There’s No Place Like (a New) Home

There's No Place Like (a New) Home

If you’ve been following my story for a while, you know I’ve moved many times in the last six years. First, I left my hometown and moved to Toronto for work. After realizing Toronto wasn’t the place for me, I took my job back to BC and moved to Greater Vancouver. Due to a series of unfortunate events (attempted break in, bad roommate situation, etc.), I had to move in/out of three different apartments in my first year there. I finally settled in a condo in Port Moody, where I stayed for two years, before another unfortunate event inspired me to go back to my hometown to be closer to my family.

Throughout all of those transitions, I never minded the moving process. In fact, some of my friends joke that I am a professional mover. They aren’t wrong, in the sense that I know the drill: find a place, pay the deposit, change your address on a million and one things, coordinate the move, take the boxes out and clean, bring the boxes in and unpack, and get your old deposit back. And when you have just 20% of what you once owned, the entire thing only takes a few hours. Moving is easy. Living in a state of transition feels normal. But it’s not normal… or at least, I don’t want it to be my normal anymore.

At the beginning of the slow money experiment, I hinted that I was ready to stop bouncing around from place-to-place. Being back in my hometown has been great. My family needed me, I needed them, and the quality time I got to spend with my friends here is something I will forever be grateful for. It healed me, during a time when I needed extra support. But it was never going to be a permanent move. I didn’t know where I would go next or finally land. I just continued to live in this transition period – until I went to Squamish for two months and realized that was the place I wanted to call home.

I don’t know how I didn’t see it sooner. When I was living in Port Moody, I used to drive up to Squamish all the time to go hiking. Since I’ve been back in Victoria, I think I’ve gone to Squamish five or six times. It’s the place I’ve done some of my most creative work (including finishing writing my book proposal and the first draft of my book) and the place I most love to explore. I notice my anxiety go down as I drive up the Sea to Sky Highway, and I am genuinely sad every time I have to leave. It’s been a great home away from home… but what if it could just be my home!?

That’s a question I’ve been asking myself all year: could Squamish be my home? Could it be the place I finally settle in, find a community and build a life for myself? When I first planned to spend two months there, I had no intention of staying or even considering these questions. But as soon as I started to think about it, I decided to try it on for size and pay closer attention to my surroundings.

One of the first things I (finally) noticed was how nice everyone is. When you walk into the grocery store (or any business) people know each other. Strangers smile and talk to you (which is really nice when you’re new and don’t know anyone). It’s a small community (less than 20,000 people) and you can tell it’s the kind of place where people care about maintaining that. Small business matters. People like to support the local economy. They also care about the environment. And in my last week there, I discovered there is a growing community of creative women who run their own businesses.

That alone was almost enough to seal the deal for me. In February, I met one woman who asked if I wanted to write for her website, then another woman who serves as the editor of that website. I sat around a table and had coffee with 15-20 creative women who meet monthly to discuss new topics related to their work. A few of those conversations have since been taken “offline” and we’ve connected on other topics, including how to save money and how to better serve people with limited incomes. Each of those meetings and connections drew me a little closer to Squamish.

Ultimately, though, I knew I couldn’t make a decision based on just those things. Did it feel like the universe was giving me little nudges every time I had a great encounter with someone and even met other people from Victoria? Of course. Each of those moments felt like another brick had been painted bright yellow to guide me down the road. But I still knew this decision had to come from within and it wasn’t easy to make. Similar to the way I worried before departing on my road trip, I worried about leaving my family and the dogs. I also have zero interest in physically packing up and moving again. Just thinking about it is exhausting. But is it so exhausting that I won’t do it? No. Because, at the end of the day, Squamish is where I want to be.

There is a long list of questions you should ask yourself before moving to a new city. Can you afford it? Does it have good job prospects? Do you like the climate and the geography? I can speak to those things, but I’m guessing you know my answers. Yes, it doesn’t matter (though it’s close enough to Vancouver which is a plus), yes and yes again. But I asked myself some very different questions this time. Do I feel like myself here? Yes, and the best version of myself. Does it inspire me? Every day. Could this move be beneficial for others? If I’m the best version of myself and am constantly inspired, yes again.

And is it where I really want to be? A thousand yeses. So, I’m doing it. I found an amazing place (and negotiated the rent, which is now controlled at a fixed price). I paid the deposit. I’ve started changing my address, packing and coordinating the move. In two weeks, it will all be over. Squamish will no longer be my home away from home – it will simply be my home.

