Why I Couldn’t Sleep Last Month

February 7, 2013

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I didn’t sleep much in January. After an offer was made to me in December, I became restless. Night after night, I tossed and turned, because my brain just simply wouldn’t shut off. I would make decisions, second guess myself, and the cycle would continue. At the end of the month, I stood in front of a mirror, looked at the bags under my eyes and made an executive decision: I’m moving to Vancouver.

But you just moved to Toronto! Imagining family, friends, and readers saying this is what haunted me most, in making this decision. I realize I have only been here for six months, and that I’ve talked about living and working out here for as long as I can remember, but everything about this decision feels right. Better than right, I feel amazing. I’m energized every day and sleeping every night. I’m eating properly and taking better care of myself. I don’t know how all of that correlates from making one little (or, I guess big) decision, but I feel like a completely different person today than I did just a few weeks ago. And I love it.

Was it easy to decide to leave? Obviously not (hence the lack of sleep I got in January). I love so much about the City of Toronto and have made some incredible connections out here. On top of starting a new job and working with a great team, I have turned a number of online friendships into real ones and have been given the warmest of welcomes by everyone I’ve met. I have also been invited to a couple of fantastic events hosted by ING DIRECT Canada and my blog has had more press coverage in the last few months than I ever could have imagined. Nothing “bad” has happened that would make me want to go…

So, why am I leaving? I wish I could put the answer into a few words but there are three reasons. First, I’m not myself here. I could go on and on about what I mean by that but, for now, we’ll just leave it at that. Second, when I think about what I want my future to look like, it’s all in BC. And I’ve always known that; Toronto was never going to be more than a short stint. And when I was finally honest with myself about those first two reasons, I told my boss and a third reason presented itself: not only am I bringing my job with me to Vancouver, I’ll now be working on building a stronger presence for us on the West Coast.

Over the last few days, I’ve told everyone I know in Toronto, started looking at apartments in Vancouver and booked a one-way ticket back to BC. On March 26th, I’ll fly home to Victoria and, with any luck, have a place to move into over Easter weekend. If that doesn’t work, at least I’ll be able to take the ferry over to Vancouver on weekends and look at my options for May 1st (does anyone know of any good places!?).

While I’m ecstatic to move and start a new life in Vancouver, I know my time in Toronto is going to pass by too quickly, and there is so much I need and want to do before I leave. But it’s incredible to see how drastically different I feel, now that all of this is falling into place – in a good way. It turns out, making the decision to move wasn’t the hard part. I was mostly scared to tell everyone in my daily life… and all of you. But as I have learned yet again, if you don’t ask for something, the answer is always no. And the only way to know if you’ve made the right decision or not is to make a decision at all.

Friends in Toronto, we have 47 days to hang out and have some fun! But it’s not goodbye. I should be back in June and September (more on that later). Oh, and have I mentioned I don’t actually have that many friends in Vancouver? If you’re there and you’d like to meet up in the spring, let me know!

If you think Blonde on a Budget was one of the top personal finance blogs of 2012, please vote! Not only could I win an iPad Mini but my readers would be given an opportunity to win $100 to put towards their debt or savings.

  • Dayle February 7, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Congrats on taking a big step like this one! I wish you all the very best!! :-)


  • Vanessa February 7, 2013 at 8:22 am

    “But you just moved to Toronto! Imagining family, friends, and readers saying this is what haunted me most, in making this decision.” I understand this feeling ENTIRELY. Good luck with the move!

  • Michelle February 7, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Awww I understand what you mean by friends saying “but you just moved!” Enjoy the rest of your days there and have fun!

  • Rob February 7, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Cait, Toronto will miss you (not to mention your favourite Starbucks hangout – lol) but you have to be true to yourself. And besides, you really won’t have gone far – you’ll still be here online for all your blog readers. That all said, I know the real reason that you are hi-tailing it back to Vancouver – to get away from all this freaking Toronto snowy weather! You can’t fool moi !!! :-)

  • Britt February 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

    You’ve got to do what feels right! I’m glad you’re making the change. My heart will always be in Vancouver :)

  • Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom February 7, 2013 at 9:31 am

    We’re wishing you every blessing in the adventure of life. In my experience it’s much more about who you are rather then where you are. Good luck with the move :)

  • Alyssa Richard February 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Toronto and the Hub will miss you BUT it will make your visits (and our cross country roadie) that much more exciting!!

  • Sue Horner February 7, 2013 at 10:00 am

    C’mon, you miss the mountains, don’t you? Well, we in Toronto will miss you. I am glad you have enjoyed your time here, and sounds like everything is working out great. On to the next adventure!

  • Carrie Smith February 7, 2013 at 10:01 am

    YAY! I’m so glad you finally made the decision that was right for you — even if it didn’t sound right on paper. Sometimes the best paths aren’t always the ones that have all the answers. And that’s what makes life interesting. I can’t wait till you’re settled back in Vancouver and find your own place so I can come visit you! :)

  • Budget & the Beach February 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

    A long time ago I moved to LA (from Seattle) (the first time) and my gut feeling from the get go is that I didn’t belong here, and craved moving back to Seattle. It didn’t help that my job was a nightmare but it doesn’t sound like it is in your case. But when I made the decision (also only six months), I felt like a weight was lifted, and when I got back to Seattle I just knew I was HOME.

    Not the second time I moved to LA it was under different circumstances. I lived in a different part of the city and my gut said it felt right, and i’ve been here ever since.

    The point is if you listen to your gut you can’t go wrong, and how cool you can take your job with you!! Good luck!

