Tag Archive: home


Spring in Vancouver

IMG_3675I came out west on April 4, trading winter for cherry blossoms. As per tradition I was coming home flat broke, so I couldn’t insure  the van right away; I visited my mom (the pic is at her house on Vancouver Island, where the van was hunkered down all winter), I couch surfed in Vancouver for a few weeks, I worked and got back on financial track, and about a week ago I moved back into my baby. So good to be home!!

 

When you live in a house or an apartment the boundaries of your home are pretty obvious: you have a fence or walls that separate your living space from the rest of the world. As I was moving into the van one of my questions was, what are the boundaries of my new home? Can home really be everywhere? It’s been almost two months now, and I have a provisional answer.

The other day I was talking about my ‘modular’ home. There are functions of home that my van can’t fill, most obviously those of bathroom, kitchen, study; luckily there are many, many places all over the city that I can and do fill those needs. But do I feel at home everywhere in the city? No. Out of habit, or familiarity, or convenience, I’ve settled on Commercial Drive. The three B’s, in fact: Britannia Library, Britannia Pool, and Britannia Sushi! I’ve noticed that when I move my bedroom too far away from 3B I feel a little unsettled. I can usually find another ‘room’ nearby, which is an adventure and can be lots of fun of course, but it takes time and can get in the way of things I want to accomplish. I’ll generally just want to go ‘home’, which is where I’m familiar with all the rooms I need.

So that’s my answer, for now. If I can walk from my bedroom to the bathroom and the study and the kitchen, then I’m home. If I have to drive, I’m not. Once I’ve finished with all my applications I hope to add new rooms to my home, expanding throughout the city, but for the time being home is Commercial Drive.

walking

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before… part of my plan is to avoid driving as much as possible. Makes sense, right? Save the fossil fuels! (switching to biodiesel soon btw) Save my money too. Sometimes I’ll need to use the van for an errand, but for the most part I want to only drive it once each day, to my new sleeping spot.

But I still need to get around: to the pools, the libraries, yoga. At first I was picturing getting a bus pass, or sneaking onto the skytrain, but so far the dry cold weather has been perfect for walking. I’ve been walking everywhere, and it’s so good! What a different way of connecting with your world. You see more of what’s around you, and even though it’s only in passing, you’re amongst real people almost every moment, often making eye contact or smiling, sometimes saying hello. And it slows you down, in a good way. I’m used to biking as my main mode of transport, but even that seems too fast to me now.

At one point I said this project was about home, and it sounds corny but I have to say it: walking is a beautiful way to remind yourself that this place, these streets, this city, is home.