Where to call home?

I pretty much always “feel at home” wherever I am. I’ve always thought this to be a good thing, and it is. It also makes picking an actual “home city” a bit of a challenge.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been lucky that work has allowed me to go to other countries and cities and discover more about what this awesome planet has to offer. That means I am also fortunate enough to have amazing friends all over the place. So if “home” equals being surrounded by friends and family…well…I’m not sure that narrows the question down for me!

Sometimes I think “I’ll meet a guy, and that will decide where I live”. Or “Work…I’ll find work that excites me and means I have to live in a certain place (for more than a year…), and that will decide where I live”. So far, neither of those “plans” have worked out very well.

So…I keep going back to places that really feel like home for me, and that is:

1.Vancouver – I  have called this city home for over 20 years now. I have amazing friends and people I consider family there. I know who my “maintenance team” (doctor, dentist, TCM, chiropractor, massage therapist, workout trainer, etc. etc. etc.) are. I know where my gym is (kick-ass boxing workouts at Contenders…ouch…and so good!), and I know where my pools are (Kits in the summer and Hillcrest in winter). These are people that can not be “replaced” and who make time for me when I get back to Vancouver – no matter how long I’ve been gone.

2.Montreal – well, Montreal and the Eastern Townships, to be precise. This is where I grew up. I have tons of family here, and I have some pretty amazing friends here as well. Having moved away when I was 16, my time spent in this part of my country has recently increased, and as I get to know it more, I love it more.

3.Germany (my brother’s house, to be specific). Definitely a home away from home – with the added bonus of spending time with my brother and his family. You spend that much time with little ones and its harder and harder to leave. Doesn’t hurt that they live in a beautiful little village, and it’s easy to get to.

4.Istanbul….you didn’t think I’d forget about my beloved Istanbul did you??? I’m not sure how to describe my love for this city. I also have some amazing friends who live there and who welcome me back every time I visit. Last year ago I spent 6 weeks in Istanbul. Glorious. When I do that again I really need to take some intensive Turkish lessons. The little I know gets me by, but it isn’t enough.

Meandering through Istanbul’s neighbourhood streets early on a Sunday morning.
Kahvalti – Turkish breakfast – my absolute fave! Especially the menemen (eggs scrambled in tomatoes with peppers) and bal kaymak (heavy cream drowned in honey) – delicious!

I spent much of the past year in Tokyo – getting to know another city, another culture. So in my little head, Tokyo was “home” for a little while (cut off short by the Covid-19 pandemic and an early end/postponement of the project I was working on there).

My Tokyo abode – At just under 400 square feet – no waste of space in this apartment! All of it very cleverly thought out.
This space quickly became my little sanctuary. And then…believe it or not, two of us worked at that table for a few months. Good thing we know each other and like working together!
I loved discovering “little streets” away from the high rises and main avenues.

Which brings me to now….I find myself back in the Montreal/Eastern Townships area with time on my hands and thoughts in my head about “home”, and the desire to take what little I own out of storage. I don’t have a ton of possessions, but I do have some and for the most part they have been stored in Vancouver for the past seven years.

Given the current Covid-19 realities, Montreal is my pick for now. Making the move into the city next weekend, and looking forward to discovering more about what the city has to offer and creating my home base. Then the unpacking and rediscovering of the items I put into storage will come. Fun times ahead!

Montreal’s Atwater Market – soon to be my neighbourhood.

PS: while looking back through photos and picking those to go with this post I am reminded of what a charmed life I lead. Massive smiles on my face and gratitude in my heart!