  • Anne @ Unique Gifter February 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Vancouver is awesome, too :-) Glad to hear that you’re sleeping again! Any insights into why my sleeping has been messed up? hahaha.

  • Devon Mills February 7, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Congrats, Cait!!! Vancouver is amaaaazing and I would totally live there, too! You’ll be really close to Seattle, so I’ll have to pop up or you’ll have to pop down for a visit! : )

  • Crystal February 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Omg. Victoria, Toronto and Vancouver all since I’ve discovered you! It’s crazy. I wish I had the courage to make big moves like that. You’re young single with no kids so now is the time to do everything and explore every option. I can not wait to see where this leads you. So exciting!!

  • Joanna @ Our Freaking Budget February 7, 2013 at 11:57 am

    How exciting! Based on how happy you are about your decision, it sounds like it’s definitely the right one! Good luck with all the prepping and planning in the next month!

  • The Happy Homeowner February 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    This is so exciting; best of luck with the move and transition!! :)

  • Chelsea February 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Congratulations! Only you know what’s best for yourself – and those that care for you will always support you. It seems like a great opportunity!

    How far out of downtown Vancouver are you looking for? I might be able to help, just e-mail me.

  • Lyndsay @ Where the heart is February 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Only you can know what’s right! You must feel so relieved and excited to have made the decision to head back out west. Best of luck!

  • K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! February 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I can feel your excitement! Congratulations on following what you believe is right for you and also for being able to bring your work with you. It sounds in the same vein of what I was able to do with my career when I relocated from Montreal to New York.

  • Sara February 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I’m excited for you! Enjoy these last days in Toronto.

    As an adult, I’ve moved several times. After the surprise factor of the news, everyone seems to adjust to it and realize it’s for the best.

  • Kathleen, Frugal Portland February 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I completely understand what you mean when you say you’re not yourself there. I love that you listened to your gut, and I love that you’re sleeping at night now! Congratulations on all of your big adventures, and Vancouver is lucky to get you back!

  • Chad Ryan February 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Congratulations on making a tough decision. It sounds like you have a lot of exciting times ahead of you!

  • Cassie February 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Well, I have a much better chance of meeting you in person if you’re living in Vancouver than if you’re living in Toronto, so I’m just going to say “woo hoo!”

    That and I’m glad you’re getting some sleep again :) Congratulations on the portable job!

  • Kristyn February 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I have been reading your blog for the past year from my desk in VANCOUVER! Am excited to hear about your adventures here and if you need someone to show you some cool places I’m your girl :)

  • Canadian Budget Binder February 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I always say that we have to do what makes us happy and can sleep better at night. It seems you made the right decision and I’m sure everything will fall into place for you. Cheers Cait!

  • Brittany February 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Oh, that is so exciting! Congratulations! I have to say, I do LOVE Vancouver, so I definitely know where you’re coming from. I have some friends that live there and we drive up from Portland every so often. Would love to meet up for coffee sometime, if you’re interested!

  • Beth February 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Hey Cait –

    I’m moving out of Van at the very beginning of April. My apartment is super great and will be up for grabs just as you are arriving! I’m in the Commercial Drive area if that is a place you like! I’m also trying to sell my furniture as I am moving back home to Ontario/Toronto!

    (ps I used to write Change on a Budget but ended up disappearing due to anonymity issues!)

    • Beth February 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      I should also say, that I’m glad you are making the decision that is best for you instead of diving straight into a comment about my apartment …..

      I’ve decided to head back home for similar reasons and while it is a big expense and a daunting thought to envision myself essentially starting my life over, I knew as soon as I made up my mind that it was the right thing to do. Going with your gut and prioritizing yourself can be difficult things to do but its so so important to not let other people’s expectations or opinions become the deciding factors in your life. I’ve read your blog since the very beginning and I’m excited to see where this new adventure takes you!

  • Michelle February 8, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I love it! Life is an adventure, am excited to hear what you will be doing. Trust yourself!

  • Catherine February 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Congrats on following your heart. Being born in Victoria myself and now living on the east coast (Halifax) I personally could NOT imagine living in Toronto or anywhere other than a coast. It’s an entirely different way of life. This is nothing against TO I think it’s a great city but could never live there, or away from my ocean waters. Good luck with the move!!

  • Pamela @FabulousSavings.ca February 8, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Sounds like you made a good decision that will make you happier in the end, so congrats on that! It’s not always easy moving so far from home, but at least you had a good experience in Toronto :)

  • Do or Debt February 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    That’s so exciting! You always have to do what is right for you at the end of the day. I know very well how hard it is to get up and leave. In the past three years, I’ve moved from LA- NYC-PDX all for different reasons. It’s hard and emotionally taxing. But if you have opportunities there and you feel it is right, there is no greater feeling than that!

  • Chelsea February 9, 2013 at 3:24 am

    Welcome back to the West Coast! Maybe I’ll be able to meet you (I’m in Victoria!). I honestly can’t believe all the changes you’ve been through since I’ve started following you, but sometimes you can only know what you want by trying it out. Vancouver is such an amazing city. If you have the chance to live right downtown- take it! Especially the West End! (It’s pricy, but definitely worth it)!

  • B. (Below Her Means) February 9, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I’m happy for you and obviously it is the right decision.

  • Debbie February 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Congrats on the decision!

    I’m down in Ucluelet, feel free to look me up if you ever come down this way. I know it can get to be lonely

  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses February 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Oh wow, that’s crazy! But if it feels right then do it! Plus I bet you miss Vancouver winters by now haha. Me and the BF are looking to move to Toronto this summer, but if we feel like it just doesn’t feel right, then we’ll come back.