I travel all over the country for a living. I have literally seen every corner of the country in the last 4 weeks and am always grateful to get back to Texas. Sleep in my own bed, kiss my boys and my wife goodnight and wrestle with the dogs. However, back to back trips to California and New York have definitively proved for me that Texas is not home and it probably never will be.
You can take the boy out of Cali but you can never take the Cali out of the boy
I am currently on a plane from New York City back to DFW. Over the last 10 days I have spent time in San Diego for a convention, Orange County for nearly a week with my family visiting my in-laws and the last few days in New York City. I may own a house in Texas but it is clear that home is on the Pacific. How can I tell? Simple:
Your heart literally aches when you get off the plane:
When I first landed in San Diego, one of the first things I saw was the apartment community where I was first a leasing manager at some 20 years ago. I immediately had memories of late night dinners with my wife, surfing the California coast on Dog Beach before I even thought about owning a dog and commuting back and forth past Sea World every day for next to nothing in pay…and desperately longing to go back to those days. Even though I have lived in Seattle, San Francisco, Denver and now Dallas, nowhere else makes me feel like this.
You are willing to drive an hour for 90 minutes on the beach:
On my family’s last day in Orange County, we had an afternoon flight. After breakfast with GiGi (Great-grandma) it was a unanimous decision to drive an hour to spend the last 90 minutes of our vacation on Laguna Beach. Truth be told, it was not even a decision with my crazy family. If we can get sand between our toes, sun on our back and the taste of salt on our lips, we are in. To do this on the beach where my wife and I were maried, no brainer.
You are not willing to do the same anywhere else:
I routinely find myself in Florida on the beautiful East Coast and I even routinely take late even flights after morning meetings to spend time running on either Fort Lauderdale or South Beach. However if I only have 90 minutes, I am probably heading to the Admiral’s Club. 90 minutes is not enough time for it to be worth it for me to deal with the sand and the salt if I am on the East Coast. Same 90 minutes in SoCal? I am researching where I can rent a surfboard by the hour before I arrive.
The final proverbial nail in the coffin for this self-realization that California will always be home was the last two days in New York City. I found myself in the heart of Manhattan, the City that never sleeps. A place where people from all around the world mingle in a beautiful melting pot. I spent time visiting Rockefeller Center, running through Times Square and Central Park enjoying the city but all I really wanted to do was head back to Texas. When we were getting ready to leave California, all I could do was think of ways to stay.
So while you can live anywhere, I think we all really do have a home. Mine will always be Southern California.