Why I’m Moving to Canada
Photo courtesy of Heidi Franz.

Why I’m Moving to Canada

Written by Emilie

Topics: Adventure, Life

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.


Your Turn

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.

em_bioEmilie 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.


  1. Bart Lenselink says:

    Starting all over once in a while is very refreshing. Enjoy your stay in BC!

    • Crystal says:

      I’ve been considering the same thing! I am 56 years old, my kids are grown, my father was Canadian, Trump was elected, etc., etc. I was born in CA, moved from there when I was 11 to TN, which was the opposite of the Beverly Hillbillies, but that’s what happened. I left TN a month ago and I don’t want to go back. I have family in Canada but they are in Toronto and Montreal — not that that matters because I want to see it all! Lol. I just got started later in the year than I meant to. So, how do you like it? Please be brutally honest?

  2. Beth Maiden says:

    Good for you Emilie!

    My partner Emma and I moved to the Isle of Skye last year. We came here to volunteer and just… see. We’d both lived in a rural area before (me for 10 years) but still, it was time for a big change. The volunteering didn’t work out, but we’re still here, figuring out the next steps. Whether to go more remote, or to try to make it work here (property is prohibitively expensive), or to change it all up again. (Here’s a post I wrote just before the move http://littleredtarot.com/new-year-in-an-unfamiliar-indifferent-place/)

    I think when we moved I had this idea that I would automatically become more ‘connected’ to nature, more creative, more all-the-dreamy-things. What’s actually happened has been a slow and incredible, though sometimes very painful, process that is far from over. I think it will take years. I know that I’m in the right place right now – a feeling I haven’t experienced for years. But it’s all a huge process.

    I’m so excited to hear about where you’re moving to! Hope to see photos and more of the move when you’re ready :)

    (Do you ever get the urge to start a second blog – for personal things? I really do – though I share a lot of personal stuff on my tarot blog, I sometimes worry that it’s not what folks are there for – I would like a space to just post whatever the hell I want…)

    Anyway – tangent! Happy moving to you! Can’t wait to hear more.

    B xxx

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Beth!

      Thanks for the comment and (exciting) email. Response to that coming your way soon.

      I’m not surprised to hear that your sense of connection developed slowly and was sometimes difficult. My plan is to try to be open to it, but I have no doubt that it will take time and be hard for me, too. I’m so addicted to technology, to checking statuses, working, etc. But I’m ready to really commit to changing my mindset and priorities, and I’m hoping that the new location will at least be a supportive force in this evolution.

      I don’t get the urge to start a second blog really, because I’m not sure I’d be up for maintaining two of them. But I do often wonder whether I SHOULD start a personal blog. Like whether it’s inappropriate for me to be posting this stuff here. Even writing this post, I was like “should I conclude this with some kind of universal lesson for multipotentialites? Or draw some kind of analogy? will people be pissed that this post is all about me?” But ultimately, I’ve found that the occasional personal post doesn’t bother people. If anything, I get a better response to these posts. People seem to really like it when you let them in (even if that feels a little uncomfortable to write).

      I will probably lose some subscribers, and that naturally worries me a little. But a smaller community of people who genuinely care and are interested in what’s going on with me, seems pretty nice.

      I don’t know. But yeah, it’s definitely something I think about whenever I publish posts like this. :)

  3. Jenn says:

    Welcome home to Canada, you two! I’m in SW Ontario (Canada). Praying for safe travels for your move, and that you can get settled in easily, as well as that you both find peace in your new home.

  4. Laura Friis says:

    BC is the best! My family is dual British/Canadian (I’m Brit, husband Canadian) so our life stretch goal is to have a place in both places – but so far we have lived in Vancouver first and then Ireland and England. We will go back to Canada in a few years. I miss it a lot! I can’t wait to hear what life is like on your island.

  5. Susan says:

    You’re coming to my neck of the woods! I’m on Vancouver Island. Welcome home.

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks, Susan! That’s awesome.

      And I’m definitely planning on organizing some kind of meetup once I get settled. Probably in Vancouver because I feel like more people will be able to make it.

      • Joan Higgs says:

        Welcome home to Canada, Emilie! I’m in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast so would love the opportunity to meet up in Vancouver (although daytime works best for me because of the lousy ferry schedule).

  6. Bob Langan says:

    CONGRATS! I am envious. My wife and I have always wanted to live in a cabin in the woods on an island. Nearing a hiking trail? BONUS! If this move doesn’t do wonders to get you out of your rut, probably nothing will. So, best of luck to you and your starting of the New Year with a new home. Should be exciting!

  7. Vikki says:

    Hi Emilie, I am excited for you. And I know all about the moving and changing your whole life to meet your own emotional, mental and creative well-being. I’ve done this a number of times … first from New Zealand to the UK (Nottingham and then London). Then London to Edinburgh before ricocheting back for personal reasons. I’ve changed careers for my own mental health at least twice. I’ve taken a sabbatical for 3 months and hopped onto a truck to overland through east and south Africa so that I would remain sane whilst waiting for a mortgage to be approved.

    Here is what I have learned. The challenges you hold deep within you travel with you. The environment may offer many opportunities to grow, develop and be reinvigorated … but only where you are open to the fact that you may need to face some of your own internal growth needs within the new environment too. But you know that already :-)

    Have a wonderful adventure. I look forward to what you share as it unfolds, xx

    • Emilie says:

      “The challenges you hold deep within you travel with you. The environment may offer many opportunities to grow, develop and be reinvigorated … but only where you are open to the fact that you may need to face some of your own internal growth needs within the new environment too.”

      Absolutely agree. :)

      Thanks for your comment, Vikki.

  8. Dominique says:

    It’s great to make a change from the heart. I hope you’ll be happy in Canada. I live in Québec City, Quebec; I like my hometown. :) It’s not perfect, our society still has a lot of work to do, but overall, I like most of it.

    The last changes I’ve made were not happy. But, they really were from the heart. I’ve made them in the spirit of getting closure, and making space in my life for other things.

    I’ve closed my freelancing gig. I’m in the process of closing my blog. I’ve closed or will close all the Fbook pages I was administering. I’m closing, closing, closing. I was just… so done with the trail of unfinished businesses I was leaving behind, I just had to make decisions.

    I also decided to go finish my masters, not because I really want it, but I want a career that will allow me to have more money, more free time, and to work more with humans. I really hate studying at the uni, and it’s expensive, but I have a feeling that if I don’t finish this masters I’ll be stuck my whole life. More money means more travel, and more time means more energy to create, travel, invent, read, cook, reflect…

    I sadly closed the book of a well paying, food styling or food researching job; there’s none in my area. I had one that I lost when the project I was on was canceled (bad planification on their part. I still feel depressed over this.) However, I don’t know – all that «book closing» feels incredibly freeing. The more I «close» things, the more I feel my shoulders relax, unburdened by the task of trying to keep alive something whose time has come.

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks Dominique. Québec City is beautiful.

      And tell me about it! Saying goodbye to things can feel so incredible. I’m sorry that these changes weren’t initially your choice, but it sounds like you’ve found your footing and are listening to yourself. That’s awesome.

    • Carol says:

      I wish there was a “like” button here!
      By choice or by chance, I too have committed to un-committing from many things this past year… A lot of them were, as you mentioned, pieces of unfinished business or as I say, not-the-right business. Having these things off of my plate is indeed creating room for me to focus on, finish, and, let’s face it, catch up on what is really important and meaningful.
      It has been said that education is one thing that can’t be taken away from you once you have it. Your masters will be a valuable asset which will provide you with opportunities and possibly more security so you can really pursue your dreams.
      Best wishes!

  9. May this move bring you and Valerie all you’re looking for. (I love BC, particularly the Vancouver/Victoria areas.) Here’s hoping for an easy move and lots of availability of good Chinese food (that always makes ME happy)! Best wishes to you both.