Even though I’m thrilled about the move and can’t wait to get there, I still have this sense that I want to take things slow. Believe it or not, I want to go through my belongings once more and carefully consider each item, before moving it (yet again). I also see myself letting go of some old things and buying a few things for my new home. Here are my intentions for March…

Experiment #3: Slow Move

  • go through all of my belongings again/only pack what I want to keep
  • sell/donate everything I don’t want to bring with me
  • make a list of things I think I want to buy (like a standing desk)
  • settle into my new home, before actually buying anything
  • reach out and make plans with new friends :)

The third and fourth points are key, and are lessons I have learned after moving countless times and doing the two-year shopping ban. We’re quick to go out and buy all the things we think we will need, before knowing if and/or when we will actually need them. This is something marketers have engrained in us, because it is at the core of every advertisement: here’s a potential problem you could face and here’s the product to fix it. The problem sounds scary or stressful, so we buy things preemptively to avoid having to face those situations – but at what cost?

I want to move into my new home with the basics (and all my books) and figure out what I actually need. I do know I want a standing desk, but I also know I don’t need it right away. I’m not going to waste money on the first one I see or create physical waste by buying something I don’t end up liking. (And yes, I’ll be scouring sites for used ones!)

If I had to sum this post up in a few words, I guess I would say that I want to be really intentional with this move. All the ones I’ve done before were for specific reasons, including for work and for my family. But this one is just for me, and I don’t want to rush it. I know the drill, and I could tap my ruby slippers together and just get there. But I don’t want to. I want to settle in and make Squamish my home.

In the final stretch of my road trip last fall, I counted dozens of drivers passing by in vehicles filled with their belongings. I imagined the mix of excitement and anxiety they might be feeling about moving to a new city, perhaps for a new job or new relationship. And wherever they were going, I secretly hoped each one of them was doing whatever would make them happiest. Now, it’s my turn. :)

I’m curious: how did you decide where to live?

Extra Reading

  • Ironically, I’m writing this from a standing desk, and absolutly LOVE Squamish!! My wife and I stopped there last year when we were spending some time in BC, and fell in love with that town!

    It sounds like you’re heading “home”. Sincerely happy for you, it’s a great place to be! Good luck with the move!

  • After living in a place for 5 years for grad school that definitely didn’t feel like home, it was left to fate, to some degree, where we would live next, as I had to participate in a residency match program. Yes, I had some say, and wouldn’t apply anywhere I absolutely didn’t want to live, and I could rank our preferred geographic locations more highly on my list, but there were tons of factors that were not in my control. I ended up matching where I wanted to, London Ontario, and DH and I decided to make this home. My aunt lived here, and the vast majority of the remainder of my family,and many friends, lived within 2 hours drive. The cost of living was reasonable, there were job opportunities for both of us, and we liked the city. As it turned out, my parents moved here after we had my son, and London now feels 100% like home. I can’t see us moving anywhere else ever. We have our forever home. I have my dream job. I loathe moving with a passion. My kids have a great school to attend, and we have family nearby. It really is ideal for us :) Best of luck with your slow move-hope you are as happy as you expect to be in Squamish!

    • You can’t see it, but I have the biggest smile on my face! You sound so happy, Sarah. Makes me happy for you :)

  • We’re planning on moving this summer to be closer to work and we have several pieces of furniture we have been wanting to replace but we are waiting until we know the space they will occupy (including a new desk as well!).

    • Good luck with your move! I am so excited to search for the right desk. The one I have now was given to me when a friend moved out of province. It has served its purpose, but I’m ready to look for the one I really want :)

  • Yay Cait! So glad you found a spot to call home! It’s such a great feeling. I love living in Edmonton and there’s only one other spot I could ever foresee calling home (Vernon, BC). That won’t be for a long time yet though.

