Where is Home?


I grew up in Vancouver, WA just across the river from Portland.  At the time Portland seemed like a long ways away; a big city with no tax and traffic.

As a teen Portland was my destination du jour.  I  fervently dreamed of living in cool Portland and not oh-so-boring-and-suburban Vancouver.   Portland was The Place.  It housed Skoochies, Pioneer Square, and 82nd Ave.  All very cool, very gritty, and oh-so alluring “meeting places” to an angst ridden teen trying to shake the suburban vibe.

But now that I live in Portland it’s just… oh, I don’t know… cool?  Yeah, it’s that.  But it’s also home.

When I’m back in Vancouver my ears are pricked and my eyes dart around each corner hoping and dreading I’ll see someone from my past.

I never go to Vancouver un-showered.

In my mind there are two parts of Vancouver.  “Old Vancouver” is where I grew up (my neighborhood), downtown (The Old Library and Marshall Center), and where I held my first “real job” (Vancouver Bolt).  It’s also where my dad still lives.

“Old Vancouver” feels like a well loved book with a good story and velvety  pages.


“New Vancouver” is where we moved when I was a teenager.  I liked it, but it never felt like “home”.  Visiting New Vancouver brings back memories of high school, friends, and learning to drive.

As I think about it now, New Vancouver holds memories yes but Old Vancouver holds my heart.

What about you?   Do you like going home?  Does it always feel the same or has it changed?