  10. Carol says:

    This inspires me, Emilie.
    It takes a good deal of insight and a lot of self-reflection to realize that something isn’t working and an immense amount of courage to do something about it.
    I spent my teen years wanting nothing more than to “get our of dodge” and leave my hometown for the big cities… And now, I’m a 40-somthing grownup who longs to move back. Funny how life works that way sometimes.
    I look forward to hearing about how you are settling in and adjusting/readjusting to your beautiful Canada. Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. Hi Emilie!
    I’m Fran and I just saw you on TED “Why some of us don’t have one true calling”.
    I identified me with your TED and this is what left to me, to my life. I was very emotional with your TED.
    Thank you!

  12. rads says:

    Good luck with your move Emily and best wishes. I can totally understand the why and frankly, for an artist, we need that space of freedom not only around us, but in our heads too, and we have to go find it. Some of us are lucky to be able to move and I wish you all the luck and hope you get to do all that you want.

    You introduced me to the straneg puzzling life of “multipotentialite” – as in the moniker, i was always thought I had ADD or “too many interests” but now after reading you and hearing u this year, am so glad and happy to recognize myself like so. Been meaning to write to you an email,but this is as good a time and place as any I suppose.
    Thanks and I’ll be following you and yoru work :)

  13. Robert says:

    I left my high paying, full benefits and stable government job in Canada to move to Australia for a year and I have no regrets.

    I’m the same way, I don’t always need change all the time but I do need a change of scenery every so often to feel inspired (that’s why I love to travel).

    It really does takes a good deal of insight and self-reflection to realize that you need to make a change. Once you’ve thought about it over and over and you finally get to that cliff, it takes an even greater amount of courage to do something about it and jump.

    Good luck with the move, everything will work out in the end.

  14. Sherrilyn says:

    I am very excited for you!

    A few years ago I had a big change forced upon me. I was a tenured professor and department chair, and the abuse and harassment I faced at work left me feeling entirely unsafe, and I was diagnosed with ASD, PTSD, and severe depression. I was suicidal, and my husband begged me to leave.

    I wish I would have left under better circumstances. I wish I had another career ready to go. Instead I’ve been focusing on healing and trying to figure out my next steps. After a few false starts, I’m ready to take a leap, and just started a new business.

    To keep me moving forward, I just joined puttytribe, and I’m grateful that such a community exists.

    Here’s to new beginnings!

  15. Greg says:

    Good luck to you and Godspeed in your new home! I understand your feelings about Portland, I’m from the San Francisco and its even worse. What used to be a musical, bohemian, eccentricity that was filled with ALL social classes and ethnicities, has been absolutely bulldozed into a place I don’t even recognize anymore. All for money. It just breaks my heart. I hope you find your “niche”!

  16. Kyle Roussel says:

    Welcome back! :)

  17. J2 says:

    Congratulations on finding a new direction for your pent-up energy! We’ve been lucky to have you in Portland, but I think you’ve always known we were only one of many happy pauses on your Life Journey. Thanks for creating and continuing Puttylike, which goes on, no matter where in the world you are at ANY given moment.

  18. Amy D. says:

    Congratulations! At the age of about 31, I moved to Atlanta taking my first job in software development. From there, I met my husband, who was back in Tampa, FL… so, after only 2 years in Atlanta (I loved Atlanta), I moved back here. Good thing the marriage turned out great, because I haven’t loved Tampa like I loved Atlanta. Fast forward 18 years, and now that my husband is no longer tied to this area by HIS career, I may have a chance for MY career to take us to Colorado! I’ve been in that rut you describe, and unable to really do much about it. But making one small change (finding a “good enough job”), opened up other avenues that may lead to a big move! Florida Girl in Colorado! My passion is in Photography, and I am excited to have new subjects and vistas! Even Hubby is up for the adventure. Yes yes yes, picking up and letting your life take you where it will is a wonderful thing. Change is good. Embracing adventure is good. Congratulations on your leap!

  19. Joan of Art says:

    Welcome back home! You won’t regret it. The islands are astonishingly beautiful, and healthy. I had to travel to fully realize that air and water are rarely transparent elsewhere. I came home with greater appreciation for what we have in Canada. Namaste!

  20. Kim Blair says:

    Hi Emilie:
    Welcome back to Canada! I wish you and Valerie a wonderful life on one of the gorgeous gulf islands on Canada’s west coast. Although we live in Edmonton, Alberta we have visited the west coast and quite a few of the islands over the years, so I know you have made a lovely choice for your new adventure.

    What a wonderful holiday/new year gift you are giving yourselves!

    All the best to both of you

  21. Julie says:

    Emilie, I have been feeling in a rut for some time, financial reasons have kept me in the same spot. Financials have started to turn around, so I started saving up. I booked a trip in June 2017 to travel back to London (where I was born), also traveling to Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels. To get me out of my comfort zone and for $ reasons, I have found a couple of 5-star Hostels and staying with family has allowed for a ‘real’ vacation/exploration. Instead of keeping to myself, will be mixing it up with the people. Good luck with your change.

  22. Kim Miles says:

    Hi Emilie,
    I’ve been lurking around the fringes here for a little while, but I just want to say hello from my snowy perch in SW Portland today, while we’re still “neighbors,” because I like what you’re up to (THANK YOU for giving me the word “multipotentialite”!!!), and because my husband and I are moving soon too.

    We came to Portland almost 3 years ago, from Taos, NM, planning to “date” the city for a time, and see if she offered us a ring. She didn’t… Rent is shockingly expensive, and as an artist, I’ve not found my peeps or my place. The Oregon coast is calling to us now, and we’ll be moving in January. Yay! New start!

    So, just a hello here. Cheers to you and Valerie on your next adventure! We’ve been on quite a few in our 25 years together (Yikes!), and plan to befuddle our families with our “crazy” ways until the wheels fall off.

    All Happy Things to you two!
    Kim (and Rick)

  23. Sandra V says:

    Hi Emily,
    Congratulations and good luck. I empathize with your need for change, but a more comfortable change; as I told a friend the other day, “If I have to have chaos, I like some structure with it”.

    Did not realize you were an expatriate here in the States, but it’s cool you are going back to your home country. An island with a hiking trail sounds some kind of wonderful to me! Having moved inland from a coastal area that I partly grew up in, I really miss the water and the connection to nature I felt there.

    And as a fellow Puttypeep (taking a hiatus from the tribe) I get it too.

    Best wishes on your new adventure, I’m looking forward to hearing about it!
    Peace, SV

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks Sandra! I’m a dual citizen, so not sure if that qualifies me for ex-pat status in the States, but it sometimes felt like I was an ex-pat. :)

      Nice to hear from you!

  24. Judi Piggott says:

    Way to go Emilie. Welcome home.

    Depending on ‘which’ of the Gulf Islands, our online contact may expand to IRL contact occasionally. I live in Vancouver but have friends and family and artist pals all over the big and little islands to the west. If you found a good rental its probably not one of the majors with good ferry service! Your description of what is happening to Portland fits Vancouver as well, but I am hanging in as long as I can

    Let me know when you want to set up that Vancouver-located gathering and I can help.

    It’s gratifying to know that all the work you do for the multipotentialites of the world can continue seamlessly from the new location.

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Judi,

      Nice to hear from you! We are on one of the bigger islands, actually. I think we got really lucky with the rental. But we only have this house until the end of June, so we’ll see where we decide to go at that point. Definitely interested in learning more about the other islands.

      Let’s link up via email. I would love your help organizing a meetup in the new year. Thanks for offering!

      • Michael P says:

        I’m excited to hear that you you’re moving to BC, and even more excited to hear of a Vancouver-based meetup. Unfortunately, with a new baby and new business, my time is limited in helping organise a meetup, but I would definitely like to attend if it eventuates. Is it possible to sign up to a separate email list or something to stay in the loop?

