My trip back to Toronto was in many ways a homecoming. For those that don’t know I sold my house and shipped all my worldly possessions back to Australia at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
In retrospect this was especially interesting as I’d lived quite happily in Toronto for more than half my life.
Yes, a whopping 32 years!
During these years I’ve been blessed with two incredible kids as well as interesting and challenging work. What can I say – I created a life for myself here in Toronto.
The big challenge was that I was a long way from my dad (before he passed) and my siblings.
I don’t know if it was the lockdown with Covid that pushed me over the edge, all I know is that I decided to leave Toronto and move back to Australia.
I was nervous having the conversation with the kids to gauge their reaction to me selling up and moving back to Australia.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t expecting the response I received from them…
They were both so positive and supportive that it cemented the decision which, then cast everything into motion. From that time on the three of us began searching for a house that met certain criteria.
It had to be in a sub-tropical climate, close to the ocean, with a pool and lots of bedrooms. No problem once we worked out the budget and location.
Before we knew it everything began to gather speed and just fell into place.
I believe in fate, so for me I just rolled with it and knew that deep down it would all work its way through to the right outcome.
Our home and lifestyle in Newport, Queensland is just as I imagined – lots of sunny days with a mild climate, tropical garden and swims in the afternoons.
Things have changed for Zach and Sam as well. When we made the decision Zach was studying and completing his undergrad at McGill University in Montreal while Sam was just starting her five-year University co-op program at the University of Waterloo.
Zach is now undertaking his Master’s degree in Australian History at the Australian National University in Canberra (Australia’s capital) and Sam is wading through her intensive Statistics and Fine Art degree.
Now almost two years later I found myself back on a plane for my first visit and an exciting homecoming.
I must admit I had been quite homesick for Canada and particularly Toronto and Vancouver.
How I miss both places as each has a special place in my heart. I did not expect to miss Canada as much as I have…
I guess I need to find a way to spend more time here. As well, Judy would be happy with that arrangement as well because all her family is in New York and only a hop, skip and jump away!
It’s a combination of not being able to see and spend time with my daughter Sam, but also all the friends that I’ve made over the years. It’s surprising how big your network becomes over time.
As well, I think I’m used to the hustle and bustle of living in a big and vibrant city centre and all that goes with it, whereas we live in the suburbs and quite a distance from Brisbane city.
Even though we’re only 30 kms it may as well be on another planet. Lol!
I’ve also found that building friendships when you’re older can be a bit tricky especially and don’t have young kids which often propels you into local sports and activities where friendships generally seem to sprout.
My homecoming has been incredible!
I’ve been able to spend time with Sam, going for breakfast, meeting up after work for Tapas. Not to mention wandering the city and exploring all my old haunts has been fabulous.
Plus, the weather has been gorgeous!
As I was singing the praises of Toronto and the beautiful summer the other day to Sam, she smiled and said, “yeah it’s nice now but it won’t be in about 2 months, and you’d be hating it”.
Of course, she’s absolutely right! It’s easy to get caught up in the summer with its long and languid nights, familiar sights, and sounds…
So far this week I’ve walked between 20 and 25 kms (12 – 14 miles) per day. Yep, the feet are tired, but I’ve loved every moment of my homecoming!
Meeting friends and work colleagues for coffee and then also others who pinged me to say hi and grab more coffee with – it’s been hectic, but I wouldn’t change a moment of it.
So great to reconnect and swap stories of life between when we last met.
Saturday night is the big gala, and a big reason why I came to Toronto but more about that in another essay…. I’ll save that for another time as I want to savour the moment and enjoy the event.
Until next week… when I’ll be back home in Newport.
Tino RiccioAugust 20, 2022
Home is where the heart is ❤️
TerencewallisAugust 20, 2022