A bird's landing view of beautiful Victoria, BC
I recently had the opportunity to return to the West Coast again. When I visited my adopted hometown last fall, the trip was very rushed and I felt overwhelmingly like a tourist. This time, I had lots of time and felt less like a visitor. I still didn't feel like I used to when I lived there - but I think I knew that wasn't possible. I suspect that feeling can only be gained when you have a real homebase to go to at the end of the day. But I realized that it also has a lot to do with the fact that when you live some place, you have purpose. You go to work, you run errands, you plan for events in the future.
The busy inner harbor in Victoria, featuring hotels, sailboats, float planes and tourists
Today we are moving back to our hometown. For anyone else, this might be a moment full of sweetness - and a sense of "coming home." For me it simply feels like backtracking. In addition, although I enjoyed my childhood very much, I don't feel a strong connection to my hometown. To me it lacks water and fresh air, aesthetic beauty, a voice for millenials, and the arts and culture that I crave. I found all of those things in Victoria.
The stunning old decorative details and architecture at the Vancouver Art Gallery
The funny thing is, as we prepare to leave Cambridge, I am feeling very bittersweet. Despite choosing the location specifically, I initially did not like Cambridge. But with time, the city grew on me. The beautiful old churches and buildings, the stone bricked homes, the walks along the water. Even the library and the early year's centre have become a place of comfort.
And so I wonder if maybe home is in fact, where you are. Where we are. I do hope one day to return to Victoria. Or, at the very least, to live in a beautiful house by the water. But for now, I'll just give it some time - to let the good memories resurface, and to create new ones in this new old place.