The Nostalgia of home

A short foray to my hometown

Photo by me: Granville Island 2019

You can never really go home again can you? There is something terribly bittersweet about that. Home is my family and the people I love. It’s trite and redundant and said a thousand times before but true. However, places also steal little corners of my heart. Sometimes for a week, or a month, sometimes filled with the promise of potential. The land speaks to you, the people embed themselves in your bones. You take a breath and look around and can see a multitude of possible futures unfold for you. Every new place that I visit changes me. I was recently in Vancouver to visit some family, indulge in some great food and rediscover the city that I used to call home.

I have a lot of great memories of Vancouver. I fell in love there, most of my family still reside there, geographically and culturally it’s a beautiful place, that has something to offer the most seasoned traveler. There was a wistfulness to this trip that left me feeling a bit out of sorts and I’m not sure why. Nostalgia can be an unsettling feeling. My hamster brain kept mulling over what home means to me and how that’s changed over the adventurous journey that has been my life so far.

My husband and I contemplated taking a year off to travel when we were younger but opted for the stable, be frugal and established life path. I regret very few things in life and since I’m waxing philosophical I’ll admit, that wasn’t the smartest choice. Both of us have ventured out into the world and have been extremely fortunate to see a decent chunk of this pale blue dot. I think I’ve had a sense of wanderlust since I was a kid and a desire to explore the world. A searing hunger to see, absorb and learn about people. To see them as my mirrors, learn about traditions, joys heartaches and engage fully with every single moment that is presented to me. Maybe it’s the scent of summer in the air or perhaps it was Vancouver itself. I’ve always loved hearing dozens of languages at airports and watching the human experience unfold. People traveling are the most fun to watch. They are like happy children in a world full of wonder. The awe and exuberance of their souls shines. It’s infectious. The energy of that optimism and hope fills the heart. Possibilities are like a road map, a good friend and a free weekend to build a moment that lasts a lifetime.

I was talking with a friend just recently about the “Bar” of expectations we have for people and places. Most of us have a person that you unconsciously compare every other suitor to. When people get together and shoot the shit, stories of the one that got away, road trips and the pure joy of debauchery are offered up like gifts over drinks with friends. The common theme with all of these stories is that they are inevitably tied with youth. Firsts can ruin you (good and bad), set you on adventures or teach you lessons and alter you forever. I wonder if home is an idea, choice or mental marker of sorts. Some places almost train you to effortlessly love them, much like people. There is a mutual chemistry and I’m sure I’ve had Pavlovian responses to places and people. Food stalls, vibrant colors, music, families, young love, old love, art. I stand astonished in awe of the palpable heartbeat of the human experience.

I’ve been a homebody for a number of years now but something about our last few travel adventures made me want to sell all our worldly possessions and see as much of the world as we can. I feel this global impetus that humanity is on the verge of something. There is a tension, confusion, upheaval and will to change. That the status quo will not satisfy mankind any longer. I’ve long been a believer in collective conscience and group think. Perhaps interdependence on a global scale is truly an idea whose time as finally come. Or it might be I’m perimenopausal with a side of midlife crisis. Who knows?

While the world seems to slowly disintegrate there is an aspect of me that is incredibly optimistic. Maybe even hopeful. I’ve met so many kind, well intentioned people over the years. People with a generosity of spirit and a shared silent understanding of our interdependence. A glance does it.That’s all it generally takes for me to establish some kind of connection. Perhaps our emotional tectonic plates are finally shifting to a place where we can all breathe. A long needed release of pressure from a lifestyle that doesn’t seem all that healthy for many of us.

Home will always be my husband’s kind eyes, my son’s ability to make me laugh and my daughter’s freckles, my sister’s face whose known all my foibles and never lets me get away with any bullshit. As I age I understand home can be many other people and places as well. Even the most negative experiences have taught me something valuable. Home has no fixed address. All of the worlds people and places I have traveled have felt like home at some point. I’m so excited to meet and learn more from you all. Thank you for hosting us and the kindness you have shown to my family. I can never fully express my appreciation and gratitude for the kindness you’ve shown us.

Photo by me: Capilano Canyon in 1996 (A toast to my life long love affair to the Pacific Northwest)

As always go forth, break bread:

This appetizer is a happy reminder of water fights, birthdays, laughter, family and shared history. I miss you all!



Unicorns. Enough said.

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