    • It’s cool you know that, though! I could see myself retiring in Victoria. It’s still home and always will be – it’s just not where I want to spend my 30s/40s, you know? :)

  • After living in my hometown for my entire life, I had moved away for nearly 4-years due to job prospects. A lot of life changes happened while I was away; I realized I was, overall, quite unhappy in my life. And with that realization, I decided to end a long engagement with a man who wasn’t who I needed and couldn’t have the future I wanted with. I also realized I didn’t want to live where I had moved to. Because I had a lot of changes happening, and I wanted some support from my hometown peeps, I decided to try that on for size again. I managed to finally land a job (the east coast is not exactly a booming place but I’m going to make it work!) and moved back six months ago. I knew Halifax well enough to know where I wanted to live and found a new apartment that I’ve been slowly making what I want. A year has now passed since I’ve initiated all my life changes and I am so much happier.

    I’m glad you were able to find the place that speaks to, Cait :)

    • I never commented or emailed, but I loved reading your blog! I miss it. Hope you are doing well. :)

    • I’m with Steph. I’ve missed your blog, friend! Sorry to hear you went through so many big changes at once. I can certainly appreciate how difficult that must have been. But I’m glad to hear how much happier you are now. You can feel it in your words :)

    • Ditto! Miss your blog, Alicia! Glad to hear you’re happier, those kinds of transitions are never easy, but they’re worth it.

    • Thanks for your support ladies :) I’ve been thinking about writing again, but sadly… I didn’t keep my domain. And someone snapped it up. I might need to start from the beginning again!

  • Squamish is beautiful, I hope you love living there and find your community. Good luck with your move!

  • This post hits so close to home! I just settled down in my new hometown of Rossland, BC. We’re staying with my in-laws right now but I feel ever so at home. Rossland is a tiny ski-town with only 3700 inhabitants. Last night we got a dump of fresh powder and I’m looking out at a gorgeously sunny day. Being able to ski for the most part of the year and having amazing hikes and closeness to nature and family made the move an easy choice, especially after spending years being priced out of Vancouver.

    Squamish is such a lovely town as well and I think it has a similar vibe just with more people, some of our friends that didn’t want to venture as far out into the province as us are planning to make the move to Squamish this summer/fall. You’ll be so happy there!

    • It sounds lovely there, Vanessa! A friend of mine was posting pics + videos of her time skiing in Rossland, just a few weeks ago… looked amazing!

  • Congratulations on your upcoming move!

    That is an interesting question on how I decided to live where I currently reside. I might have to think about and put notes together in the near future. The short answer is I have always liked the area around Minneapolis with its outdoor embracing of lakes and trails. Ultimately, though, work brought here, then I went to Chicago for a while and then I finally found my way back again. As for specific suburb that I live in today, it is partially by accident. My wife and I have talked about moving numerous times in the past couple of years but with kids in school now, it is a harder decision as it isn’t just about “us” anymore.

    • I loooooved Minneapolis, Eric! I went there on my road trip and loved everything about it. The walkability (and bike-ability!), the restaurants, the lakes… and the people. :)

  • What a brilliant post, so exciting and life affirming. Well done for making the decision. Im really pleased for you. :o)

  • I am so happy for you and love the new questions that you asked yourself about where you wanted to live. Since you are able to try out your dream town at this point in your life, I think you are absolutely correct to do so. The worst case scenario is that it does not work out and you move again – not the end of the world – and the best case scenario is finding the place that makes you feel whole. There are times in our lives when following our dreams cannot include geography without making other people’s lives really difficult. Since you are not in a period like that right now, it is so wonderful that you are going to follow your heart, which appears to have been living in Squamish for quite some time.

    • I don’t know how to reply to this comment except to say “yes yes yes”! You summed up everything I didn’t say in the post. It may not be my forever home, but it’s certainly going to be my home for now… and I can’t wait. <3

  • Congratulations on the move! What an exciting time :) It’s interesting to think about because I think that most people don’t really intentionally choose where they live. So much of it has to do with jobs and family. After living in Los Angeles (a place that definitely didn’t feel like home) for nearly 3 years, we were SO HAPPY to move to San Diego. I’m not sure if this is our forever home, but we are definitely putting down roots with friends, our church, volunteering and local politics. It’s such a nice feeling to have a home and a community that you enjoy. I hope you love your time in Squamish!

    • Your comment made me so excited to put down some roots of my own, Taylor. I will always have some roots here in Victoria, but feel so drawn to Squamish and can’t wait to see what the future holds there. <3

  • So stoked for you!!! I know that drill well, having moved nearly every year of my adult life. Such a grind. Tbf I have never moved cities and don’t imagine I will, I love my home city and while I love travel and other big cities around the world I don’t see myself settling anywhere else. I MIGHT retire to just outside of Auckland. Maybe.

