Where Are You From?

I get this question a lot.

One, because when you live in a multi-cultural city like Chicago, no one actually is from Chicago. Two, when you’re a frequent traveler, it’s a natural ice breaker when meeting people. Three, when you look multi-cultural yourself and often gets mistaken as one nationality after another.

But how can a simple answer require such a complicated answer from me?

Where are you from?

If I’m vacationing in Miami, then I’m from Chicago. I can say now, right?

If you ask me in Chicago, then I’m from Connecticut.

If you ask me at some far flung place in the world where no one knows Connecticut, then I’m from New York. (True story. Happens all the time.)

Or did you mean where I was born? Then that would be the Philippines.

Thankfully, the question isn’t “What are you?”, which requires a more complicated answer if you want to go into details of my family background. I’ve been asked that question too.

Now I can only imagine what other people with a much more complex background have to say. In all honesty, I think that’s the beauty of it. I would rather have a complicated answer than a plain one. But then again, I am one complicated woman.


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Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created JetsettingJen as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.