Johnson Babalola
November 1, 2022

The Uber Ride: Where is Home?


“Yes. Frank?”  

“Yes. You are heading to ABC hotel”?  


“You are the tenth passenger I would pick today staying at the same hotel. I heard there is a wedding set for tomorrow”  


“Let me guess. You are a Nigerian as well?”  


“Your first time in Ottawa?”  


“I guess I need not tell you then that it is a beautiful and peaceful town”  

“I agree”  

“Indeed, Canada as a whole is peaceful and beautiful”  

“I agree”  

“I was born here and have lived all my life here. I just love it”  

“Good to hear”  

“My house is by the river with a great view”  


“My parents live about 15 minutes from us, and my parents-in-law live about 20 minutes from us. I have three siblings and they live within 1 hour from us too”  

“Nice to know”  

“We get together weekly for our kids to get to know one another and bond”  

“Great idea”  

“We also go camping together on a monthly basis”  


“Once a year, we travel through Canada in rented caravans stopping at different cities to dine, relax and share in the history of each place”  

“Love that”  

“Although I am a believer in freedom of global movement, these days, I speak with many individuals whose families are scattered all over the world. For different reasons including economic and safety, they and their children are detached from their extended families and their history. Some have totally lost their culture. For most, their generations will never know their home countries. They often tell me they are afraid of returning to their countries. They don’t feel safe, and they complain about injustice. I tell you; they pay the ultimate price of cultural dilution and separation. Many are truly never happy, but the other choice is worse. They are confused about where truly they should call home. I truly feel for them”  

“I feel for them too”  

“Our family still embarked on a road trip this year despite the increase in the cost of gas across the nation. Well, I am thankful there was never a shortage. I heard that some countries that produce oil still experience shortage of gas. Can that be true?”  


“We are also very confident about security in our homes and each time we travel. Could it be true that citizens of some countries feel unsecured in their countries?”  

“It could be”  

“I recall our family trip across Canada last year. We got into an accident and my oldest sister was injured. The Police and other emergency services attended promptly. Very prompt and reliable service”  

“Nice to know”  

“I hate paying high taxes but then, it pays for our health-care services, education, and infrastructure expenses among others. I know there is no perfection, but we are doing better than many nations that swim in the ocean of corruption and underutilize their resources. People come from all over the world to study, work and live here. I am very proud of all we offer despite our own inadequacies”  

“You should be”  

“How long have you been in Canada?”  

“25 years”  

“So sorry, I was preaching to the converted. I tend to talk too much but you seem not to say much”  

“To some, my responses speak volumes”  

“Really? You lost me”  

“If you know you know, and if you don’t, forget it!”  

“I am still lost. So, where is home for you?”  

“Good question!”  

“We are at the hotel. Enjoy your stay in Ottawa. Maybe I will get an answer to my question someday!”  

“Thanks and maybe. As you leave, may you have no reason to be forced from the country you love and be separated from your loved ones!”  

“Thanks and be safe”  

Johnson Babalola, a Canada and Nigeria based lawyer, leadership consultant, storyteller and corporate emcee, is a public affairs analyst. Follow him for discussions on real life issues that affect us all.

You can obtain a copy of his newly released book, REJECTED on Amazon, FriesenPress, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Apple Books, Nook Store etc.