Five years ago, I took a somewhat risky chance in life – without having any sort of job lined up, I moved to a city I’d never even visited. That risk paid off tenfold as I fell head over heels in love with Ottawa and the life I built there.
Looking back now, sitting and writing this amidst all my packed boxes, the five years truly flew by. Ottawa became a true home for me, and – thus far – remains the only city I’ve ever deeply felt that about.
Ottawa became familiar to me, despite my occasional misstep with directions (accidental adventures, anyone?). It became a place of comfort and safety, of adventure and contentment. And in that deepening familiarity, I grew more into myself.
With that stable comfort, I also ignored one of my strongest aspects: my sense of adventure. I hadn’t pushed myself to discover new challenges and jump (only somewhat) blindly into a new aspect of life. In choosing to leave Ottawa now, the desire of a new adventure was one of my strongest motivators.
It’s hard to describe just how I feel about the city; how happy and peaceful I feel when I return to it after time away. It feels like I can breathe easier when I’m there. It hasn’t yet been two weeks since I made the move, but I have a sneaking suspicion my love for Ottawa will never diminish.
You might be wondering now where my next adventure has taken me – the answer is actually a place I never imagined I’d live: Toronto.
Although I’ve visited several times and have plenty of friends and family in the area, Toronto was never that appealing to me as a place to live. Only time will tell if that opinion will change, but I am looking forward to exploring from a more permanent setting. Along with that, there will be plenty of time spent daydreaming of future trips, and returning to Ottawa and the friends and family I left behind there.
With this move, it definitely feels like I’ve closed a chapter in my life. I guess that’s the best thing about beloved stories, though; they’re always there if you ever want to reread them.