    • Hey, if you know what you love, there’s no reason to leave it! I don’t think I’d ever move outside of this general area in BC again. It’s definitely the place for me.

  • I’ve been in Nashville for over 10 years now, and it’s a good home base. I foresee spending summers back in Massachusetts with family (and to avoid the heat!) But I like the pace and quality of life down here. The grind of a bigger city would be tough for me at this point, I think.

  • Congrats on finding your home! I didn’t really choose where the city where I live… I pretty much just stayed. I live where I grew up, and I love it. I suppose by not looking elsewhere for work, I choose this place. You know the charms of Victoria…

  • I came here for school. We decided to stay in this region (Ottawa) as my husband has an excellent job here and I had built a business. We decided to move outside the city, even though it increased our commutes because our dream location is the mountains by a lake. We can get in the foothills by a lake in the Gatineau Hills.

  • It’s amazing when a place just “speaks” to you like that. For me it is the gorgeous Hawkes Bay here in NZ. Being a born and bred Aucklander and currently back living there, I’ve been marking time for almost 18 years while my children grew up, completed their schooling and entered the adult world. And this year it’s happening … I’m moving home to Hawkes Bay. I know that feeling you describe so well … whether I drive or fly, as soon as I’m in reach of the Bay I can feel my whole body and soul relaxing and know that I am HOME, and when leaving I’m always so emotional and on the verge of tears. Exciting times, but scary times too, enjoy the journey Cait, I know I will be :)

    • Oh my goodness, what an exciting time, Angela! I am thrilled for you! (Also because I searched for images of Hawkes Bay and it looks absolutely stunning!)

  • Terrific and inspiring post! I came here to Seattle from NYC–where I was in grad school. NYC was a terrific place for a short period of time, but I knew I wouldn’t want to live there forever. Towards the end of grad school, I started getting a strong desire to see Seattle (the need to see it came out of thin air). I had some free tickets due to my credit card, so I visited–once to check it out and another time to interview for jobs. I ended up getting a dream job and came here. And I’ve loved it ever since (for 27 years)! I truly feel that there are places that are our heart homes. It sounds like Squamish might be yours.

    • What a great story, Jeanne! I remember thinking I wanted to live in Toronto, then making the move and realizing it – like NYC – was only a place I wanted to be for a short period of time. BC will always be home for me. But Squamish just might be my heart home… you’re right. And I love that. :)

  • Hey, congrats on finding such a lovely place to live! It sounds like it’s definitely the right move for you. I eventually settled down in a town five hours away from my family. It’s hard because you can’t see everyone and it’s like you’re starting over, but it’s a big adventure. I think it’ll be wonderful for you!

    I currently live in the town I went to for college. At first I HAAAATED it here. I regularly flew or drove back home because I was so miserable. But over time my new city won me over, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. The biggest sticking point was that I met Mr. Picky Pincher in my last semester of college, so I decided to stay. ;)

    • Squamish is about 4 hours from my family (longer if you miss a ferry and have to wait lol), so similar distance! Moving means I can’t see them as often as I’d like, but it’s also not so far that I wouldn’t make the trek. I imagine I’ll go home for a good visit every few months :)

  • Congratulations on the move!! Reading this post it is obvious how excited you are and how at home you feel in Squamish, so I’m sure this will be a great place to call home! No place on earth is perfect, there will be downsides no matter where you go, so you just have to look for that place that feels like home (and is practical, of course!). We live in Milwaukee and while it’s far from perfect, we like the balance of “small city” life: culture and diversity but without the overwhelming and impersonal feel of huge cities, and a relatively low cost of living.

    I’m in love with the idea of a slow moving month, and may steal it for myself. We just bought a house and will move in officially in April. The process of moving, especially to a more permanent form of housing, is really pushing us to think about how we want our home to function and what values we want it to reflect. Sure, we could have lived more minimally and healthfully in our current place, and there’s no reason to depend on a move to make changes…but there is just something so enabling about a fresh start – it’s like giving yourself a permission slip to start living a life that’s more in accordance with your dreams and values. VERY interested to hear how your month goes!

