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Old Today, 10:39 AM
Location: New Mexico
6,729 posts, read 3,738,646 times
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I left my hometown (a city) as a 20-something in 1976 but I still hold that place as my hometown. I will be buried there in a family plot. I have friends and relatives there. I cheer for those sports teams. I visit every couple of years. There is an unconditional relationship with the place. If asked, I always say that is where I'm from.

I next lived in a small town for 35 years a couple of hours away. It was a good place to live. My daughter was born and raised there. I was there for almost all of my married life. My wife died there. I made friends there that I still have. I visit occasionally. I think I always knew at some level that I would not live my entire life in that town so I was probably more like a long-term transient although most of my life was there as well as my career. There were no real anchors for me to stay there permanently after I retired and some aspects that tended to drive me away. My ties were not unconditional.

I have since moved 1000 miles to a new larger town with a wildly different culture, climate, and geography. My daughter (now grown) has since moved to this same town. (Visited and liked it.) I have a new batch of friends and activities. I have largely embraced the culture and the whole environment. I am an enthusiastic transplant here and will probably always be a transplant. There are a lot of transplants here so that is not an unusual or difficult status to have.

My daughter has adopted my original hometown as her own in many ways because of my ties there (and her mother's) and family history. She never lived there but has very strong ties. Her actual connection to where she was born is mostly based on friendships and many of her friends have moved to other places. She grew up there and sees it a little different than I do. She has now adopted her current place with as much or more enthusiasm than I have and has established herself in a career and is quite settled in. Many of the people (not all) she works with are transplants like her.
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Old Today, 12:58 PM
844 posts, read 308,156 times
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A native is someone born and raised in a place. A transplant is someone who moved to the area. The only gray area is for small children but really it’s less gray and simply a modified transplant that is almost its own category (“moved when young and raised here”). They’d be the hybrid scenario I imagine, as most of their shared memories would be indistinguishable from a native, though their outlook on the area would be closer to a transplant’s.

One scenario mentioned in the op speaks to me. My dad grew up in a rural county on family land that had been their’s for over a century. He moved an hour east and I was born. I visited my grandparents’ farm for weeks at a time every summer. I spent one weekend a month there for years. I learned to drive on the back roads around there, I’ve seen cousins married there and family buried there, and went to more church homecomings than I could count. But I did not grow up there. If I moved there now, I’d be a transplant. One with roots, but still a transplant.
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Old Today, 04:31 PM
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Places vary in how welcoming they are to transplants. I've lived in one smaller city where you either were born there or you'll always be considered a transplant, and another that was similar, but if you moved as a small child, you'd be considered a native. So here is how I would break it down for more accepting places:

Born an Raised- This is pretty self explanatory.

Moved before starting school- This person moved somewhere where they will have few memories of living somewhere else. They grew up in the area. Any local sports triumphs, natural disasters/other tradgedies, or other significant local events affected them and will shape their knowledge of the place.

Local (Maybe the Grey area for the OP):
Moved to a place during their school years- Where to draw the line here is more difficult. There is obviously a difference between moving somewhere between Kindergarten and 1st grade and moving righ before your Jr year of HS. But that brings me to my next category

Lived in a place more than a decade- At this point, you have established firm roots in a place. Even that person that moved during high school, if you didn't consider them a local when they graduated, if they stick around another 8 years, they've taken a place as their home. Same thing for people who were originally transplants from somewhere else who came at an older age. If you stay a decade, you most likely are going to stick around. You might not have some of the history of the place, but you know the current city really well and you are invested in the city's future. You probably still cheer for the sports teams you grew up with if you follow sports, but you also keep up with the local teams (it's hard not to with all the local coverage). The local teams have become your "second-favorite" team. You cheer for them as long as they aren't playing the team you grew up cheering for. When you're out of town and someone asks you, "Where are you from?", you might say "I'm from X," or "I live in X," or "I'm originally from Y, but X is home now." (Where X is your adopted home and Y is where you grew up)

Longer-term Transplant (3-10 years)- They are starting to adopt to the city culture. They have established friendships with people in the new city. They are keeping up with friends from the old city less and less. They are comparing their new city to the old one less and less. They're starting to put down roots, but still considering opportunities in other places.

New Transplant (1-3 years)- Tied to friendships/relationships in your old city more than your new. Lots of visitors from your old city coming to see you. Still checking out a lot of tourist attractions in your new city (especially when guest are visiting). You compare things that were better in your old city (traffic, night life, noise, etc) to your new city frequently and are annoyed. Some love the new place, some are ambivalent, and some hate it. This may change over the first few years. Those that love it may find their rent goes up way faster than their salary, or that new romance that was going so well has now soured badly, and they now want to leave for greener pastures. Those that may have hated it initially now really like their jobs, have developed some closer friendships, or maybe their kids just seem really happy in the new city. By the end of 3 years, those that don't like it have already left or are actively planning to leave. Those that like it enough will stay and become longer term transplants.
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Old Today, 06:35 PM
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My wife moved here to the Charlotte area from the Boston area in 1988. Though she was born/raised in Boston, she feel as a native to Charlotte. So, I do think there are some grey areas.
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