One of the first questions people ask us when we come off the field from Romania is, "how does it feel to be home?" We're not the only missionaries who get this question. We just returned from a conference with about fifty other missionaries, and they all bemoaned receiving this same question.
For many, the issue of this question lies in the problematic defining of the word "home." When so many of your greatest and most recent memories have been made in another country - and when so many close bonds have been made with those working beside you - "home" isn't such an easy place to identify. Home isn't simply the place you've lived in the longest, though that may help to make a place home. Home can also be the place in which you have experienced the greatest joys and pains. It is possible, then, to not really have a home, or to have more than one home.
But having been on the field only a little over two years, this notion of dual homes hasn't been my biggest issue with the common question posed to me. My issue is not so much that I like some other place more, but that I like this place much less. Now this isn't some anti-American article, though those who are uber-patriotic may see any critique of or displeasure with the United States as anti-American. Instead of being unpatriotic, I am hopeful that my view is simply realistic. And really, more than a critique of the United States, I believe my experience is more a critique of myself.