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On the Road Again

When I left home for university in the fall of 1995, I had my heart set on seeing the big wide world. Well, at least seeing the big wide Toronto where I would be going to school.

My first night in residence was like a grown up slumber party. Over excited and adrenaline pumped teenagers huddling together in common rooms. Except instead of Coke and chocolate to send our sugar levels soaring, it was fruit juice and vodka...or wine...or beer.

And so it then became home. Living amongst your peers brings you so close to people that you can't help but exclaim to all of them, at every moment, of every day, 'we'll be friends forever'.

It felt like home.

It's only once March hits and you don't find your roomates anal retentiveness all that cute or her habit of bringing back men all that sassy. It ceases to be a place of comfort and becomes one to be escaped.

And so, I decided to move in with those chosen from the house who I felt most comfortable with. It ended up being one girl, ET. We had the smallest one bedroom apartment, one in which people were taking bets on how long we would last.

But there was such joy. We each had our own little couches, to watch the Golden Girls, fuzzy, on our small tv. The channels, when changed, needed to be done so with a wrench, as the dial was broken.

We had wax-covered wine bottles, a coffee table filled with girly magazines and a fridge with nailpolish. We had a one bedroom with beds 1 foot apart.

It felt like home.

But, our unit expanded to three and so we needed to find another place to live.

A year after ET and I had jumped up and down in the smallest apartment in Toronto with giddy girl glee, we were saying goodbye to our little place and look for a large, perhaps more sophisticated pad. We were in third year univeristy now.

A two bedroom with a dining room was found. In hindsight, we may have gotten the shaft as our 'addition' got the largest room and ET slept behind a curtain.

But we had a great view. And it felt like home.

Until, of course, we were ready to head onto four year and realised that we needed a new place because, well, ET and the curtain and well, I was getting used to this moving-annualy-thing now.

And this is when I fell in love. Three level modern apartment with four entrances and a working fireplace. Gorgeous and out of our price range, we quickly signed the lease and got ready for a year of poverty....and of course, open fires.

It definitely felt like home.

But university sends people everywhere and after graduation, I was off to St. Catharines to begin my career as a reporter. Time to spend quality time with my grandma.

It felt like home. No, really like home as for the first time in 4 years, someone was making sure I ate dinner and waited up until I got home.

Ah, but the life of a journalist never stops. Except when your internship ends and they don't hire you on because they have no spots. Great.

Worked out well that D's sister in Oakville, S, was looking for a roomate. A good rate. Someone who had become family. And close enough to Toronto that I was bound to find a good job.

How like home did this feel? So much. Like living with my own sister, except minus the fights. S and I invented popcorn and the West Wing and made sure to give back as we volunteered weekly for the Girl Guides.

But the city was calling. After a year there, I had found a travel editor gig for a website and needed to be in the centre of it all. So, time to pack again.

A new roomie, a new section of town and a new type of lifestyle. The largest room I had had in a Toronto apartment. And the love of my sister's kitty.

It was home - old style.

Ah, but finally love had come calling and D and I decided it was time. After about 5 years, yes, we were finally ready to share a bathroom...and a bed.

Of course, you think us two love birds could settle? HA. HA HA HA.

A year later we were off. We found our cute little pad, with our tiny fridge, think carpets and cheap tv, spent a few months at a time in it and headed back to the Canadian cold a 14 months later.

It felt like home - England style.

Although didn't last long..

So once we got to Belfast, I really imagined being in our little flat for awhile. I really imagined that, for the first time in 10 years, I would be in a house longer than a year.

I even wrote an article for Mosaic Minds about my new 'home'.

But good luck has touched us with its magic wand. And so, we need more space. 2 bedroom here we come.

It was to good to be true Internet. My entire adult life has been spent moving house...every year.

I used to get angry, exasperated, blame people, blame the universere.

WHY? WHY? WHY? How could this happen to me?

Now I'm not so bothered.

It will always feel like home, no matter where it is.

Just as long as I have somewhere else to go in 365 days...


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