        • Emilie says:

          I hear you, Michael. I haven’t created such a list yet, but I definitely will. So stay tuned? Just got a lot of other things on my plate at the moment. :)

  25. Andy says:

    Originally from the USA, I lived in Canada (Province of Québec) for nineteen years. My stay there ended due to the failure of my marriage and drastic loss of the structure that allowed me to earn my living.

    I loved Québec and I didn’t want to leave. Economically, I had no other choice: homeless was staring me in the face.

    One major source of suffering while I was in Canada was that I was too far away from my family, and I missed them terribly. Now, I have easy access to my family. My main motivation for being here is to look after my mother (who is now 91 years old).

    One thing I have come to realize is that I can be happy wherever I am – that is, I can CHOOSE happiness, and I can choose to improve my conditions, no matter where I am. As a matter of fact, I realize it’s impossible to be in some place where I cannot learn and grow as a person.

  26. gale says:

    Congratulations on your move. Exciting and stressful all at once (at least it would be for me). You are such an amazing lady. So grateful for you sharing your life and the life of multipotentialites!!! I am no longer adrift in my many passions thanks to you and puttylike. <3

  27. Constanza says:

    Hi Emily!

    This is my first time commenting here… after I read your post it kind of felt right :)

    Congratulations for your decision! Sometimes it’s so hard to make it happen…. specially when you don’t really know if it will work. But I’m so happy to read that you are willing to take the risk and that your partner is up for it!!

    Couple of years ago I made a life decision too…. I went to Law School and started working as a lawyer at a bank for around 3 years…. I had a good job, but was very miserable. So I decided to change my life completely…. and follow my dream as a fashion designer! It’s been a couple of tough years… studied to be a makeup artist in between…. and now I’m looking to make new changes in my life hahaha. Even though I’m doing the things I love, I haven’t been able to turn it into a business yet. And that’s what I need to do for next year!
    And to help me in this challenge, a couple of months ago my boyfriend sent me your Ted Talk video as an inspiration…. you don’t know how much you have helped me in this short time! I’m so happy I found your blog and I’m so grateful for everything you post in here…. really :)

    So that’s my story hahaha
    Sorry if my english was not very good…. it’s been a while since I wrote something so long in english (I’m actually from Chile :P)

    All the luck in the world for your new life in Canada! For both of you.


  28. Owen Greaves says:

    Hi There,

    It’s been a while since I’ve reached out to you. I think you’ll take this move in stride, we Canadians have a way of walking : ) I’ll just outside of Vancouver, there are so many places where you can hang your hat in the Lower Mainland. My attitude is, where ever I am, that’s the place to be.

    Good luck, and maybe we’ll see each other on Commercial Drive, you know, where all the Hipsters hang : )



  29. FiL says:

    An excellent choice! We moved to Vancouver 11 years ago from London (England, not Ontario), partly to be nearer the Gulf Islands. While we live in the city, we frequently spend time on Mayne Island. I’m rather envious that you’ll be doing the reverse!

  30. Melissa says:

    Interesting to hear this. I am American but married to a Canadian, and we’ve been talking about this for a long time, too. The election is our catalyst as well, but not our sole reason. W are driving up to BC next week to take it in from the perspective of living there instead of simply visiting. It feels exciting and scary to me to move out of my country and take on home in another country, but it also feels like maybe just the right change to move things forward. Best of luck in your move!

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks Melissa. Good luck to you and your partner, as well! I know this move is harder for Valerie than it is for me because she’s only ever lived in the States and she’s saying goodbye to more people and history. But Canadians are so friendly and it’s so beautiful up in B.C. I think she’ll be really happy there (and you might, too). Enjoy your trip!

  31. Aza says:

    Hi Emilie,

    I just discovered your work and bought the course (I have been too busy being a ‘scanner’ to dive in just yet ;) But truly resonate with the label you have coined.

    Which Gulf Island are you moving to?

    Also yes let me know if you do have a meetup/connect here in Vancouver, it would be great to meet you and the new community of ‘multipotentialites’ here in Van.

    I live in the city, but like Portland this city is losing some (not all) of what made it an amazing place. We are on natures doorstep but it is now a $1-2M+ city to own even the most modest of homes…

    All the best with the move and hope the meetup happens!

  32. So you’re moving to Canada eh? Good for YOU! Congratulations.
    I can clearly understand why you’d be drawn to move there, and I’m all for following your deepest desire to be in nature; take life slower. Just imagine what you will accomplish living this way. Ah.. Nice.
    I can easily relate.
    Good news is, you are still young and have your whole life ahead so “take on the adventure with heart”. I say
    I think if more people followed their heart our world would be a much happier place.
    Take care, and keep us updated!
    Stephanie Gellepes

  33. Janet Bass says:

    I am very happy for you and I hope all goes smoothly with the move.

    You have been a big influence on my thinking about my future and how I don’t I have to fit in someone else’s box. I am now going to try my hand at running a retail book and game store, so I can surround myself with like-minded people.

    Thank you for your inspiration! And best wishes to you and your wife!

  34. Chaya says:

    A week and a half ago I moved from Venice, CA to Philadelphia. I know, right in time for winter. My grandfather passed away a day after the election and rather than consider the option of putting my grandma in a nursing home, I decided to go live with her so she could stay in her home. I probably would’ve made the same decision no matter the result of the election but the result did help spark fire under my butt and make me realize how important it is to act when you feel something is right. I’m lucky enough that with the many jobs I’ve had, I have numerous skills under my belt. Right before I left, I got hired as a part time editor that I can do virtually and my sister hired me as a part-time babysitter. Plus, not having to worry about rent is giving me greater freedom to work on completing the many writing projects I’ve begun over the years. It’s amazing how things fall into place once you make a major decision.

    So, I totally understand the inclination to move now. Time is short and you gotta act when the inspiration strikes.

    Best of Luck! It’s going to be really great for you.


  35. Lisa says:

    I am SO happy for you guys! We still have a goal of selling our house, buying an RV and traveling the country with the kids. Our house was on the market for six months and didn’t sell, but we’re not giving up!

  36. Zano Tyranes says:

    Hi Em

    we moved from South Africa to the UK in 2007. Then in 2014 we moved back to South Africa, due to family situations etc.
    Any and every move is exciting and inspirational. Take care and enjoy yourselves!

  37. Michael Hurley says:

    Sometimes a change is a good as a rest and if you aren’t happy were you are then you look for something new. I totally understand were you are coming from.

    Enjoy the change and all the very best.

  38. Hi Emilie,

    Congratulations to you and Valerie. I applied for a passport, which I have timed to arrive before the inauguration. I want to be sure I can get out if this nut decides to close borders.

    I hope everything goes smoothly with your move.

    Thanks for the plans about the safe house. One never knows.

    Maybe Canada can be home to a bunch of multi-potentialite artists in an ex-pat colony one day.

  39. Nitsan says:

    Hi Emilie! Lots of luck with your move and your next chapter in life!
    I left Israel 20 years ago to come to the US. It was following a disasterous political turn of events (the assasination of Priminister Rabin) which was definitely a catalyst but also a bit of an excuse. I grew up in a very small community in a very small country and always felt that I’m missing out on something big going on in the big world. I’ve been living in the NYC area since and loving all the opportunities of the city. I think the urge to move somewhere else is related to being a multipod, at least for me. It’s part of wanting to see if I can do it successfully. Same like trying my hand at a new skill.
    Happy holidays and new beginnings, nitsan.

  40. mmw says:

    My husband forwarded your email to me. I know he is struggling to survive his corporate job which he doesn’t love. But bailing out without replacement income is the limitation. And we have a 7 year old in a great school and in a great environment.

