This weekend, I went back to my hometown to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. I go home for almost every holiday or school break, and I try to go home once a month in the summer as well. This constant back-and-forth has become my new norm. Ever since I moved to Vancouver for university, I’ve tried to go home as much as possible to see my family.
It’s funny that I miss my hometown so much, because when I lived there all I wanted to do was leave. I spent my high school years dreaming of going somewhere else, of living in a big city as far away as possible and starting a new life. In reality, I became homesick almost immediately after leaving. Sure, I enjoyed my new life in a big city, as I’d always imagined, but I was not prepared for how much I’d miss home. When I went back for holidays, it hit me even harder. As soon as I drove by the familiar landmarks, all infused with childhood memories, and stepped foot into the place where I grew up, I became enveloped in nostalgia and love, and I wanted to stay forever. After all, my whole life was there: my parents, my pets, my friends, my life memories. Realizing my new appreciation of the city I once hated led to some mixed feelings. I now loved and appreciated my hometown, but I still loved my new home of Vancouver as well. What did this mean?
It’s been four years now, and I still don’t have a great answer to this question. I feel the same way every time I go home, and I always wish I could stay for longer to see all of my friends and feed on the memories that have long been dormant in my mind. Then I go back to Vancouver, and I feel at home again, but in a different way. I don’t have as many memories here, but I am making them over the years, and the city is feeling more familiar and homey the longer I stay here. Despite this, I still feel a constant tug to my hometown, and when I go home, I feel a tug to Vancouver. This complicated relationship leaves me always missing one place while I’m at the other, which has led to me never feeling truly at home in either city.
The conclusion I’ve come to is that I have two homes, one in Vancouver and one in West Kelowna. I love both of them equally, but in different ways. My hometown contains all the memories of my old life, which I cherish, while my new home contains all the future memories I will be making in my new life, which is very exciting. I know that I will always miss one of my homes, and this is a fact that I have learned to live with. Instead of dwelling on how much I miss one place, I now try to focus on where I am and truly appreciate every part of it. In this way, I feel lucky – I have two amazing homes that I love, which contain friends, family, and memories, and I will forever cherish both of them.
Do any of you have more than one home and know what I’m going through? Tell me about it in the comments!