Today is Independence Day in Trinidad and Tobago. The land of my birth. Sweet T&T. Something was said on television tonight by a university student that resonated with me. When asked if he would migrate, he said (to paraphrase) that it seems like an attractive thing to do, but this is my country and I love it. Wow. I thought to myself, “hey, that’s exactly how I feel!”

Parlatuvier, Tobago

Though many of my relatives live in various parts of the world, migrating was something I never really wanted to do. Even as 9 year old child vacationing in New Jersey at the time, when asked by my older cousin if I would like to live there, my response was, “No, I like where I live.”

I really don’t know what prompted me to respond like that at such a young age, having seen the best of both worlds and believe me it was wonderful and like nothing I’d ever seen before.

It’s not that I had the most exciting childhood or life…or that I sat in the lap of luxury, it is just something deep within that screams: “this is where I belong.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling to new countries. I may even enjoy an extended stay from time to time. I love the cool temperatures of northern California and that feeling like you’ve stepped into a magazine. I love the tram cars in San Francisco and the rolling hills and how it reminds me of when my Dad used to talk about travelling on the ones back home in the olden days.

I love the skyscrapers and magical feel of New York City…I love the wonderful ‘burbs and friendliness of the people in Jersey and Dallas. And I love the romanticism of England that just makes everything seem jolly good!

But this right here, is where my heart is. I will always return. I have to admit that the roads are crappy and customer service sucks. There aren’t the many attractions, variety and affordable shopping as in the big cities, but I feel at home and it’s liberating. I love the culture, food and music and seeing and hearing the familiar faces and voices of my family and friends whenever I want. I love feeling loved and appreciated.

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authentic dirt oven, St. Joseph, Trinidad

I love being in the home I grew up in and remembering the good times spent with my parents. I like being able to get lost and find my way while learning more about my country. I love that I still have much more to explore! (believe it or not).

I love driving my car onto the fast ferry or hopping on a plane and having a margarita or beer on the beach upon landing with my older brother…listening to karaoke and soaking in the sun, sand and sea in the sister isle of Tobago with my old friends.

Most of all, I love connecting with kindred souls with whom I share a deep affinity. I love that my true blue friends always check for me even if waters or distance separates us…or if we just got into a huge or petty fight over great big things or nothing at all.

I LOVE this land of mine! And I won’t trade it for the world! May God bless and preserve our precious nation for many more independence days to come!!

Peace, Love & Unity

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