    Years ago I did a reboot. It cost me a ton on the materialistic front but it was the life course correction that gave a an entirely new and sustainable future AND a life I love. I have to say it was worth it and I also have to say…never again -LOL. It was hard. It was confronting and scary at times. But I couldn’t survive the rat mill anymore. I didn’t have a choice.

    I am glad you are making new moves for all the right reasons.


  41. Natalia says:

    Dear Emilie, I wish you all the best in your inner and outer trip. I’m moving now to buddist meditations :) still physically staying in Moscow, but feeling my inner trip really a large work, like climbing a hill. Meditations and buddist texts give me, a multipotentialite with quite a long and diversified life, a strange feeling that I’ve missed the key path of my life, though in every previous period I thought that I’ve found smth central and most significant for me. I feel really sad that I refused to become a nun when I was suggested to do this when I was 21, I regret that I didn’t went to a hill to make buddist meditations when I was 35 and had such an idea. I’m 48 now and feel that even if I will meditate and study day and night I probably will not achieve some significant results to share with the planet during the remaining part of my life. People practice for decades before thay start to teach or deliver smth seriously. And I’m used to achieve results in different fields that I practiced in the previous stages :))), including teaching computer animation, delivering business trainings, making pregnancy support or writing poetry, prose and books on creative writing, etc.
    But anyway I know that when I take a path I can not turn back. That was always so, and it is so now. And the main hope in my changes is that higher power will take care of me and I will become better anyway :)
    I don’t know how much my story will be useful for you – just may be it can help you to find a better focus on the inner process of your changes. Changes are always include temptations and hard periods, so may be meditation (of any kind) can help you to calm yourself in unstable period of life. Moreover, kind compassion to all living beings which is the center of meditative practices may be really helpful in building new relations on a new place and opening your heart and mind to different people and circumstancies.
    Anyway I look forward for your next emails and stories of new life.
    Best withes to you and Valerie

  42. christine says:

    Good luck!

    lucky you! I am dreaming of moving to Canada but being French and old!!!! (60), it’s extremely difficult to get a visa!

  43. steph says:

    Congrats Emilie & Valerie!
    And thanks for sharing a bit of personal news with us :)

    I haven’t changed countries nearly as much as I would have wanted, but I still lived in 5 different countries so far… and it is always such an exciting experience. For all the things you said. Not only for the obvious reasons (change of environment); but also for all the little signs and impressions that lead you to that decision and to the need of finding something else within you.

    You might remember from our talk this summer that I was planning to move to NYC. I am still working on it, but the elections made me reconsider a lot too… the elections and joining the Puttypeeps tribe. Both things made me realize I am an activist at heart, and that the time has come, maybe, to make myself useful. Sometimes I wonder how this works: how is it that, at some point in your life, some things seem to click and point towards a particular direction. Why now? Why here? I don’t really want the answers to those questions to be honest. I like the thrill of wandering a new path, even/especially if there’s no absolute certainty about where it leads to.
    ENJOY! :)

  44. Karen Joslin says:

    I’ve moved across the U.S. several times, always for my creative/emotional well-being. I seem to like living in one place for a number of years, and then I get itchy feet to experience a new place. My last move was from Los Angeles to Tallahassee, FL. After spending my whole life in urban and suburban sprawl, I wanted to be someplace quieter, with a closer connection to nature, plus less of the traffic and hassles that you get living in a large metro area. I’ve been here for 12 years now, and although I’m starting to get itchy feet again, there are still lots of things I love about it here. It was far easier making friends here than in other places I’ve lived, and those friendships have been deeper as well. I finally met the love of my life here, after nearly 20 years’ worth of brief relationships and lackluster first dates. Even though we live smack-dab in the middle of town, our neighborhood feels secluded, and the giant oaks and pines make it great habitat for birds and other wildlife. The things I’ve seen just in my own back yard have been pretty amazing. Certainly I’ve had some difficult times since moving here, but overall I have to say it was the best decision I ever made.

    Congratulations, and good luck with your move. May you find the bliss and inspiration you’re looking for!

  45. Marg Stubington says:

    Best of luck in your new home!


  46. Gabriela says:

    Good Luck! We live close to Canada way on the other side. We love taking vacations in the Maritimes, not much different than Maine. I hope you love the slow life as much as many of us in Maine do.

  47. Tricia says:

    I resigned from my fairly well-paying job, sold my urban house (three days on the market), and moved to a college/resort town near my kids because my creativity was dying and the money didn’t make me happy in the least. The 73 hour work week was a form of slavery. That was two years ago, and I am just recovering my creativity. I share a tiny apartment that borders on a natural area, and I’m basically living like a student. I find an abundance of information and instruction online about various artistic media so I’m surveying it to zero in on my strength. I work part-time to supplement two small pensions, one from a career in my distant past that went to China. I am comfortable in making my changes. Hope your move works out well, Emilie!

  48. Anna Rebowska says:

    When I was 16 I decided that it is time to make my dream of living abroad come true. I have seen an advert in a magazine for a scholarship to attend boarding school in the UK. I applied and a couple of months later I have announced to my parents that I have an interview to attend in the capital. They were both supportive although it was a bit of a shock when I actually won a place. I moved abroad and I have not lived in Polan since.

  49. Lesleigh says:

    Change is definitely in the air.

    I went to visit Whitehorse on a whim last month (I live in Yellowknife) and have decided that it is the place for me! I’m due to retire in a few years so am looking for property there(hat I can rent out for now so I’ll have a base to work from.

    Ideally I’d love to build a strawbale house but that will depend on the finances.

    My approach is to fling the ideas and energy out to the universe and, if it is meant to be for my next step, it will come together – sometimes in extraordinary ways.

  50. Katy says:

    I love hearing this! I moved from my home state of Texas to the mountains of Colorado after graduating.. I had left even before the commencement ceremony. I absolutely love it hear. Nature does wonders for the soul. I wish you the best on this adventure!

  51. Sian says:

    I moved from the city (Vancouver) to Vancouver Island (Campbell River) 33 years ago and never looked back. I have turned down lucrative employment opportunities just to stay here and live frugally but how can you complain when you can go fishing on the ocean in the morning and be skiing up Mount Washington in the afternoon. I never need to go elsewhere for a vacation because this is paradise. The only move I would consider is to one of the smaller Gulf Islands (Saltspring or Quadra comes to mind) but there would have to be a job to go with that. My freelance writing (career) doesn’t pay enough to kee me housed and fed!! You will love it here. Good choice!!

  52. Good on you Emilie. As a multipotentialite myself, I recognised that my beautiful house I had lived in for the past 20 years was not serving my many and varied creative urges. So, I sold up and moved to a less fancy suburb and picked up a house with a view & a spa to watch it from, that houses 2 art studios (1 clean & 1 messy), a music studio, a healing room, all with direct access from the street for clients, a kitchenette in the studio area and a large patio (53 square metres) for break-outs from workshops AND room to grow my vegetables.

  53. Anya Trybala says:

    Hey! Thanks so much for sharing your stories and making me feel good about all my own interests and many paths taken. This story struck a chord with me as one year ago I was living in Melbourne, Australia with my Swedish partner. After I went through a serious mental health decline and subsequent recovery, we decided to move back to Sweden. We too had a conservative government come into power and Melbourne is far from the ‘most liveable city’ – it’s expensive, hectic and we as artists were suffocating. We landed in Copenhagen in February and travelled up to the countryside – we stayed there for SIX MONTHS! I was very surprised we stayed for that long but it was so lovely and necessary to get us both fully recovered. Check out my instagram @ninooshmusic for all the country inspiration. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey.