    • “The process of moving, especially to a more permanent form of housing, is really pushing us to think about how we want our home to function and what values we want it to reflect.” <-- YES to this, Hanna! This is already such an interesting move for me, because I'm finding myself "wanting" some new-to-me (used is fine!) things. It's been a long, long time since I've wanted any material things, so I've been struggling to figure out WHY this is happening - and keep coming back to exactly what you've said here: I want things that function better and that truly align with my values. So much of what I own (furniture-wise) is 10+ years old, purchased in my early 20s when I didn't really have any values lol. It's also not functional. Anyway, I like the idea of moving over with a minimal amount of stuff and figuring out what I actually need, but also what aligns with my new values (since I have oh so many new ones now). Good luck with your move, as well! And I loved Milwaukee, when I spent a day there on my road trip :)

  • After a few years living in a motorhome traveling around the USA my husband decided he really needed to move back to the Minneapolis area and his community there. I hate winter but I love him so I followed him home. Then we found a retirement community here that has nearly anything one could want or need all under one roof. (Restaurants, health club, social activities, educational activities, beauty salon, etc.) So, I don’t have to go outside all winter. It’s perfect for us.

    • I had no idea you were in Minneapolis, Linda! I absolutely love it there – was one of the best stops on the road trip. I hope to come back again either this year or next. Glad you found your community :)

  • After 18 years of travel, living abroad and moving around I finally settled in my home town. It is right for me…not only is it home but it’s also the one place that “ticks all the boxes”. When you can relax and not feel that restless pull/push thing, that’s when you know you’re in the right place. Not that I’m locking myself to the idea of never budging – never say never – but right now I simply can’t see another place making me happier. Moving is really awful…I have always hated it, even when the destination excited me; it was all the emotions, all the stress, and let’s face it; all the STUFF. I lugged it all with me from one place to the next without ever stopping to think it was ok to let go of some of it. My next goal is to finally rid myself of the excess stuff and sort out my home to best suit my needs and wants.
    I hope you find all that you wish for in your new home!

    • “When you can relax and not feel that restless pull/push thing, that’s when you know you’re in the right place.” <-- That is exactly how I feel when I'm in Squamish, Mia. :) Good luck with your future declutter/purge! I'll be doing a small one myself, before lugging things over there that I don't really want...

  • I moved to my current apartment after separating from my ex-husband. My potential choices were based on: biking or walking distance from work because of my unreliable car, my income, and the need to pay off my share of the credit card debt, preferably quickly. This apartment complex was the best compromise between the three. It just happens to be in a older, fairly quiet suburb, within walking distance of a few businesses I visit regularly, only half a mile from the park trails system, and a ten-minute drive from the cultural heart of the larger city. I’m not thrilled with the apartment itself, but I like where it is in relation to everything else, so I stay.

    • All of that stuff is so important, Aimee! I wanted something in downtown Squamish (check) that was close to trails (check) and had a view of the mountains (check). It also backs onto some trees and is in a quieter part of downtown. :)

  • Congrats on finding your new home in Squamish :D By the photo’s it looks like an amazing place. This post seriously resonated with me…. because I seem to go over and back will I move to another town that is closer to home and closer to the outdoors or not…. but I guess I am finding it hard to cut my ties with the city I went to college in and have lived in on and off for mostly 10 years. Have a serious case of decision fatigue!!! Both options come with pluses and minuses and the thought of moving is exhausting enough as it is. I love the questions you asked yourself before moving and will have to use them myself. Sometimes I get this definite yes feeling I want to move and then other times it’s a definite no… :P But going with the it will all work out in the end mentality. Great to find other creative people you can connect with and mull over some ideas. Enjoy the intentional moving :)

    • If it feels like a definite no, I wouldn’t push yourself to go anywhere anytime soon – but I’d also ask yourself where that no is coming from. Is it fear? I have some fear about moving! What if I don’t make friends? Or what if it takes a really long time to make friends? I’m essentially moving to a place where I don’t really know anyone… but there’s something about it that just feels right. I feel like it’ll work out. (And know it’ll take some work on my part to put myself out there and be open to new friendships.) Anyway, that’s all to say that it took a couple months to finally come to the decision, but it’s a definite yes now. Take time and wait until you get to a definite yes. :)

