He moved a lot considering he didn't work for the RCMP, or the military, and all indications are that he wasn't running from the law!
By the time I moved out at 17, my parents had lived in 11 houses in 6 communities.
So, to avoid confusion, this is now my answer: "Well, I was born in Woody Point, but I left when I was four. I grew up in Western Labrador (both Wabush and Lab City), spent some time in Marystown but am now settled in Paradise". I don't even mention the 6 month stint in Nova Scotia where I started grade 9, or the year I spent divided between PEI and Costa Rica.
My friends usually engage in an eye roll whenever I am asked "Where are you from?", because they know my answer will be long!
But it is important to me that I include these details for the following two reasons:
1) People inevitably ask, "Do you know so-and-so?" Invariably, so-and-so is from Woody Point, where I left when I was four. Or, so-and-so was in Western Labrador when I was in Marystown. You get the point. My complicated reply to "Where are you from?" is an attempt to avoid the inevitability of having to say "I wasn't there then".
2) I don't reeeeeally belong anywhere; home is where the heart is and my heart is spread out over several places in Newfoundland and Labrador. As the daughter of a nomad, I am ok with the fact that my home territory is large. At the same time, I am fascinated by those who live in the same community in which they were born. I occasionally get a fleeting sense of what that community must mean to them, and it feels intense.
I have my own kids now and it looks like the nomad blood hasn't diluted very much! And I can't say it has anything to do with them moving a lot as kids; we have lived in our current house for almost 30 years! Yet, between the two kids they have had residency stints in: Brazil, France, Japan, Great Britain, Quebec and now Ottawa. All indications are that they are not running from the law either!
Nomads. It's a job to keep up with them sometimes.
Some nomad rewards!