  54. Gillian says:

    Hi Emilie, I moved with my NYC American husband,from Montreal to Toronto two years ago to be closer to 3 of 5 kids. We jumped….no with plans.
    Canada is a great place to live,much more open minded, diverse and tolerant. I prefer Montreal over Toronto as I feel that Toronto is far too serious and people rarely relax enough to look you in the eye when they pass you on the street. Having lived also in New York and London, England, wish I had never left, Toronto isn’t a bad place at all although it doesn’t seem to have sense of what it is. I say ” Toronto wants to have ‘it’ but as they don’t know what ‘it’ is they will never have ‘it’! Montreal has a great gay village that is vibrant and open minded with embracing arms welcoming everyone. I miss it a lot but right now Toronto is my home. Good luck with your move keep your life moving forward. Everyone has their own adventures to live, there are no mistakes just learning experiences and you can’t grow if you don’t take risks! Close your eyes and jump!

  55. Lorraine says:

    Welcome home Emilie. And welcome to Canada Valerie. I am so excited for you both. The Gulf Islands are beautiful. My sister lives in Gibson (north of Vancouver) where the Beachcombers was filmed many, many years ago. Although I have often dreamed of doing what you are doing, my life has gone in a totally different direction. It may still happen one day. So happy for you both. Happy trails.

  56. Sue Dunn says:

    Welcome back. I live on Gabriola Island .Isle of the Arts.

  57. Aga says:

    Hi Emilie!

    Thank you for sharing such personal developments happening in your life.

    These read as actions, most positive and inspiring at the source. The new journey has begun for you the moment you started realising the discontent of your current space and life as it was unfolding.

    I would perhaps say, that it does not matter how much pain or challenge there will be for you in your new location – you are already becoming more aware of what it is that you don’t want, and what you ultimately do, which is located in the present.

    It’s the direction that you have decided to take that is already telling – you own that piece of yourself and your life. Your message to Us All shows that you are taking steps to paint your ‘here and now’ differently. I can just imagine you holding that brush and dripping some amazing shade of blue paint on the floor ready to paint the walls of you new horizon – wast and bluer than ever.

    Canada has always been my dream, and currently I am working on my visa applications for next year. This decision also comes after a few rounds of failed relationships, more than a decade of living in England (initially from Poland, via Netherlands), and yet realisation that there is nothing that holds me here – I need a change of the environment, a new horizon.

    It is strange as it sounds, but your message arrived in my inbox at the time when I met a person who actually could be the best thing that has happened in my life, and who will broaden my horizons, or as someone has told me a few days ago – he could be my Canada.

    Yet, this feeling of moving across the continent never ceased beating next to my heart. Could it be parallel hearts? The quest to make them beat as one…?

    As you wrote, sometimes we just know that something is missing and that “sometimes you just need to change directions in your life or work”.

    I’m still hoping that my new direction could lead me through McGill University and careers services where I could connect with other multipods, students and graduates. Those who are creative, hopeful, and those who are feeling up or down, and just share, laugh and cry over all their stories by joining them in their journey, just for a few bus stops, towards personal growth, inner peace, love and happiness.

    I wish you all of that, all that emotions and feelings in whatever your journey is yet about to offer you. Please, make sure to use lots of that blue paint!

    As always looking forward to your new updates…:)

  58. George says:

    I remember moving to England after a 10 years career in accounting, to work in healthcare, starting from zero. After another almost 10 years and a future career change in view, i can say: totally worth it!

    • Aga Szewczyk says:

      Hi George!

      That was a very brave and bold move!

      I feel like I have already made that decision and it is all about the steps to make the move physically happen, or in other words, I am managing for serendipity.

      Cheers to all the planned and coincidental new beginnings in 2017!

  59. Don says:

    Go for it! My wife & I typically moved about every 7 years (for work reasons), and then a 20 year tour in TX. Now in OK.

    Moving can either be viewed as a big inconvenience, disruption, adn a big pain…..or an adventure, to new places, new things, & if you’re lucky ending up living every day where other people pay to visit.

    Life is a trade off. For everything you give up, you get something, For everything you get, you give up something. With some thought and planning (and attitude) it’s usually a net positive.

    Good luck and enjoy.

  60. Joce says:

    This is really cool. Shaping our lives and our environments to meet the evolving needs and desires of ourselves and our loved ones is so exciting. It’s so awesome how many options we have for doing that. Everywhere we go there are surprises waiting. Life is an adventure.

  61. Ryan says:

    Congrats on making the move. As a multipod, I have picked up and moved many times in my life. Sometimes for a job, sometimes for a change of scene, sometimes for someone else. My most recent move has been to the lovely wine country in Sonoma, CA. The negative side is that I’ve never felt like I have a home, and the nomadic existence gets wearisome.

    I hope that you find a place you can settle in for a while.

  62. Caden says:

    Well all I can say is from someone living in Vancouver, and been all over, Welcome back. I hope your move goes well with as little errors as can be, and I truly hope you can find what you are looking for and regaining your strength.

  63. Hi Emilie,

    Best wishes to you and Valerie in your next phase of life up in beautiful BC. I have to admit I’m rather jealous as I dream of living in BC every year when my husband and I go for our annual visit. But I’m also sad Portland is losing another artist – I was just talking with someone yesterday about how many we are losing, but I can understand all the reasons. As for writing about something personal on this blog, I think this topic is totally relateable to multipods – life evolves! I hope you’ll share some pics and adventures when the time is right!

  64. Rory says:

    so happy for you (both)! and so jealous. I too have similar feelings and needs but haven’t figured out how or what to do about it yet. Glad you both have found a home where you can grow and glow.

  65. jb says:

    YAAAYYYYY!!! Welcome home, Emilie, and welcome, Valerie – you’ll love the island! I watched your Ted talk and love that you created this beautiful, heart-centred community of multi’s. I am up for your meetup, it’ll be my first ever attendance at a meetup! Commercial drive, Gastown, Main St, Fraser St – just send out an email, and I hope to see you soon! I get your need for change, and being able to start 2017 in a whole new, nature-filled environment is so nourishing for the soul and your health. Looking forward to meeting you in person!! :D

  66. Aris Royo says:

    Nice to hear that your moving, I wish you all the best.

  67. I’m so happy for you! Can’t wait to hear about your new adventures and how things go for you.
    I’m also in the process of making a change. Mine is an artistic change. I’ve been an artist since about 2010 but I haven’t fully committed. I’ve been getting more popular and it has forced me to reach a turning point. I’ve decided to go for it 100%! Even if I fail, which I really don’t think I will (fingers crossed), I’m going for it! What I do is extremely unique and I have an entire market area that I can corner so why am I not taking advantage? So even if I embarrass myself or get a lot of ‘no thank you’s’. I’m just going to do it! I’m also in a unique position in that I have a supportive husband and with his job, I’m able to not have to work a regular job and can spend the time trying to make it work as an artist. Artist’s of today have to be their own business people and pitch themselves. Instead of waiting for opportunities to land in my lap…I’m going to get out there and make it happen.

  68. J2 says:

    PS – You’ll have access to better poutine than Hawthorne Hophouse can do! (No complaints, but they have only one kind!)

  69. Olivia says:

    I moved from Australia to Vancouver Island, BC. Best thing that I ever did! Welcome back to the wild hikes, rugged landscapes and beautiful scenery for all the eyes can see. Make sure you come to Tofino, it is a magical place <3

    • Emilie says:

      Yes!! I will definitely check out Tofino. Though all I think of when I hear that word is that Planet Smasher’s song, but I’m sure there’s more to Tofino than just surfing. :)

  70. Ric Reece says:

    I am so happy for you and Valerie. What a vision; to live on an island in B.C. surrounded by nature. I thank you for the vicarious good vibes I’m feeling right now. :) I know about new beginnings. My wife and I have spent a life looking over that hill to something greater. Florida, Wisconsin, California, Washington state (where we have lived for 12 years, surprisingly). We can’t sit still knowing that new potential is “out there”. I offer you good luck, but I know you and Valerie will make your own. Bless you.

