Our journey toward home

Our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home.

—David Foster Wallace
Hiking through the Andes in Peru with Apus Peru, 2013

A dream, however uncertain it may be, deserves to be fulfilled. And so we explore, observe and document, learn and interpret, invent. Travel is just one way we fulfill our dreams. Of course, it sparks more dreams too!

This is a maquette of a project we envision recreating life size: Nature Seeker by Brave New Wild.

We have not been travelling for the past two months. Not unless you include visits to Julie’s dad in Amherstburg, our son in Guelph or our friends near Collingwood.

We are living (while trying to make it look as though we are not) in Toronto, in the apartment that we are trying to sell which we constantly stage for a stream of strangers who make appointments to look through our apartment while we aren’t here. When not vacating the apartment it is our workplace. We are spending time with friends and family.

Christian in our apartment (for sale) on Bloor St W in Toronto.

We’re dealing with a host of mechanical problems on the van and getting it ready for our next foray into the unknown.

Add to that, a bunch of boring tasks like visits to the dentist and doctor and filing our taxes; not so boring birthday celebrations; and something we’ve become unintentionally good at… moving from one house to another – this time, son, Elia and his wife, Margot, moved and we helped.

Recently we were included in an article in Toronto Life Magazine’s May issue about Torontonians who sold up (or moved out of their parent’s homes) and moved into vans.

We’re anxious for this apartment to sell (fingers crossed it is soon!) though we don’t know what we are going to do when it does. Have you ever felt trapped or cornered? That is how we feel these days. Plus frustrated and impatient. We are ready to move on and start fresh again. Ideally in a place we love! So….we are dreaming, planning and scheming various options. Ideally we’d buy a small house somewhere in southwestern Ontario (not too far from those we love in Toronto, Guelph or Windsor) with a little yard for us and MacDuff. Not just anywhere. It must have a vibrant, creative community! We have not found our utopia yet. We have been looking at houses and lots in Prince Edward County, Collingwood and Grey County, Windsor and Essex County and one of Toronto’s latest ‘suburbs,’ Hamilton, and …. NOTHING appeals to us. This is absolutely déjà vu! We have looked at pre-fabs, Airstreams, tiny houses and are even considering moving out of the Volkswagen and into some sort of van conversion that is suitable for four seasons and includes a workspace and a bathroom. The van conversion plan would have us downsizing to practically nothing. We’re close to that now. The problem with that is that we don’t envision it as a long-term solution. That said, we didn’t envision living out of the Volkswagen for more than six months to a year! We feel like it could work for us for the next few years but it wouldn’t be an investment like real estate.

We’re struggling with these decisions because we want to be able to afford a future filled with travel, creativity and (fingers crossed) good health and not be property poor which was the situation when we last owned a home. This was our goal last year too, when we bought this apartment. We thought we had found a solution that would work for a while anyway, a longer while than a year! Looking back on the last five years we sometimes can’t fathom just how much we have seen, learned and experienced. We’d like to continue on that path but a home base, landing pad, crash pad – whatever you want to call it – also appeals. A place we can work from, receive mail, entertain, enjoy community. Of course, in an ideal world this home base would be in Corsica! However, it always comes back to proximity to family and friends. So, this is your invitation! Let’s all move to Corsica! We are ready.