Why do certain places become “our” places while others are like empty rooms we simply glide through without forming an attachment? Is it the places themselves which leave an imprint on our minds or is it the people and memories which fill those places?

I started to ask myself these questions after a friend asked me if I identify more with Poland, my place of birth or my homeland of over twenty years, Canada. I came to the realization that while both are vital to who I am and I am eternally grateful for the blessings I have received from both, it is difficult to say that I identify with one more than the other. This begs the question; does the length of time spent in a given place determine the level of attachment?

I like to think that “my place” is someplace itinerant which I can bring with me wherever I go. It’s a space within which I can place all the people who I care about and carry that space with me without letting it weigh me down.

In the film “Up in the Air” the lead character Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney, speaks  of human  attachments being baggage which inevitably weigh you down and don’t allow you the freedom  to do as you wish in life. Leading an empty life, void of the components, such as friends and family, which Ryan equates to “baggage”, leaves him with the illusion of fulfilment in constant travel without the burden of attachment. Ryan say’s “The slower we move the faster we die”, in reference to be being slowed down by the holds of attachment, I have to disagree with Ryan. What is life without human connection and finding meaning in our interactions with others? These bonds are the very essence of what it means to be alive.

As much as I love to be afloat and travel abroad from place to place in search of one call “my place”. The place I feel most connected to is wherever I am at any given moment knowing that all those I care for are with me from a distance. Without people, no place can ever be “my place” in this world.