One: simply San Francisco. This was what I said when I didn’t want to go into detail. Everyone then automatically gushes about how they LOVE San Francisco, either having visited or sooo wanting to. Easy conversation. Two: I’m from Seattle, previously out of San Francisco, with unknown home when I return. This answer usually got a little more into the story of my life, but I feel is ultimately more true.
At the beginning of August, I spent two weeks in SF upon my Glorious Return to America bopping around between Music@Menlo and friends, all people who know me. No one was asking where I was from, just where I was going.
My second stop on the GRtA was Seattle where I met up with my Burning Man campmates before road tripping with them down to Nevada in our beloved art bus, the Hajj, for the burn. I didn’t know everyone in our group, so found myself being asked the usual get-to-know-you question: “where are you from?”. Suddenly surrounded by current Seattleites, I was struck that I didn’t feel I could say Seattle to them. They lived there, I didn’t. And San Francisco felt wrong too, as I had more than one foot out the door there and doubt I will return permanently. I realized that I’m technically homeless, with nothing but my car to really call my own space anymore. It’s both liberating and slightly embarrassing.
I stayed in Seattle just long enough to officially change my address to Washington State (thanks Mom!), so I do have a home at least according to the USPS.
Yesterday I left Seattle bound for southern California. My plan was to do the drive solo in three days, stopping for to sleep at Crater Lake for night one. But the turn off from I-5 wasn’t marked–or I missed it–so I just kept driving south. Unsure about where I would sleep, I pulled off at a rest stop for a nap at 11pm, which then turned into sleeping in my car the whole night technically on the side of the highway in the driver’s seat wrapped in a fleece blanket. I think I forgot to brush my teeth. Is this freedom, or am I turning more and more into the bum that I joke about being? One thing is for sure–it’s definitely trampy.