A man could not always be where he belonged, though. (George RR Martin, Game of thrones, Eddard,p117) and this one (my suggestion): A man can not always be where he belongs, though. (appears more acceptable to me)
I cannot understand why Martin used a past tense for a fact! If it is a fact -and it seems like a fact that we cannot be where we belong at all times-, shouldn't he be using a present tense?