After twenty years away, I just moved back to my hometown. The move was not an easy one. Unlike my single days, I couldn’t simply find another apartment to rent, put my belongings in crates, and bribe my friends with beer to help me move. This move was far more complicated. Now I’m married with two kids, eight and five. We’d lived in our previous town for five years, most of our daughter’s life and all of our son’s life. That town was mostly what they knew.
PBS did a beautiful documentary on this phenomenon called The Voyage of the Lonely Sea Turtle. In a corresponding article, one of their scientists, Wallace J. Nichols wrote, “In the end, turtle real estate decisions are not too difficult for humans to understand. The determination to make an exhausting, risky journey through the territories of predators and the daunting unknown comes down to historical experience. If you were born on a beach, and it worked for your mom, it will work for you. Their strategy is to go back to the beach they were born. It’s been proven.”
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