Going Back Home

Trinidad - vew from 17 072813Home. The word has so many different meanings for so many people. It’s challenging if you’ve lived in more than one place and downright confusing if you’re an immigrant, like me. Though my mother gave birth to me in Georgetown, Guyana, we moved to Trinidad when I was five, and I spent most of my formative years in that country. At sixteen and a half, I headed off the college to the University of Guelph in Canada. There, I met and married my Dutch-born husband. We lived in various parts of Canada for over seven years before moving to Trinidad.

My kids were born in Trinidad and Tobago and we spent fourteen incredible years there before, once again, changing countries. To date, we’ve lived in Florida for thirteen years. As I write this blog, I am back home.So where is home? I’ve come to believe it’s where your parents lived during your formative years. I am blessed to have my mother with me still, but I wonder if Trinidad will still be home when the inevitable happens.

My three boys are divided on the subject. They spent every summer while we were in Florida in Trinidad. They have friends here as do we, yet, for them home is Florida. And as for my poor hubby, he calls both Canada and Trinidad home. Truth be told, he’s way more Trinidadian than I’ll ever be. He took to Trini like a duck to water.

I haven’t been back to Trinidad in ten years and the changes are incredible. The country is not the one I remember and I feel like a stranger. So, have I come home? Or is that definition changing?

Where’s your home?




P.S. The pic is of the view from my mom’s home and the house where I lived in my early teens.

9 thoughts on “Going Back Home

  1. Jianne,
    Your experience caught my eye, because I have not been “home,” since 1989. I was born and raised in the Republic of Panama and moved to the USA to attend college. The last time I was in Panama, was a difficult period, because it was during the US invasion of Panama to capture General Noriega (“Operation Just Cause”).

    My parents still live there, so I receive updates all the time on how much the Capital City, has changed. I would be afraid to drive there, now. But, I do miss it, the people, sounds, smells and sights. In fact, having been away for so long, has made me realize what a unique experience I had and made me treasure it more, because there are only 3 million Panamanians in the world.


    • I didn’t realize Panamanians (correct ?) numbered so little, Michelle. You should try to go back. The Trinidad I’ve met this trip is not the one I left 13 years ago. The changes are both positive and negative, and, like you, I would be afraid to drive here now. No rules of the road are observed.


      • My wish is to go back with my Hubby, so he can meet my family that is still there. So, we’re saving our pennies for that day. 🙂

        Trinidad is so beautiful. I’m sorry that it, too, has been overtaken by crazy traffic.


  2. I’ve often had this same debate. I was born in Michigan – where the majority of my family (immediate and extended) still live. However, I spent my sixth grade year (and every summer for years thereafter) on the east coast before returning to Michigan, only to move to Colorado a few years later. I haven’t actually lived in Michigan since I was fourteen. My husband has never lived anywhere but Arkansas. It’s where his family lives and where we raised our kids. Michigan is my birthplace and the home of my parents. Colorado owns my formative years..and my heart. When I say home, it could be Michigan, Colorado or my current home in Arkansas. I have ties – roots – in all those places. Great post, Jianne! I’d love to see more of your pictures!


  3. I think it’s wonderful Jianne that home can mean so many places and that you have many homes. For me, it’ll always be Toronto, the place I was raised. And with its many ethnicities, exciting restaurants and quaint neighborhoods, it’s always fun to visit. And yet I love travelling and find my home in many other places around the world: Mexico, England, USA. I guess it’s fun being a bit of a nomad sometimes too.


    • I was born with itchy feet, Rosanna. When you grow up on a 60×40 island, the first thing you want to do is get off 🙂

      I love Toronto, too. It’s a beautiful, cosmopolitan city, and Canadians are downright one of the friendliest people on the planet. Toronto’s cleanliness always amazes me. The city sparkles.


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