Returning “home”

Returning Home | Kimberly Hetherington | Art Therapy with Kimberly

I just arrived in Sydney and I already feel like going back to Vancouver.

As we walked towards the taxi cue in Sydney Airport, Mat looked at me and said, “finally, we’re home!” It’s strange to think of a place that I’ve only been living in for two years is home. Even filling out the arrival form to enter Australia threw me into an identity crisis. I feel like an alien. I’m not really Canadian anymore and I’m not Australian.

I know I’m lucky to live this life. It’s incredible to go from snow-capped mountains to beaches and sunshine in a matter of hours. I feel delirious looking out the window at the sunshine and blue skies. I’m grateful for my life in Australia. I have a great job, an amazing group of friends, and live in the most incredible apartment. But it’s painful to be so far away from my family.

Although I’ve lived like this all my life, saying goodbye never gets easier. It never feels long enough, I start to become paranoid that this will be the last time I’ll ever see them.

I wonder what it would be like if I moved to Vancouver and finally had my family around me. It would be so cool to call up my cousin up and take off on a hike in the mountains. Or go for walks in the forest with my parents. I would no longer miss birthdays or holidays.

All my life, Vancouver has always been the docking point. No matter where in the world we were posted, or how far we were, we’d always return to see our family.

As I get older, the more I get asked, “why don’t you just move to Vancouver?” 

I don’t really know. Perhaps it feels like anchoring permanently in Vancouver would mean this whole adventure would be over. I guess I’m scared that moving “home” would mean my traveling life would end and I’d become caged into a life of comfort and complacency and never leave again.

Maybe I’m just built for a life of living neither here nor there, always returning but never living. It may seem selfish and it may break my heart, but it somehow just feels right. I suppose no matter what we do, or what life we live, we must always sacrifice something.







  1. Glad your trip was safe and your time with family was great.
    Not that u are asking of anyone but here is my 2 cents:
    Go home. Vancouver. What u have now is a substitute for what u have left there. U travelled out of desire and need to heal. U will always have a scar (so to speak) from the injury to your spirit with the death of your dear sister. But it is no longer a large opened wound.
    Now u can be home. U can be who u are there. U can enjoy life with your parents and extended family while life can be had with them. Embrace that. I am sure even more healing will come to u and them.

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