Migrations

My Parents’ Country Doesn’t Exist. I Moved There Anyway.

I was enjoying what exists of this place today—be it Croatia or Yugoslavia—without the need for comparison.

Dec 08, 2021
Before You Leave for Bulgaria

My husband’s grandfather wrote an immigration guide called “Before You Leave for America.” We could have used one in reverse—for moving to Bulgaria.

Dec 06, 2021
Immigrating From Yugoslavia Was a Struggle and a Privilege—Both Can Be True

As her family saw it, my mother’s life in London was one of comfort. But she also struggled. Both of these things were true.

Nov 29, 2021
For Me, “Home” Is Never Present—Only Ever in the Past

Though no place is home upon arrival, I make it my home by the time I leave.

Nov 18, 2021
In 1990; Butler, Pennsylvania

Time amplifies division; I fear that we’re never going to be a big family again, that my newborn son will never consider his cousins to be siblings like I did.

Nov 16, 2021
Finding Home in Ten Days in Goiânia, Brazil

At home, in Goiânia, I didn’t have to be Brazilian; I could just be me.

Nov 09, 2021
Searching for My Parallel Life in Vietnam

What might have happened if we had stayed?

Nov 03, 2021
Reaching for My Family—And My French Not-Husband

Comforting each other is more natural when we’re physically present, which is what the pandemic made it impossible for my not-husband to be.

Oct 20, 2021
Longing for the Netherlands, Stroopwafels, and the Real Thing

We don’t crave the things we’re close to, even if they’ve shaped us into who we are.

Oct 14, 2021
Facing Crises—and Mosquitoes—at Home in Osaka

If you’re looking at something, you don’t know where it’s going; if you know where it’s going, you don’t know where it is.

Sep 28, 2021
No Place Like Home: How Nostalgia Paints Over Violent Histories

In class we’d learned the Australian flag was blue to represent the sky and ocean both, our collective identity shaped by that constant hue.

Sep 21, 2021
The Next Stop Is: Brighton Beach

I love our Little Odessa because it is the closest approximation to a home I will never really know.

When Your Country Calls You an Alien

Sometimes, the word “belonging” feels more apt when snapped into two: be longing.

Oct 07, 2020
The Champawat Tiger

“The borders don’t even matter,” Kartik said. “The British just made them up.”

Aug 04, 2020
What I Carry in My Bag of American Dreams

When we decided to immigrate to the US from Iran, I thought I was ready to face any possible hard times ahead—but there was still so much I had to learn about living.

Jul 21, 2020
For My Immigrant Parents, a Vacation Is a Reprieve from Labor—for Me, It’s a Time to Work

My parents wanted to give me opportunities that they never had, to let me participate in bizarre American rites of passage.

Nov 21, 2019
Where Once Were Qilin: Return to Nanjing

What did it mean that now both the villages and the qilin were gone? This portal to the ancestors gone forever.

Oct 16, 2019
Why Do Borders and Passports Dictate What Country I Get to Call Home?

The contours of a border become a lot less rigid when you carry what are deemed to be the right documents.

Sep 19, 2019
Tailoring My Clothes, Fitting into My Life in America

My idea of home had changed, so I took the symbolic step of finding a new tailor—marking Philadelphia as a place that now fit me right, too.

How I Find Home in the Persian Poetry of Hafez

Home means that you’re anchored in something deeper than second-hand nostalgia, that you miss your country because it is a part of you.

Jun 12, 2019