Despite the glamorous connection I feel with Jason Bourne, the owning of two passports means that I belong to two nations. But sometimes I feel neither of them belong to me.
I have never felt comfortable answering the question, Where are you from? In Washington, DC, everyone asks everyone where they are from, because no one is actually from DC. Everyone is from somewhere else. It’s a simple question. It should elicit a simple response. But I stumble. Well, my family lives in Indiana, but I grew up all over the Midwest, and before that I lived in Australia. I was born there, actually.
But where am I from, really?
I don’t know.
Maybe that’s why I just did what no thinking person would ever do: I quit my job (in the middle of a worldwide recession, no doubt) to run to the underside of the world (to the place where toilets are supposed to flush backward, kangaroos are supposed to hop across the street, and crocodiles are supposed to roam free)—to figure out where I’m really from. To figure out whether I’m more America or more Australian. To figure out why I never quite feel like I’m home.
Maybe this uncertainty is actually a good thing. Paul, in Philippians 3:20, says, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior.” Maybe this tension I have always felt between my two nationalities points to the deeper tension—that I am both a citizen of this world, and a citizen of the world beyond.
So, I venture forth on a journey that will teach me more of this tension and more of my true citizenship. And perhaps pet a few kangaroos in the process.
(Stay tuned for more on my adventures Down Under . . . )