Within 2 minutes of gringos meeting for the first time in San Miguel, the question arises, “Do you live here?”  The answers range from, “Yes, I’ve lived here full-time for twelve years, “ to “No, we’re just visiting.”  For us, though, the question is hard to answer.

We don’t live here in the sense of planning to stay forever, or owning property, or having a long-term lease, like so many of the people we meet.   We don’t get any bills here, and our apartment, which is located below a hostel, is a temporary home.  But then again, everything is temporary for us right now and for the next 15 months or so.  After leaving Ireland in June, we didn’t spend more than 6 weeks in any location until we came to Mexico, and now that we’ve been in this country for around 4 months, it’s as much home as any place.

Sure, we do sometimes talk about the way things will be when we “go home,” and we mean go back to America.  What’s confusing is that while we’re likely to return to live in Oregon when we go back in a little over a year, we doubt we will return to Corvallis.  It was recently ranked as one of the top ten overpriced housing markets in the country, and we can’t afford to live there.  So, we think we’ll end up in Bend, Oregon, on the other side of the Cascade Range, where houses can be found for around 40% what they cost in Corvallis, and it’s sunny almost 300 days out of the year (Ireland ruined the rain for us).  So Corvallis was home but probably won’t be again, and Bend is a place we’ve never lived in, though we plan to, which makes it hard to really think of either as home.  I guess that means San Miguel is home.