I made eye contact with the man in the aisle seat, as he nodded and stood up so I could squeeze past him on the packed plane.
I was elated to escape Manitoba for reading week. Not that I don’t love the prairies, but a change of scenery is always welcomed, especially with how cold winter had been.
I was making a mental note of all the places I wanted to visit while out west, when the same aisle man asked me a question. “Are you going home? ”
I smiled, then paused for a moment. I honestly didn’t know how to answer. I was born and raised in Manitoba, my family is all still there, and I’ve always thought of it as my home base. But after spending so many years in Alberta, something strange had been happening after leaving the mountains last summer: I had started to feel homesick for a place I never thought I’d think of as home.
For so many years my life was in Alberta. I had made friends, gone to school there, worked there, and pictured raising a family there. Manitoba always gave me that warm, familiar feeling when I came home for visits, one that normally lasted as I visited with friends and family I hadn’t seen in months.
Manitoba had family and history, while Alberta had friends and a life I had built up over the years.
After running all this through my head, I looked at the kind man seated on the plane beside me, and said “I’m not really sure.”
How do you know where to call home, if you don’t know where your heart is?