I’m moving to Canada.
No, I’m not joking.
No, it’s not just because of the election.
I’m moving because I am Canadian. I’ve only lived in the U.S. for 6 of the 32.5 years of my life.
I’m moving because what attracted me to Portland in the first place isn’t really true anymore. I still love the city, but it has become expensive, gentrified and far less interesting/weird/unique. The housing crisis is bad, and the artist population has declined significantly.
I’m moving to be closer to nature and to live a slower-paced life. Remember, two years ago, when I was living in a tiny travel trailer and exploring the Northwest? My trip got cut short due to an illness (not mine) and my life went in a different direction. I was happy with the choices I made back then. But the urge to live in the wilderness hasn’t gone away.
We’re moving to an island in the gulf of British Columbia. There will be a hiking trail outside our house. It looks beautiful and I think being there will do wonders for my mental and emotional health.
I’m moving because I’ve been in a rut for at least a year now. Life has been feeling very routine. I’m not someone who needs change all the time. I like being comfortable and I tend to be a creature of habit. But I also need to feel inspired—I need some “movement.” And lately, I’ve been feeling kind of stuck. (I’ve also been working incredibly hard, which is certainly part of this.)
I’m/we’re leaving because Valerie has been struggling to find a purpose here in Portland. I wouldn’t want to live in the place where I grew up either, so I understand her desire to start afresh somewhere new.
I’m not really moving because of Donald Trump’s election. If, by some miracle, the electoral college were to elect Hillary, I would still be moving.
But the election was the catalyst for the move. Valerie and I had already been discussing the idea, and when the election happened, we decided to get serious about it. We found our island quickly, found a house to rent. So many pieces fell into place. It is kind of crazy how fast we’re doing this (we’re moving right after Christmas!), but it all feels really right.
We both feel more inspired than we’ve felt in a long time. We also feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do this, and we are committed to providing a safe house if things get really bad in the States, and to donating to important causes down there.
I’m really excited to live a slower-paced life. I want to read more and cook more and hike and make art! I don’t know what to expect exactly, and I’m sure there will be hard moments, but all I’m saying is… bring on this new adventure!
Just wanted to fill you in.
Have you ever made a major life decision for the sake of your creative and emotional wellbeing? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Emilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe
scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.