Global nomad, third culture kid, missionary kid...which ever label is applied is inconsequential--they all fit. The point is I grew up without roots. Where I was born, where I was raised and where I now live are all geographically and culturally different. I am a believer in the "bloom where you're planted" philosophy (mix that with a little Jesusism, Taoism and Mother Earthism and there you have my core beliefs). However, even with embracing the nomad within, there's always been a part of me that wants a place to stand and say with firm conviction, "This, right here, is where I'm from."
My parents are buying a house on this side of the ocean. Not super close, but same state--which by our standards is "right next door". Though there are no plans to retire any time soon they felt the timing...housing market...was right so they've gone ahead and done it. No, it still doesn't give me roots. What it does give me, beyond a really sweet vacation home, is more family close by.
The greatest lesson I've ever learned is that family, above all, is most important. It doesn't matter to me that I don't have a home town--that's just geography. What does matter, however, is that I have a family that loves and accepts me unconditionally. We don't always agree, we don't always get along--and sometimes we don't get along rather loudly--but I cannot think of a single instance when some member of my family wasn't there for me when I needed them. And that's pretty impressive for a family that's been scattered over, at times, three continents for the past 30 some years.