    – Ric

  71. I think moving is a good decision. To be inspired we need places that truly foster that kind of vibe. Portland is becoming increasingly expensive because like most major cities where Chinese or Taiwanese dwell, housing prices are inflated to unreasonable levels. To understand, you can take a look at housing prices in Taipei city and wonder how are young people gonna pay for that with an average starting salary of 22K-33K New Taiwan Dollars per month.

  72. Sharon says:

    I actually would love to move to Canada and it is due to the current state of our country. I have been researching the process and learned about the Express Entry Program which I believe I will qualify for, as I am well educated and can probably get a job there. The barrier is the process requires an English language test, even though I am American and English is my native language. It seems that the test taking places I have located are all in Canada. I don’t want to spend time and money to go there to take a test and return here. I want to take the test and get the process started so I can begin again. Does anyone know if there are any testing centers in the US?

  73. Ivanka says:

    Hi Emilie and everyone,
    In exactly one week, I’m moving…again.

    It started last summer when my partner and I couldn’t find jobs in Ottawa (that’s where I grew up). After months of searching I was offered a job in Edmonton (where my partner grew up). It seemed natural for me to jump on the opportunity considering the circumstances, so I did.
    And I dragged my reluctant partner with me.
    Just kidding…I did’t drag him, but he was definitely reluctant to go back to an old life since he, too is a “multipotentialite.”
    Nevertheless we both arrived in Edmonton with only the shirts on our backs and 7 dollars between us…
    Also kidding.
    But seriously, even though I was excited to begin a new job in an area that seemed to suit my personality quite well (running programs and workshops with kids), I realized by the end that it wasn’t for me. To a certain extent, I felt pressured to remain one-dimensional at my workplace in order to appear professional with the parents of the kids I worked with. By one-dimensional, I mean I didn’t feel like it was appropriate for me to be my weird, quirky, artsy, sarcastic, go-with-the-flow, yoga-pant-and-army-boot-wearing self whenever I wanted. I understand the importance of professional etiquette and attire in general, but at this time in my life I find myself drawn towards adventure and expression rather than conformity.

    So now I’m here, packing up my things, ready to leave Edmonton and travel to God-knows-where.

  74. Tina Ng says:

    I’m very jealous Emilie. I want to move out of Sydney Australia. Would like to go to Europe but even somewhere else closer, in Australia or New Zealand would be fine by me. That means I’ll have to find a new way to get a bite to eat other than sticking with my current job. I do intend to move towards that direction, but it can’t be rushed and I need to take my time.

    Congratulations on your decision. My colleague in Canada told me they’re going to use ice bricks to wall off Trump during winter, and in summer they’ll let the bears out of hibernation and protect them like in the Revenant.

  75. Aga Szewczyk says:

    Hi Emilie!

    Thank you for sharing such personal developments happening in your life.

    These read as actions, most positive and inspiring at the source. The new journey has begun for you the moment you started realising the discontent of your current space and life as it was unfolding.

    I would perhaps say, that it does not matter how much pain or challenge there will be for you in your new location – you are already becoming more aware of what it is that you don’t want, and what you ultimately do, which is located in the present.

    It’s the direction that you have decided to take that is already telling – you own that piece of yourself and your life. Your message to Us All shows that you are taking steps to paint your ‘here and now’ differently. I can just imagine you holding that brush and dripping some amazing shade of blue paint on the floor ready to paint the walls of you new horizon – wast and bluer than ever.

    Canada has always been my dream, and currently I am working on my visa applications for next year. This decision also comes after a few rounds of failed relationships, more than a decade of living in England (initially from Poland, via Netherlands), and yet realisation that there is nothing that holds me here – I need a change of the environment, a new horizon.

    It is strange as it sounds, but your message arrived in my inbox at the time when I met a person who actually could be the best thing that has happened in my life, and who will broaden my horizons, or as someone has told me a few days ago – he could be my Canada.

    Yet, this feeling of moving across the continent never ceased beating next to my heart. Could it be parallel hearts? The quest to make them beat as one…?

    As you wrote, sometimes we just know that something is missing and that “sometimes you just need to change directions in your life or work”.

    I’m still hoping that my new direction could lead me through McGill University and careers services where I could connect with other multipods, students and graduates. Those who are creative, hopeful, and those who are feeling up or down, and just share, laugh and cry over all their stories by joining them in their journey, just for a few bus stops, towards personal growth, inner peace, love and happiness.

    I wish you all of that, all that emotions and feelings in whatever your journey is yet about to offer you. Please, make sure to use lots of that blue paint!

    As always looking forward to your new updates…:)

  76. K.C. says:

    I’m so happy for you and your wife Emily! My big move came when I moved from Cleveland,Ohio to Los Angeles. I loved it! For almost 20 years I lived there, it became my second home until I was forced to move to Las Vegas where my mom and step dad live to help me fight Cancer. I was recently in Portland-where I’ve been thinking about moving, thanks for your honest opinion by the way- for my 1yr of remission and enjoyed it. Like you I’m a writer-unpublished at the moment of fiction, but working on changing that as we speak- and want desperately to leave Vegas but only when I figure out how to create a financially independent stream of income that’s not location dependent. I, like you, want to be around more nature and where people appreciate not being plugged in 24/7. Anyway, I hope by my 50th birthday-in a year and a half-that I will be on my way to a place I actually want to be as well, and that turns out to be good for me too!
    All the Best!

  77. Joe says:

    Often, we move away even though our address doesn’t change. This is typically a sign of discontent. Go with the heart; mentally, physically, spiritually. I wish you all the good fortune as you embark on this next adventure. As for me, I am currently in prison in my own home. I need to move, for all three of the above reasons. Admitting this in a blog is terrifying. Hopefully, it will be motivating. I will start with my mind. I need to chose a place to move, and then go there in the mind. In time, the spirit will find the mind. Then, it is just a matter of letting go. I love Puttylike. You have created a virtual space to be free, to explore, to grow. As the chief editor, you inspire us to maximize our multipotentialite. I, for one, will follow you. Please keep in touch.

  78. Congrats on the move. I’m actually jealous, as i’ve never visited CA and have wanted to for many years. (All of my grandparents were from CA so I consider myself technically Canadian!)

    I’ve done 4 cross-country (moving) trips on my own because I became bored with people/places/things. Yet that remark by Vikki – “The challenges you hold deep within you travel with you.” hit home with me. I’ve been struggling with some issues that I now realize I’ve been taking with me on the road all these years. So I’ve made the decision to stay here in Northern Cali a bit so I can address these issues and hopefully find a place of peace both internally and externally, as in finding a place to call home. That and I’m much older (55) and too tired to keep moving because something becomes uncomfortable. I like the landscape, weather, and people here (so far, anyway), and wish to stick it out for as long as I can. Kudos to you finding a hideaway in the woods! I am absolutely jealous! Perhaps one day I will find that very same kind of wondrous place to call home..

  79. Carli says:

    Awesome!!! Congratulations on your decision, and best of luck in your move. It sounds like a worthwhile move. Canada will be glad to have you back :)

    I live in Ontario, but would love to meet you one day if you make it east or I make it west.

  80. gen says:


    i have been meaning to write to you for ages to say hurray to you. i met you years ago in montreal when we were both at a bookstore to hear Chris Guillebeau speak on his Art of Non-Conformity book. you wrote about that day ages ago and on how you stepped out of your comfort zone to speak with people, etc. so+++ much has happened since then. bravo a toi!

    while i am not so much of a multipotentialite, my partner definitely is and it’s an adventure. living with and loving them feels like… possibilities, like “all the things are possible”. new ideas, new places to live, things to do, projects to research, new skills to practise…

    i am a 100% multipotentialite ally ;)

    we just moved from montreal/toronto to victoria a month and a half ago. you will absolutely love it around here. the trees are magic!

    sending much goodness to you and your family and all your putty peeps.

