Okay, I’m way behind on blog posts. Like 3 weeks behind. But in my defence, I’ve been really busy! In the last couple of weeks I’ve flown to Toronto, celebrated Christmas, flown to the Dominican Republic for a family vacation, rang in the new year, flown back to Toronto and (finally) flown home to Vancouver.
And while I’m no stranger to flights and coast-hopping, this time felt a bit different. To start with, it was a whirlwind visit. I only had about 4 days in Toronto before we left for the DR. In those few days I managed to squeeze in quite a few family and friend catch ups. My Toronto days essential broke down to: gift wrapping, brunch with James & Zab, gift shopping, x-mas dinner with my high school girlfriends, Brantford visit with my grandma and cousins, dinner with Auntie Hayley & Kaitlyn, brunch with Shelby, more gift shopping and wrapping, dinner with Kim & Sash, lunch and shopping with Simon, hair cut, dim sum dinner and sleepover with Pamela & Andrea, brunch with mom and, finally, Christmas Eve dinner with the Angs before getting to the airport for 4am for our DR flight! So, you could say things were busy 🙂
But busy was beneficial; I got to see so many people who I love and haven’t seen for a little while. My dearest (but not necessarily nearest) are still in Toronto and it’s so important to me to be able to catch up with them whenever I can. But, something did feel a bit different this time.
Toronto will always be my home. I’ve spent most of my life there. All of my family and childhood friends are there. But this time didn’t feel like a homecoming. It felt like a tour. Part of that is definitely due to the crazy schedule of dinners and brunches I set up for myself. It’s hard to feel like you’re home when “home” is a series of meals with different people all around the city. But the other part was my new definition of “home”.
Home has always been a bit of fluid term for me. I attach it pretty loosely to just about anywhere. The hostels of Europe became home to me in the Spring, my tatami mat bedroom was home for a month this summer in Japan and now, Vancouver is definitely home. I don’t know if I could rank one home as more “homey” than the others, but there is definitely a new permanency with my Vancouver home that is pushing the status of Toronto home.
Now that school is done and I’ve started a full time job and am living in my own apartment, my Vancouver life is a bit more established. My residency here is no longer determined by a four month school term. There isn’t a set date when I’ll be leaving Vancouver. And there isn’t a set date when I’ll be returning to Toronto for anything more than a week-long visit. That both terrifies and excites me.
Sitting in my apartment, lunch packed for work tomorrow and a mountainous recycling box staring at me, I do feel at home. I’ve put up some photos, and my treasured scratch-off map, and things are really starting to feel homey. I’m excited to get into a work routine and start some non-school after work activities. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss my family and friends in Toronto. And it doesn’t mean I’m done with Toronto or closing the door on ever living there again.
Because no matter where in the world I’m calling home, Toronto will always have a huge part of my heart.