20 years from Ontario

Two decades ago today, I did something immensely stupid: I left home. Literally and figuratively. Twenty years ago, I was still sleeping in my room on Gatestone Avenue in Oakville. While I had lived on my own at university, and while I was on my co-op work terms in Ottawa, staying at home was … comfortable. And as my parents didn’t object, it seemed like a good idea. Literally leaving home wasn’t the problem — I’d already done it a dozen times.

Figuratively leaving home — notably the familiarity of the Greater Toronto area, but Ontario in general — was another matter. I’d not really lived abroad, where going to my parents’ house was something I did in an afternoon. I decided to throw myself into the world without any plan whatsoever.

Twenty years on, it was the smartest move I ever made.

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Things I have missed about summer in Ontario

I’m currently in Ontario, taking the opportunity to visit with my family. It’s always a strange feeling to come back here: it’s where I was born and grew up, but I’ve been gone for over 15 years. A lot has changed. You really can’t go home again.

That’s not to say that I entirely like or dislike the way things currently are. I’m a bit indifferent, I guess. This is now some place for me to go to, to visit, but not where I feel particularly rooted. That’s what change does to you, I suppose.

That said, there are some things that I do miss.

In Hazy Burlington

Our last day in Calgary — yesterday — was filled mostly by me repacking all of our bags so we could fly out, and then the actual travel here to Burlington, Ontario. We’re here to visit with family (today is Alex’s family reunion) before we leave for Costa Rica.

Or face the long-distance wrath of scorned relations…

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Getting my Birth Certificate shouldn’t be this hard

One part of moving to any other country is the act of applying for a work visa. It’s pretty much a requirement where treaties (e.g. the European Union) aren’t there to ease the situation. A necessary evil, if you will. Because in most cases, the process is not really well documented and you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what you need.

And believe me, we are far from actually getting this one sorted out. Jason’s been a massive force in getting us some iota closer to having it done, but the reality is that we’re going to be flying by the seats of our pants until documentation is actually done.

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Day of Visitation

Alex slept better in a king-size hotel bed. Not so much for myself. I was tired. Grumpy. Irritable.

That’s why I was particularly annoyed with the complete and utter disappearance of my deodorant (which I know I had with me) and two T-shirts. They’ve totally disappeared. I have no idea what the heck has happened to them.

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In Merry Old London (Ontario)

We arrived last night, around 20:00 local time. A quick run through the airport, and we were tracking through the back country out to Janice’s place in Kintore.

The house was cool (old farm houses tend to lack a lot of insulation or it mostly needs to be replaced) so Alex was a little chilly most of the time. We watched Bon Cop Bad Cop until around midnight or so (22:00 our time) before we were tired enough to go to sleep. I’d picked it up during what will be my last bout of Boxing Day sales. They’re hardly sales, since most of the prices (for the things I wanted) were still steep.

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Meeting my niece for the first time

I spent most of last week in Critical Mass’ Toronto office. I was there primarily to support our technical team, which hasn’t had the level of support from me that it’s been needing. So I went out to try and reestablish my presence other than “that guy in Calgary”.

The trip was successful, though I have yet to type up all my findings. That’s going to take a bit longer, as I’m sure to be put on the spot for a variety of must-do activities for this week. C’est la vie, though.

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