We are expats and nomads. We are products of multiple countries. We run away from places that don’t feel quite right, only to never find where we belong. These stories celebrate the journey of returning to (or discovering) our roots, and the elusive, ever-evolving concept of home.

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1. “A Lone Star Story.” (Chris Colin, AFAR, February 2013)

Chris Colin traces his roots to Silverton, West Texas, learning the history of his family and this tiny town—a “lone survivor” among the decline of American cities.

2. “Dividing the Kingdom.” (Pico Iyer, Granta, April 2012)

On a trip back to England, Pico Iyer muses on Oxford, then and now—a place that is “wonderful so long as you don’t expect to find reality there.”

3. “The Year We Came Home.” (Simone Gorrindo, Vela, November 2011)

Back in California and in the wake of her grandmother’s death, Simone Gorrindo unexpectedly eases into a rhythm with her family—and for once, feels she is right where she belongs.

4. “On Not Going Home.” (James Wood, London Review of Books, February 2014)

“In America, I crave the English reality that has disappeared.” James Wood on the Durham he once knew, exile and homelessness, and the difference between “home” and “Home.”

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Photo: amarilloposters, Flickr

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.