It seems like a simple question, but it’s deceptive. What are they really asking? Where were we born? Where do we come from? When? Today? Yesterday? Two weeks ago? Two years ago? Where did we grow up? Where did we spend the most time living? There are many ways of answering this question.
The location of where you are from also varies. I’m from the Seattle area. I can say Mukilteo and people familiar with the area will nod knowingly, thinking of summer ferry rides and eating clams on the beach. If I tell people in Israel I’m from Mukilteo, they want to call a doctor. So I tell them I’m from Washington and they want to know if I know the President. I explain it’s the other Washington.
I search for landmarks to help them understand where I was born and raised. Recently I say I’m from Seattle and they recognize that name from the WTO riots. When that doesn’t work, I explain that I live between California and Canada or California and Alaska. That usually narrows it down…for them. For a long time I could say I grew up next to the Boeing Airplane Plant in Everett where 747 airplanes are made in a factory which claims to be the largest building in the world on one floor. Now, I tell them I grew up next door to Bill Gates. The light bulbs pop on and they understand. It’s not completely true, but I lived as close to Bill Gates as California is to Washington State.
Still, the question of “where are you from” still isn’t quite answered by telling them where I was born and raised. I’ve spent much of my life traveling and since we hit the road traveling full-time, I want to be sure I answer the question correctly. Six months ago we were from Seattle, two months ago we were in Florida, one month ago we were in Arizona, two weeks ago we were in Colorado, and this week we are in Texas, but next week we are going to Arkansas and in two months we’ll be in Alaska and in six months we’ll probably be back in Florida. A couple years later, Israel is home. A year ago, North Carolina was home. You see the answer changes almost daily.
Brent finally came up with the “correct” answer to this complicated question. It is now the title for the book about our traveling life. Ask us where we are from and you will hear:
We travel so much sometimes we can’t even figure out where we are. To keep everyone up to date with where we are and where we’ve been, and maybe where we are going, we have put together some maps and list of locations for you to track us. No matter where we are there are several ways to track us down.
Phone (USA): 918-492-9667 message phone checked weekly
Phone (Israel): (calling from the USA dial 011 then) 972-3-696-1890
Brent and Lorelle VanFossen
11320 East 32nd Street
Tulsa, OK 74146 USA
In Mobile, Alabama (as of December 2005):
Brent and Lorelle VanFossen
Shady Acres Campground
2500 Old Military Road Lot 46
Mobile, AL 36605 USA
Temporary Telephone: 251-479-0759