Tony's View: Kathy
Ah, the itch to live away from home! We've been scratching it since mankind evolved. Without it, the human race might never have made it out of Eastern Africa. Even when we'd rather not leave, history is likely to give us a push. A significant percentage of the world's population has always been immigrants, expatriates, refugees. Sometimes, you don't even have to leave home; it can leave you. Just ten years ago, you may recall, the Soviet Union, the planet's largest confederation of States, simply disappeared.
What does it mean to have home slip away from you - or to slip away from home? What's it like for months, or years, to eat another's bread, learn another's ways, live and work in a new language while thinking and dreaming in the old? We're going to look at some of the many ways people choose - and are chosen - to live abroad.
When I was six I left home with my family to live in Mexico. The reasons were political. It was the time of the Red Scare, in the '50s, and my father was a leftist. We became part of that class of expatriates traveling not for their government, but from it. We returned to the States after five years, but not entirely. Mexico was the land of my childhood and I carry it in my bones. I learned to think and dream in Spanish there and, to this day, Mariachi music moves me far more deeply than any American tune. But Mexico also taught me that, no matter how hard you try, you can never completely belong to another land. In spite of my fluency and my passion to be as Mexican as my friends, I always lived a little on the outside. I came back, but for many, the expatriate life can become the only life, always moving on, further and further from home. Perhaps for no one more so than a little girl I knew in Mexico, named Kathy...
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