Growing up it was pretty easy to assume my small town of Berryville was basically the center of the universe. As a little kid (well, even now) its sometimes unfathomable that there’s a big, wide world beyond your little front yard. In time and with travel it became pretty clear pretty quick that wasn’t actually the case. Most people outside of a 30-mile radius had never heard of my sleepy throwback town.
So when I travel – either out of state or abroad – my response to the ever-present “where are you from?” usually becomes something like “close to Washington” with a careful point to not use DC as many foreigners aren’t familiar with that. Over the years, Washington became the big catch-all when describing my background, instilling in me far more street cred and cool than my small town roots deserve.
But in a way, I do consider Washington, DC my home. DC has always been my unofficial first choice for US life. When I was in college, I was always gearing up to return to the city with some impressive-sounding job. Even now when the Russky and I contemplate living in the States, DC is always number one. I can navigate the (infuriatingly slow) metro system. My friends are there. It’s the nation’s capital, for god’s sake! When I think of settling down in America, I’m thinking of the busy streets of DC, not the sedate pace of country living.
So no, Washington, DC is not my home. But for all intents and purposes: close enough.