What makes a place “home”?


A dear friend of mine who is considering a permanent move to Paris asked me the other day what I think makes a place ‘home’.    It got me thinking.  I have been fortunate enough to live in different countries and in various settings before coming to Beautiful Vancouver.  In my early twenties I lived for six months in a rural village in Portugal.  I loved getting up with the roosters and sitting down to a breakfast of fresh bread and milky coffee served in soup bowls!  I loved feeding the chickens and working in the vineyard.  There was so much to love about the place and the country but I certainly wasn’t “home” and I knew it.   I have lived in crowded and dirty cities and  I have lived in history-rich and architecturally-dazzling cities that weren’t ‘home’.   I have lived with family and friends and I have lived in my city of birth; a stone’s throw from the hospital I was born in.  And yet,  I wasn’t ‘home’.

Then I came to Vancouver.  I saw it from the air as the plane circled the city before landing and I just knew.  I was home.  To me ‘home’ is the place where your soul is at peace.

What makes a place ‘home’ to you?



Why you should quit that dead end job

Have you ever taken a job you knew was wrong for you?  About six years ago I did just that.   We had recently moved to Vancouver and since we were still feeling our way around and getting to know people, my husband and I both took the first jobs we were offered.   My husband was lucky.   It turned out to be a great fit for him and for his employers and he is still working there today.  I on the other hand knew I had made a mistake the minute I sat down at my designated desk.    I quit on the third day.  I blame the experience on two things:

1)      The interviewer’s skills (or lack thereof)

2)      My reluctance to ask more questions.  Had I asked the right questions I would have known that I would be handling cash all day and handing over keys with monotonous regularity.  (Sounds like I took a job at a motel doesn’t it? but it wasn’t ) and it was not the job I applied for.   The job I applied for had words like ‘Executive Assistant’ and ‘Superstar’ and ‘Team Development’’.  

Perhaps you’re thinking I was rash in quitting like that, considering the times we’re living in and I wouldn’t blame you.   But I believe we should only accept those jobs or projects that will challenge us to be better and do better.  This philosophy doesn’t necessarily equate to high paying jobs.   In fact the job I took after that one was a low wage job at a clinic.   I learned on the job and I was challenged everyday by what I saw and the stories I heard.   

So if there is a point to this, it’s this. Don’t settle.  Ever. Not with the wrong partner or the wrong hair-do or the wrong job or the wrong story.