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Gen,

      Nice to hear from you. That was ages ago! Ah, so much fun.

      It’s awesome that you’re a multipotentialite ally. Your partner is really lucky. I hear from a lot of people who don’t have supportive partners, and that can be hard. Also, I think it’s a good combo. You can help them feel grounded and stable while they explore their interests and they can help you feel like there are endless possibilities, as you mentioned. Good balance. :)

  81. Erik B. says:

    Moving is a Mental Necessity sometimes! That’s how I ended up in Colorado! Needed to slow down and focus on some of my ideas, Just relax with my dogs.
    Another big change I made was, with the cost of housing here I was working all the time to pay rent for a place I was rarely at! So I gave up my house and moved into my fifth wheel RV on a leased piece of land. Cutting expenses has allowed more time & $$$ to start a custom cedar greenhouse business and pursue education in hydroponic/aero-ponic growing systems! Never would have happened without the MOVE!
    Good Luck!

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Erik,

      That’s awesome. And yeah, we will be paying about the same for a 3-bedroom house on the island as what we were paying for a 1-bedroom basement apartment in Portland. We’ll also spend a lot less money overall because there are fewer things to spend money on. I’m feeling really excited about the clarity in focus and priorities that I foresee coming my way. Thanks for your comment.

  82. Emilie

    Congrats on making a move. Taking action is AWESOME. Being in the right space, a new space, and or a better space is a life requirement!

    I understand completely the need to move. Personally, I have been investigating where in this great big ol’ world is my place. For too many years I have been trying to figure out where can I thrive. I have not found it as yet but I am hopeful. Truthfully, I am probably “overthinking” it a bit. I need to just make the move like you. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Wishing you and yours all the best and much success for 2017!

    Lorne S. Wellington

  83. Steevo says:

    Yay! Good for you!!! I’ve taken a few of these breaks over the years..

    “Have you ever made a major life decision for the sake of your creative and emotional wellbeing?”

    Yes! All the time! Chicago to Florida for art school, to Austin, TX for my first business.. which lasted a minute longer than my first Texas girlfriend.. lol! Second business back in Lauderdale…then went all AynRand/Atlas Shrugged, sold the business and decided to wander the earth as a missionary for about 5 years, did some fun stuff starting an orphanage, working in an aids camp.. (3rd world governments like to send their dying into areas away from tourists.. we hold their hands and tell jokes and shower them with respect/dignity)…
    Then from the islands to the Pacific North Wet!!! To work with doom metal and hip hop bands as an audio engineer while getting back into marathoning and learning engineering design. I am designing a cute little AFrame house that would be perfect on a Canadian Island!

    Also, wildly excited to cheerlead for you and Valeries new adventure!


  84. Isabelle says:

    Hi Emily,

    I want to thank you for sharing this so open-heartedly.
    I feel deeply happy for you, as when all pieces fall so easily into places, this is often because this is the right path.
    I’m 33 and I’ve already started over 3 times. Each time, it brought me the fresh air I needed to grow further. I hope you will enjoy this side effect too :)
    Also, the fact that you understand that it is difficult for your wife to live where she grew up, it helps me feel understood about the choice I made years ago.

    Thank you!!!

  85. So are you renaming it “Multipotentialite Island” or “Puttyland”? And do we all get to move there with you, commune-style? (I seem to recall some talk of this at the beginning of Puttylike!)

    I’ve travelled to PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario. Every place I’ve been in Canada has been an absolute delight. So now I have a reason to come visit British Columbia! And if I play my cards right, I’ll get a home-cooked meal too!

    I think that the election has been a catalyst for a lot of people. It’s hard to sit still. Glad you’ve used it as inspiration for a positive step forward with Valerie. Congratulations!

  86. Mohsen says:

    What a coincidence! I’m moving to Canada too. But, I’m making a huge life transition as I’m currently living in the Middle East and this is the first time I’m going abroad. I’m both worried and excited.
    I wish you find what you seek and I hope I’ll be able to have a good start.

  87. Wazeem Raja says:

    Congrats Emilie ! The bliss of a slow-paced life is something that should never be missed. It recharges our mind in a whole new way. I am sure you clearly deserve it after all the things that you have done. I have been lucky to experience a few seasons of it filled with good cooked food, reading, nature and exploration, with indian classical music (Santoor, Sitar) acting as the perfect soundtrack. I believe everyone deserves to experience the slow-paced life, especially multipotentialites. Wish you the best !

  88. Helen says:

    I am excited for you Emilie. I have several complete upheavals under my belt including country, work, study and life direction. They all added to what is Me. Not everything was always smooth sailing but I learned a lot along the way. For the most part to recognise when its time to say “whatever it is I need, its not this”

  89. aj says:

    As a native Montrealer (now living overseas), I get it. The need for more breathable space. Nature. Time. Making art. Living a simpler life. Wherever that may take you.. I hope it leads you above all, towards a healthier and more balanced life. I hear the Gulf Islands are where it’s at ;) Namaste, and all the best to you & Valerie.

  90. Hans says:


    what a dream!

    After being on Vancouver Island 3 months a long long time ago, I still dream of coming back there one day.

    Not easy for the frenchies
    Work and love and kids and lot of good and bad reasosn took me apart , far of that dream.

    I can figure what your new life will look like, a bit at least.

    Thank you as always, for sharing.

    Thank you for your enthousiasm.

    Warm regards from Paris.

  91. Mel says:

    Hi Emilie,

    I am excited for you that you have decided to move back to your home country with your wife and that the fates have logistically dovetailed for you. In my (extremely lucky) experience, when that happens you go with it.
    I wish you well for the next chapter, may 2017 be a year full of new and exciting discoveries,consolidation of ideas, plans and projects, and a huge amount of fun and joy for you both.

    Good luck :)


  92. Hi Emilie

    I’m so excited for and Valerie to be moving to Canada. My husband and I had a wonderful holiday on Vancouver island some years ago and I loved it. Following your heart is so important – good for you.

    We moved to other side of the county from where we’d been living because I went for a job and knew I couldn’t do the daily commute. we rented out our house, rented one over here and then … I didn’t get the job! However, I knew I needed a change of engery and we got that moving from a town to a rural village. We like it so much we bought our house from our landlord!

    Looking forward to hearing tales fro your new location in 2017.
    happy Holidays and have a good mvove.
    Sarah xx

  93. Alessandra says:

    Good luck!!!!

    You always find a way to inspire me

  94. Sounds to me a smart move. Glad to hear of it.

    I did a similar move home a couple years ago. Even got the job I wanted but I do feel like I’m in a rut. Part of the issue is being in my childhood home after being away for years (and changing a whole lot while away).

    I keep looking back to where I moved from. But talking with friends yesterday, I was reminded I’m in the right community for now. And a potential renting opportunity was suggested to me. If this happens, it could be the movement I need to move forward exponentially on my projects.

  95. Pinar Tarhan says:

    I wish I could write a post with the same title. There are three places I’d love to move to: Canada (particularly Vancouver: because I’ve been, and oh the beauty!), Santa Barbara (or you know, San Diego: I’m flexible. I just want to be in California and close to LA because I’m an aspiring screenwriter, and I want to get rid of the “aspiring” part.), and Norway (lived there as a student for a year, loved it, gone back several times, some of my best friends live there). I know, they seem pretty far from each other, but Vancouver has the best Canadian weather (and I’m coming from a much warmer country). I love the people, and the country in general.

    Trump freaked me out, but I’ve seen worse around the world, and despite coming from a Muslim-majority country, I’m agnostic and vampire-white, so I guess I could survive. Especially in LA around fellow screenwriters. It has been the dream for so long; I don’t think any president could change my mind about where I really belong.)

    But I totally see where Valerie is coming from too. I traveled a lot, but I still live in the city I was born in. And as pretty as it is, I’ve had enough.

