Away I Go!

In a small manilla envelope, I have two dark blue booklets. Under the front cover of one reads: citizen of the United States. In the second, similar words: an Australian citizen. The slight discrepancy in those titles makes all the difference.

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 . . . )

2 thoughts on “Away I Go!

  1. Zoe,

    Thanks for telling this story and for your transparency. I know that you will never forget this trip and that you will take away lessons that will shape the rest of your life!

    You are right that your true citizenship is in heaven. That is the real answer. But you have also endeared yourself to people both in the United States and down under! You are considered family wherever you go!

    We at Prison Fellowship, in Washington D.C. and all the way out in Oregon!

    Safe travels, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    In Him,

    Mark Hubbell

  2. Oh how our family related to this one! We suspect you at least sound entirely American (no Aussie accent) which would at least limit the questioning…Kate is often mistaken for being American, and with Joshua traces of a Canadian accent are still dectable.
    When we lived in Canada I often referred to Phil 3:20. It gave a good sense of belonging when so often our family doesn’t. It brings to mind the song; “this world is not my home, I’m just passing through” and I think it was Larry Norman who sang one about “I’m just visiting this planet”. Perhaps being in our multi-national situation is a positive thing…it helps us to keep this life in perspective. It’s really not about this life on earth, but where our life really is, with Christ in the heavenlies….for which Christ Himself provided the passport.
    Joshua directed me to your blog yesterday and I have been enjoying reading your PF articles and tales of your travels. I understand why you pursued a career in writing!
    Looking forward to seeing you next month!

Leave a Reply