Granted, I'm jumping a little ahead of myself here, but after this summer we'll be starting our 3rd year in Chennai. When we complete our tour it will be the longest any of the kids have ever lived in one house.
I won't be too far behind either. As a kid I lived in Belgium for 5 years, though in several houses. In high school I managed to live in my parents' townhome for 3 years before heading to college. I don't think college should count as "living in one place" with all the vacations, the semester abroad, the switching dorms every year. It was never the same year to year. When we bought our house in Woodbridge we lived in it for 2 1/2 years before heading off the the Philippines. So for me, Chennai is up there in the longevity arena for housing. It's an odd thought for the kids, three of whom have spent more of their lives outside the U.S. than in. Of course for Foreign Service kids, military kids and some wandering fools in the U.S., that's the norm. Every place is home, and no place is home.
There are plenty who complain about the expense of State's mandatory home leave, but I for one think it's a good thing. Not the expense, obviously, no one likes the cost especially with the low dollar power. But the time in America is well worth the hassle of getting there.
I guess I'm missing home a bit.