    So wish my good luck. I have major hoops to jump through, especially when it comes to the number of documents and how much I will have to provide in my bank account. :)

    And thanks for the post. :)

  96. Sara Richter says:

    We are actually at a transition point in our lives as well. My employer is constantly looking for people to go to their Texas offices and with the housing market going up in price everyday California is gradually losing its residents. We know if we move we could probably never come back… And that’s a lot for us since both of our families are from Southern California area. I struggle with the move because I don’t want to end up in an area I can’t express myself. Add into the mix that we just had a baby four months ago and were thinking about moving in the next six months

  97. Teresa says:

    I am changing careers for the umpteenth time. I am going back into sales which is what I truly love

  98. Donnamarie says:

    Congrats Emilie on your upcoming move up the west coast! So thrilled we’re gonna be almost neighbours! Not sure which island you and Valerie will be on… I’m in Nanaimo these days… my first west coast living was on Lasqueti Island…when I moved south after 10 years of wilderness exploring in the Yukon.

    Yes, as a fellow multipotentialite, I’d say I’ve made all my major life decisions for the sake of my creative and emotional wellbeing….moved locations over 30 times and have contributed to more than 15 job sectors…lived in 3 countries. Now I’m location independent.
    You gotta BE where you feel free to embody your values.

    I gotta say your TEDX talk on Multipotentialites was soooo validating for me…you are brilliant! I look forward to meeting up at some of your upcoming events :)

  99. Ina says:

    Hi Emily;

    I can totally relate to that urge to move.
    I did something similarly drastic when I was 22…decided on the spur of a moment, because an opportunity presented itself, to flee my home country of East germany, via Hungary and Austria to West Germany, where I had family…and eventually, a year later, came to the Staates.
    Since then I have made quite a few similar, just less drastic moves, whenever I felt stuck.
    Just about 18 months ago, when my youngest moved away to college, I sold everything I owned, bought myself a used motorhome and moved into that, working as a camp host in an RV Resort, right between my daughters. And then about 10 months later, I downsized, yet again, into an 18 foot travel trailer, where I now live full-time as a Nanny, living on the families beautiful rural property with horses as my neighbors.
    I’m almost 50 and know that I have many more moves and changes ahead of me. When we stop changing and get ourselves stuck, we might as well be dead.

    Enjoy your new adventure and best of luck to you! Can’t wait to read all about it.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

  100. Sas says:

    Good luck to both of you on your new adventure. I caught the ferry up through some of those islands last year when I travelled from Washington to Alaska, and the area is sooooo beautiful.

  101. Margie says:


    I am very happy for you. I am reading your RB book. Totally fits the bill. For me, I’ve been recently laid off. My Reiki Master says it’s like my higher self has hit me with another 2′ X 4′. It’s very true. We have to listen to our inner voices. If your gut tells you it’s the right thing to do then yep, it’s time to move.

    For me, it’s more internal this time around. Changes are baby steps, more practice, internal discipline. I will never stop being a multipotentialite. I learn super fast, work super fast, but temperance and patience are both very necessary virtues. That’s what I need to work on next; the rest will follow.

    Best wishes, Emilie!

  102. This sounds like a terrific decision Emilie, and one that has been well thought through. I love to hear about people deciding to step off the treadmill and embrace a slower lifestyle. I would be interested to know (perhaps in the form of a post) what, in your current location and lifestyle, has gotten in the way of you doing the reading, cooking, hiking, and art that are amongst your plans. It will be so important to identify these barriers and not risk creating them again in your new location. Ok, will stop there before I start sounding like your mother! Wishing you and Valerie a lovely holiday season and good move.

    • Emilie says:

      Heh thanks for your thoughts, Jo. I completely agree with you. I know this will take a lot of internal work on my part. I do feel like my new environment will support me in this growth, but environment is only really the first step. :)

      Happy holidays to you, too!

  103. Erin says:

    So happy for you! I also recently moved very suddenly with my spouse in order to transform our lives and minimize bills, stress, negativity. As soon as I left I knew it was the right decision.

    I read one of your comments above. I love that you include the occasional personal post like this. It makes me know you more and appreciate your blog, Ted talk etc even more.

  104. Aggie Villanueva says:

    Congrats to you both! I’d be moving to Canada too if I could afford it, and it is definitely because of Trump!

    Before he was elected I said I’d move to Canada if he takes over my country with his hate, inexperience and obvious chemical imbalances.

    My only hope in staying is that I’m already right in the Rocky Mountains about 8,000 feet and can hide from his changes if possible, at least until he’s impeached! Fingers crossed and praying hard for that!

    I can say from experience, from one whose resume is pages long just to list all the jobs and volunteer jobs, I can tell you that your creativity will definitely increase. I don’t think you’ll ever be sorry.

    That’s not to say you might not land a city job because of all the growth on every level you will experience on your island! I’m so happy for you!

  105. Ellen says:

    Thanks for writing so honestly about your decision Emilie. Great to hear about! This post really resonated with me as I’m in such a similar place in my life right now.

    I’ve recently left my job which was making me money and slowly destroying my creative soul. I’m now going through the process of trying to change my life and live it in a way that makes me happy. One of my aims is to live a slower life like you. I’ve also felt stuck living where I am and plan to move cities next year. Being closer to nature is another one of my aims.

    I’m figuring out how I might be able to make a living making theatre and writing. Whilst also training to be a yoga teacher! I set up my blog to write about all this, and hopefully help others to change their lives too.

    Anyway, it was really great to read this post and I wish you all the best for the move. Ellen.

  106. Kate Maclean says:

    Welcome back to Canada! I’m a freelance Canadian tech writer who has lived and worked pretty much all across Canada. At the age of 50 I grabbed the opportunity to live and work in Detroit. After 7 very happy and productive years, I suddenly had an ominous sense that it was time to return to live in Canada. I did so somewhat grudgingly in June, 2001 – and 3 months later watched in horror as I sat in my Windsor, Canada apartment across the river from Detroit as the twin towers went down. One month later, my personal loss was my job – the IT project was cancelled. But I was back in my native country and I sensed that all would work out well for me.

    Now, 15 years later, I have the same ominous sense about the Trump presidency: American citizens are in for a very rocky ride. No country is perfect but I feel that Canada offers a more civil and respectful environment. Perhaps living in the shadow of the States has taught us to be more appreciative and considerate of others.

    I love BC – especially Vancouver Island and the other smaller ones, and although I chose to return to southern Ontario for family connections, BC would have been be a close second.

    I, too, am praying for safe travels for your move, that you settle in easily and that you both find peace in your new home.

  107. wb says:

    Emilie, congrats on seeking and finding a new space. I love Canada and have a Nexus pass so I can go up any time (Seattle). I look forward to hearing more about your life there.

  108. Kayla O'Donnell says:

    On November 9th I decided to leave my boyfriend of 2 years. And not just because it became clear on election night that he was a secret Trump supporter. It was because of the way he spoke to me. It was clear that he thinks women should be in the kitchen while I live “under his roof”. So 11 days later I moved into my new home down the street. I’m back to being my multipotentialite self – singing, dancing, learning instruments, creating decoration for Christmas and writing frequently. It’s like the more I do the more I get done. People tell me to scale it back and now I just say, ” this is how I am happy.” I get accused of having “shiny ball syndrome” constantly but it’s great to know Im not alone. I’m considering moving to/visiting the south of France for a few months just to experience the language and the culture and build a new network of friends. That way I can provide a safe house for people in the US if it does indeed get bad here. Best of luck on your move!! Keep us posted. :)

    • Emilie says:

      Congrats, Kayla! It sounds like you made the absolute right decision. Don’t let people bring you down. That’s more about them/their unhapiness than it is about you. And the south of France sounds amazing! I hope you decide to go.

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