      • Thanks Cait, it is a question is the decision out of fear…. Fear of starting all over again or fear I will make the wrong decision?? Actually there is a lot of fear based questions in there and answers are not exactly clear cut. I think it comes layered with another complexity of health issues at the moment and I guess I don’t want the decision to be ruled by the health condition. Since a lot of decisions have been ruled by it. You have really taken the big step in meeting new people by meeting up with that creative group. I’m glad you took the time until it became a definite yes and just waiting for that now myself – I do believe the decision will feel right at some stage. It has happened to me moving abroad before for college so I believe it will happen again. Thanks :)

  • In 1978 we moved from Montreal to Toronto – a Head Office move. This was back in the days when housing was more available and affordable (not like today’s insane Toronto housing bubble). Back then I jumped at the chance to move out of Quebec even though most of my family still live there to this day. In those days there was a lot of political / language / labour / separatist unrest within Quebec and, besides my own career’s future, I had to consider the future for our two kids (who were very young at the time).

    Anyway, it was in the dead of winter and I was now working weekdays in TO while my wife was still back in Mtl with the kids, in the process of trying to get our old house sold. On weekends I’d go back to join them. This lasted for well over a month.

    During the weekday evenings I’d be spending my time with a Toronto real estate agent looking at homes for sale. My housing search criteria was the following:
    situated close to work, close to schools, close to shopping, close to public transportation (as a backup in case my car was not available). I also was looking for a house in a neighbourhood where young kids were present. How does one search for that at night during the dead of winter? Simple – I checked out neighbourhood back yards for swing sets!

    Anyway, as it turned out, I did find a resale house that I liked but I had to make a quick bid on it in order to secure it. There wasn’t time to get my wife (with the kids) up to Toronto from Montreal to check out the house so I described it over the phone to her and ended up buying it without her ever having seen it first!
    I lucked out – she liked the house. I wasn’t surprised since we both share most of the same tastes.

    Good luck in your move, Cait. Trust your woman’s intuition on this one. It sounds like a no-brainer.

    • Interesting you had to make a “quick bid” even in the 70s, Rob! It’s funny how we assume that’s only an issue in today’s markets. I love this story, and the fact that your wife actually liked the home must have been a relief, haha.

  • I love this post so much Cait because I can relate :) I had lived in California all my life until 2014 when we decided to move to Oregon. We thought that living there would be where we would start a new chapter of our lives, but that didn’t come to fruition. Our hearts were tethered to California and we made the decision to move back after only 14 months. We are in a beautiful city in the Orange County area and we are truly happy.

    I know that you will absolutely love your new living abode in Squamish Cait. I am so happy for you :)

    • That was like my temporary move to Toronto! Temporary because it only took six months for me to realize it was not the place for me. I had lots of friends! I had a job! But it just didn’t feel good… wasn’t the place for me. I’m glad you’re back in California :)

  • Congratulations on following your heart on this important decision. Squamish seems so right for you! We raised our children in an Eastern suburb of Montreal, QC and moved back to the city when our youngest child entered college in Montreal. We live in Le Plateau, a vibrant neigbourhood with most services a few minutes’ walk away. I commute to work and can choose from an array of options: my own feet, the bus or subway. We recently purchased a truly awful condo that my husband completely renovated. It’s not my dream home and we are both aware and on page that this is not the home where we will spend our retirement, but it is now very comfortable and perfectly situated for the remainder of our active professional lives.

  • I love this post and I am so happy for you! What an exciting venture, moving to your favourite place.
    Personally I have never left my home city. I’m in Australia, and it’s much less the culture to move far from home, probably because most of us just go to local universities, so we don’t get that taste for leaving our previous lives behind. Now I don’t think I could ever leave, but it’s OK, I’m happy with the life I’m building here.

    • “…we don’t get that taste for leaving our previous lives behind.”

      Blimey, Klara, half of Australia seems to live in London – and when I lived in Sydney for a few years for work, every Australian I met had done more travelling in Europe than I had at that time. How come you and your friends seem so different to the globetrotter Aussies I know, live near or work with?

  • To date I ve allowed my job opportunities to dictate where I live. As such I’m not far from my home town as that’s where my business contacts are. Every 2-3 years I go looking for the next job and I priortize moving. Ultimately each time a better offer comes up locally and it’s just easier not to sell my house and move. Some day the situation will reverse and we’ll move always. In our case the big push will be to live somewhere semi rural near lakes and mountains. Someday, but for now it’s not like I live somewhere horrible.

