There's a scene from the movie Six Days and Seven Nights where a very drunken Harrison Ford (playing the part of the pilot Quinn) and Anne Heche (his very recent passenger, Robin) are having a conversation at the hotel bar.
Ford is so drunk he doesn't remember flying her to the island earlier that afternoon and decides to hit on her.
It plays out like this:
"They come here looking for the magic, hoping to find romance, when they can't find it anywhere else."
"Maybe they will."
"It's an island, babe. If you didn't bring it here, you won't find it here."
So very true. And on so many levels.
It’s been 6 months since I left Costa Rica.
Six months since I decided that being in a place you love is as fundamental as oxygen.
I did not like living in Costa Rica.
And yet, I spent a very good portion of my life there, over the last eleven years, because we fight for people, not places. Places aren’t supposed to matter if you’re with the ones you love.
Where you are shapes who you are.
This is a fundamental truth I have learned. Place determines everything about you—and far more than we give credit.
- Place determines the kind of things you do on a Sunday. Whether you hike or bike or brunch or drink. (Or slash your neighbor’s tires.)
- Place determines your attitude toward the outdoors. Whether you want to be outside or would just as soon lock yourself in a closet.
- Place determines how social you are. Whether you actually like the kind of people around you and want to engage with them—or…not?
- Place determines the kinds of things you eat. Whether you’re spooning up a spinach and goat cheese salad, or swallowing down a bucket of hot wings.
- Place determines how enthusiastic you are. Whether you see progress all around you, or whether you’re depressed by a lack thereof.
- Place determines how well you take care of yourself. Is it easy to have good habits, or easy to have bad ones?
- Place determines the kind of work you do in the world. Are there people doing interesting things around you, or is there a lack of inspiration?
- Place determines how much belonging you feel. Are the people warm and welcoming and friendly, or are they closed off and withdrawn and distant?
- Place determines your daily norms. Do you walk to the bakery to get fresh bread each day, or do you bring a giant SUV to a supermarket and go straight to the frozen aisle?
- In short? Place determines your relationship with the world. Everything you do is a product of the place you live.
Yet, most of us don’t think of it that way. The place you are is usually considered mere background; a blank canvas backdrop; the empty stage on which we live our lives.
But, what if place were actually a main character?
What if the place you lived determined the person you are?