Houses, Homes and In-Betweens

Thoughts from Alanna…

This July I made my first trip back to Canada to see friends, family and my dog Jack.

Jack in his natural habitat - being silly.

Jack in his natural habitat – being silly.

It’s weird to say I’m going “home” to Canada and then in the next sentence that I’ll be going “home” to England.

Basically it’s one giant existential crisis. So where is home?

While in Canada I was smacked in the face with nostalgia. The first few days it was suffocating and overwhelming, like everything was the same but slightly shifted, as if everything was as I imagined it but I was the one who had changed.

Maybe I was just overthinking.

Views from my favourite hike

Either way, I forced myself to visit all my old haunts: my childhood schools, our old family home, the park I used to go to when skipping school, my favourite trails, shops, cinema and pizza place. I saw all the places I would hang out with friends long since moved on, the old trees I would climb and the streets I learned how to drive on. I wallowed in the nostalgia until it didn’t bother me anymore. At the end of the day, they’re just places. It’s the memories that are important but the people in them more so. Maybe I’m not stuck between one home and another. Maybe my home isn’t in the buildings but in the people who matter most to me.

By the end of my time at Canada-Home, things were easy. Life there is familiar, comforting and simple. I could see how quickly I could sink back into my old life in Canada without much difficulty. Driving is second-nature, job-hunting would be fairly easy and I already know where everything is and how everything works. Basically.

England-Home is hard, tiring and exhausting. Nothing seems to come easy, my Canadian accent can be embarrassing and things can be difficult to adjust to. But it’s also really exciting, fulfilling and rewarding. There is so much to learn and experience, no matter how scary or overwhelming. At 23 years old, I’ll always identify as Canadian and will hold my Canada-Home close to my heart.

But right now England is calling and I’m excited to listen.