Where are you from? A question I get asked all the time and that I’ve come to dread because until now, I hadn’t found a response that was less than two minutes long.
I was born in Bombay India. Thanks to my father’s career as an international banker, we moved a lot -Madras, Cochin, Beirut Lebanon, Bangalore, Calcutta, Bombay, London, UK, Hong Kong.
The nomadic lifestyle continued for me once I left home – Massachusetts, New York City, Stamford CT, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Auckland New Zealand, New York City, Stamford CT, and now Skagit Valley, WA – at last count 45 different homes. It tires me to just write the list, leave only narrating it to someone I’ve just met.
So, when I came across this Ted Talk by author Taiye Selasi, I was captivated. She says “don’t ask me where I’m from but where I’m a local” The reframing of the question opens up a fresh dimension and a marvelous opportunity for a meaningful exchange.
The next time I’m asked where I’m from, I’ll be replying I’m a local of Bombay, Hong Kong, New York City and Skagit Valley – what a kaleidoscope of life experiences!