It’s been well over a month since the last post, and what a time it’s been. Mainly because I now know where I’m going to be living for the next good solid chunk of my life. My near-year of nomadic wandering is drawing to a close soon. I’ve bought a home.
Everyone’s first reaction when I told them was “I didn’t expect you to find something that quickly!” And I didn’t either, actually. It all just sort of happened.
After leaving Bowen Island at the end of April and just before heading back to another yoga/meditation workshop with Oda Lindner at the Krishnamurti Centre, I checked out two open houses, the first I’d seen since leaving on my travels last October. My first stop was a neat little condo in East Van with a cool little loft, in an older building. It was small, but had some personality, and I could definitely see myself there. The next stop was at a newer condo in Burnaby. On seeing it, feeling the airiness, seeing the mountains out the window and smelling the trees, I realized, oh… the Vancouver place would do, but this – this is how I actually want to live.
A year ago, I might have waffled, and needed to look at another ten places before committing. This time there was more of a sense of certainty. I wanted this, but I couldn’t get too attached to the idea because I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t get it. I knew I couldn’t possibly know everything about the place buying it; things are still beyond crazy in Vancouver real estate. There wasn’t angst – it was just taking a deep breath and setting the wheels in motion. And this time it actually worked out.
The area is all newer developments, so not a whole lot of character in the neighbourhood yet, but it’s a quick stroll to miles and miles and miles of forests and trails, and there’s lots of intriguing and useful facilities nearby. For those of you who don’t live in British Columbia, Burnaby is the next city over from Vancouver, sort of like a suburb but not too suburban; I suppose it’s like Brooklyn is to Manhattan. It still has a more urban feel than not, but there’s many huge parks, enough to go immerse yourself properly in nature. (The area I’ll be living in has occasional bear and cougar sightings – so I’ll even have to be careful just how immersed I get!)
And it’s still close enough to the city that I can get in to events in town, and that friends could reasonably take transit to get to me, even if it’s a bit of a haul. It’s about the same distance from my parents as my place in Vancouver was. There’s no ferries to wait for, no ocean to cross.
I’m so ready for this. I loved my time untethered, and I will miss many things about traveling, but I’m so ready to get all my things out of storage and stop living out of bags and boxes, and sculpt a home around me that has a sense of solidity to it. I don’t know if it’s my forever home, but it’s my foreseeable-future home. I know I’ll want to travel again, but it’s time to explore roots for now, and see what emerges from this new territory.
It might also be nearing time to get a dog again. We’ll see…
There’s been so much change in my life situation over the past few months, beyond what I’ve written about on the blog. I feel like the idea of “me” has become a lot more fluid and less fixed than it used to be. I see ways that I could attempt to sculpt my life in this new place, but I know it’s not about trying to become something, but allowing myself to evolve, being open to possibility. You can’t direct the flow of the river, but you can kind of try to steer your boat a little in one direction or another. Maybe you get where you want to go, maybe you don’t.
There’s a lot of gratitude, too. I’m aware how fortunate and privileged I’ve been to be able to live in this haphazard nomadic fashion, and the circumstances that have led up to me even being able to get a place of my own. I’ve had both old and new friends step up and help me out while I’ve floundered back and forth from Vancouver to wherever, who housed me while I was incapacitated by antibiotics (India, the gift that keeps on giving), who’ve stored my stuff for me, who’ve just been there when I’ve been overwhelmed by life. I’ve got parents who’ve got my back and have helped me in uncountable ways. I’ve had what seemed at first like a breakup, but has simply morphed into a deeply caring friendship. There’s a lot of love floating about.