In the picture: my grandmother and my mother in Vietnam.
Migration to me is rooted in my parent’s experience as migrants from Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. They arrived to the US and I was born shortly after, new to the world to parents new to a country. Growing up, there was always a family past I could never quite piece together in the right order and place, the politics of war and the family stories never really tangible while growing up in suburban America. The past felt like a foreign country I could almost wander through, holding up this or that remarkable memory and bringing it to new life. This sense of elsewhere and of trying to make the past cohesive, I believe, led me to work in different cities, study in different countries, and to change career paths. Migration to me is tied to a restlessness and a search for a home that is complete. After many years living in different cities in Europe, I recently returned home to Seattle where my mother and extended family live. My family have largely stayed in the same city, my many cousins have many kids, and there is a new generation. My wanderings and migrations have made each new place seem less foreign, my parents’ experiences more relatable, and somehow my childhood home, now, seems remarkably more like home.