Jennifer Hillier

Going home, and leaving home, all at the same time

Nov 21, 2011 | Uncategorized

So. I have some personal news to share.

I found out last month that my husband’s company is transferring him back to Toronto at the end of this year. Permanently. Which means we’re moving. In six weeks.


Look at this map. It’s about 2,600 miles, or 4,200 kilometers, from Seattle to Toronto. Did I mention we move in six weeks?

Needless to say, since we found out, life’s been a little hectic.

Yes, Toronto is our hometown, but I’ll be straight up honest: I wasn’t exactly excited about the news at first. It’s not that I don’t love Canada – I freaking love Canada and am fiercely proud to be Canadian. But I became a writer here, in Seattle. The Northwest has been endlessly inspiring, and I’m not sure I’m ready to leave. But it isn’t up to me. And it isn’t all about me.

So in between finishing the second book and working on preparations for the CREEP Canadian launch earlier this month, I’ve been making arrangements to relocate. The week I spent in Toronto turned into a house-hunting endeavor. Thankfully, we found a house, but it was a frantic search, and there a hundred more things still to do. Canada and the US may be neighbors, but they’re two totally different countries, and moving back is more complicated than I can explain here.

As much I’m looking forward to being close to family and friends again, I am going to miss Seattle like crazy. I love it here. Life is quiet here. I’ve had huge amounts of time to myself which allowed me to write at the pace I do. I love the rain and mist and trees, which turned out to be the perfect setting for CREEP and FREAK. I love how it never gets too hot or too cold. I love the easy pace of the Northwest, where people talk slower and move slower and traffic is one-fifth what it is in Toronto. I love the Craftsman style of my house. I love how there’s a coffee shop on every corner.

I will miss the place where I became a writer.

I will miss going to Seahawks games. Canada has the CFL… but yeah, we won’t talk about that.
I will miss Saturdays at Pike’s Place Market…
… where I’d buy big bunches of flowers for ten bucks, and they’d last two weeks.
This is so random, but I will miss the guys who sing Doo Wop, a Capella, outside the world’s very first Starbucks.

I will miss Powell’s in Portland, Oregon. It’s about a 3-hour drive south, which I was happy  to do because it’s pretty much the world’s greatest bookstore.
I will miss going to the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley.

I will miss Teri, the very first friend I made here. I snapped this pic of her holding what I think might be the world’s largest  cat … don’t ask.
I will miss lunches with Nancy, my first writing friend here. Wish we’d met sooner.
And I will miss the hell out of Micheleen, one of my best friends since childhood, who lives a bit north, but we made it work. It’s going to be a little harder to meet her for dinner every month once I move to the other side of the continent. 
I feel like I’m leaving a lot behind. I promise to do a post soon about what I’m looking forward to about moving back to Toronto, but for now, if nobody minds, I just want to be emo and wallow for a bit.

Have you ever moved some place far from home?

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