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copyright 1999-2006

a place to call home
by Yee-Fan Sun
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continued from page 1

Sure, I've called a lot of places home in these quasi-adult post-college years of mine. Having been lucky enough to find myself living in all sorts of unexpected corners of the world -- from tropical Australia, to the deserty southwestern U.S., to misty moody Scotland -- I've come to kind of pride myself on being able to make a cozy nest for myself no matter how short the stay, or how far-flung the locale. I've learned to love living in all sorts of strange places -- acclimatized to hot dry weather and damp chill, discovered that chile makes everything taste better, and that some beers are best when they're not ice cold. 

But in my head, I always knew: those places were temporary places. I'd be somewhere for a year of studies, or until the boy finished grad school, or until his research funding ran out: there were defined end points in sight. It's been fun hopping from city to city, country to country; old friends jokingly send me emails asking what continent I'm on today, and say how jealous they are of all these cool places I've been. And it's true; it's been amazing all the more so because there was always this thought that eventually, once we got the wander bug out of our system and the boy finally finished school, we'd go back home.

In my mind, the home we'd go back to was Boston. So when I first found out that the boy had gotten his dream job in Toronto, I jumped up and down, did a little jig of joy, told him how happy I was. But inside, a teeny part of me was thinking, Wait, not Boston? In Toronto, I had no family, no friends, no connection; stereotypical American that I am, I had to look on a map to pinpoint where in Canada the city actually was (a lot less east than I'd originally thought, but also a lot more south). We'd agreed we were tired of moving every few years; we were ready to make roots wherever we found ourselves next. But deciding to do that in a place I barely knew? Craziness. I packed up our stuff for Toronto reminding myself that despite all our talk of finally settling down, this move didn't have to be permanent. I braced myself for the stress of being in yet another strange new place.

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