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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Home is Where You're Happy (or so I've been told)

It's been very interesting returning to Ecuador after spending a bit of time in "the old country", as it were. Many of our friends asked how it felt to get back "home" to Canada and still more asked us how it felt to get back "home" in Cuenca. (Trust me, after traveling for 24 hours, you're glad to get anywhere that includes a cold glass of water, a bed and something resembling comfort.)

Sunset over the potato fields
All these questions got me to thinking about how I define home. As a child, I often referred to Nova Scotia as "back home", because that's what my mother and sisters called it, but in truth, I'd spent only the tiniest fraction of my life there. For years Vancouver was home, but as you know, Ron and I move a lot. Quickly Vancouver Island became home and then Vancouver again and when we made the leap back across the country to Prince Edward Island, it was home.
We were lucky to have sunshine when we arrived back in Charlottetown, but there was a cool (dare I say cold, knowing the winter our Island peeps survived?) and we went directly to a hotel, not the warm comforts of home.  While we had lived on the Island, we would never be Islanders and despite all of its natural beauty and slow pace of living, we had obligations to fulfill, places to be etc. Yet, it was still home for 3 years.

The back yard of our house in PEI
 And now we're here, in beautiful Cuenca. Can we truly call it home, after so little time? Sure our belongings are happily bobbing their way towards us and we sold our house and car in Canada, but what makes a home? Maybe this is just the place we live for now. But, no, it's more than that. This is a place where we can walk out in shirt sleeves 95% of the time and where I can sit down and write, without having to worry whether I'll miss my ride to work. It's a place where I can milk my morning coffee for as long as I want and our biggest stress is what to eat for any given meal. In short - paradise.

Some of the gardens in Pumapungo Park
I was always searching for peacefulness and I think I've found it here. Don't get me wrong, no one can make mountains out of mole hills or worry about non-events better than me. I hold the ranking title of that on both continents, but yet I'm happy here. Happy to have like minded friends and acquaintances, happy to fritter away time muddling through Spanish verb conjugation and expanding my vocabulary, happy to know that my time with Ron isn't being infringed upon by work or exhaustion.

So, yes, Cuenca does feel like home (despite the sidewalks, culture differences and language barrier). It feels like a place where I can be myself, without reservation or fa├žade and that is satisfying. How long this is home, who knows? But for now it's where we're happy.


  1. Looks like the move has allowed you to be truly retired, no part or full time jobs, no boards to paint, lawns to mow, no nor'easters..

    1. So true, just time to do as we wish. Funny how the day can fill up even when you don't really have much to do! It's not the life for everyone, but it's working for us.