  • Yes!! That’s fantastic news for you. I love Squamish and occasionally drive up there just because. I would move there in a heartbeat if it were feasible for me.

  • Congratulations- what an exciting move for you. We had a specific list of things we wanted from our home, both the building and the community. Climate, land, small town, close to, but not on top of, family, community groups to volunteer for and a house to renovate. Eventually we found it all. Slow was defiantly the key … not to rush into anything until we were both happy. Best wishes for your move.

  • i can understand erfectly your point o fyou , there are places where you feel “at home” in my case when I think about a future myself I’m in Rome and now I’m working on this, saving money for rent and job opportunity…I’m sure you’ve tokk right decision for yourself:D

  • So, so happy for you!! Looking forward to seeing many more photos once you are there and get settled in! (So, what’s the view like at your new place? ☺ )

  • Your minimalist lifestyle helps with all of the moving at least! When you’re always buying stuff you gotta drag it everywhere with you, it sucks.

  • Congratulations and welcome home to Squamish!! It truly is paradise. If you ever want to rock climb, mountain bike, paddle board, snowboard…let me know :)

  • I’m so proud of you, Cait! I think it’s brave to move on your own and start putting down roots somewhere new.

    I’m excited for you to be the even-more-inspired version of yourself!

  • What a great question. So many people live in the same place their entire lives without considering if it’s right for them. I moved to my current city because it had the “highest concentration of closest friends.” I thought it was another stop gap and I’d move on after I figured something out, but that thing I figured out was that I needed to stay put to see what could happen. I’d moved so many times! I don’t love the city, but I love so many people here. There are inspiring things here, even if it’s not always the landscape. Someone once said, “It’s a great place to live, but I wouldn’t want to visit,” and I still laugh at how accurate that sounds.

    I love that you searched for home and that it became a contemplative exercise. I searched, too. In the end, I had to do more inner work, I think. I would have just kept moving as a way to explore, always searching for some undefinable thing.

  • THIS POST! OMGoodness this came with impeccable timing. Right now I am trying to figure out where I belong, I know I need a change–not sure if it’s from the job I’m at or the city I’m living….but I know something needs to change. Right now I am trying to move to BC Okanagan, because that’s where most of my family is–I haven’t lived near anyone in so long. I still don’t have any answers—I’m kind of just putting out my resume until something turns up. But I’d love to know where I’m supposed to be, because honestly–I want to settle, put down roots and just love the life I create for myself.

  • Cait, I loved reading about your move and especially your guiding questions that led you to realize you’re the best version of yourself in Squamish! I feel the same way about our new home in the Flathead Valley of Montana. I also loved your question about how to decide where to live — this is the first move, really, that my husband and I have chosen the destination. Our previous moves were all driven directly by military or work assignments. It’s enlightening and a little bit scary to just jump off the deep end this way, but it also feels so RIGHT.

    I’d love to hear more about how you are finding and connecting with like-minded women and entrepreneurs in your community. Any lessons to pass along (other than just getting out there and embracing feeling awkward in new social situations?)

  • I moved from London, Ontario where I grew up, to Houston, Texas. You never know where life will take you! The strangest thing was that after I moved here, my mom was visiting and discovered that 3 of her college friends had also moved to Houston. The path to Houston was not a straight one. And for many years I didn’t like it here. I guess the answer to your question is, I didn’t really decide… life happens!

  • My only hope is that you remain positive on the community when it becomes over run with urbanites seeking adventure and summer getaways. When Squamish population doubles in size or even triples for that matter on a long weekend.

    Other than that every bit of the month sounds like a rockstar decision and your mindset is clear and at piece.

  • I just Googled Squamish as I’d never heard of it until now. OMG I’m not surprised you want to live there, it’s gorgeous!

    I live in Devon, South West of England and love it here. I grew up in the busy city of Birmingham but met my now husband on holiday and moved to Devon when we got engaged. Never looked back! Life is slower here but so much more fun. I have a job I love, I travel every month and have a great home.

    Hope your move goes well!!

  • After living in the US for 26 years, I returend to Europe in 2014. Ironically I live in the neighborhood my mom was born. I downsized from a detached home to an apt in an ‘up and coming’ area of Amsterdam. It was an enormous adjustment in many ways. But I feel at home, – Marjolein

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