You Can Never Go Home Again…Oh Wait, You Can

Port Moody (circa 2003)I read somewhere that 80% of people settle within 25 miles of their place of birth. The reasons made sense: people generally like their own culture, they enjoy living near their family and friends.

Basically, it was the safe choice.

I remember thinking, “That’s not going to be me.” I didn’t want to count myself among those people who made the easy decisions, preferring to keep things simple, rather than exciting.

I wanted to live in exotic places like…Cairo or Easter Island. I wanted to leave the mundane behind. I wanted to always have interesting stories to tell about playing cards in the Himalayas, or running from tropical pirates.

I was admittedly untraveled at the time. In the years hence I’ve managed to knock off a fair amount of countries on my list, and I’m positive I’ll continue that trend. But I’ve realized an important fact along the way: my hometown is actually pretty nice.

Perhaps I took it for granted, growing up among towering trees, muddy tidal flats, swimming lakes at our doorstep, and some downright phenomenal city planning. I had to leave to see the true qualities my hometown offered.

So it’s probably not much of a surprise that my wife and I have moved back.

Much is different from when I left (only 4 years ago) but then again, much is still the same.

There’s more apartments, more cars, and more traffic. But there’s also the same shortcut I took to get home from elementary school everyday. The same backyard fences (with new graffiti), the same smells of pine needles and glistening, humid air. The same soccer field where my team would drink beers on the sideline after the game.

The same spot of grass next to the highway I encountered a pair of deer that I somehow felt the need to touch, not realizing later that bucks are more dangerous than rabid bears.

There’s another saying that believes: you can never go home again. And they’re right. But you can move back.


  1. Thank you for this post. At 35, I finally managed to come back to my home turf and raise my family here. I’ve not regretted it for one minute!

  2. I am 30, and I moved to Amsterdam (The Netherlands) three years ago. I was born in Madrid (Spain) and I lived there all my life, except in 1997 (Sydney) and 2003 (Spain´s east coast). I miss my country!!! I miss my culture!! I miss my friends, my family, my life… It is true that I won other things, all them exciting, but I still want to go back home and I am sure I will… one day.
    Thanks for your post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *