Leaving Home to Find Home

August 12, 2019

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Written by guest blogger Thalia Gonzalez Kane.

Very few times in my life have I purchased a one-way ticket. I do believe it’s something everyone should experience at some point in their life. The uncertainty, the vulnerability, and the excitement of the unknown.

In August 2018 I gave up my apartment and left the life I’d been living in Toronto for six years to start a new adventure in Dublin, Ireland. Two suitcases and three instruments in hand, I boarded a plane at Toronto Pearson with both tears and a wide smile of excitement.

I remember getting off the red-eye flight at Dublin airport, where I’d last been a couple of years prior. I confidently emerged to the fresh air of the Emerald Isle making my way toward the 747 bus to Heuston Station. I was going to be staying with a friend who lived in Stoneybatter and knew the bus would get me near there. I forgot to account for the heavy luggage I had and wound up hopping off at Heuston Station, pushing my luggage and exhausted self for nearly an hour until I arrived at the blue door on Manor Place with a small mouse drawn on the bottom left-hand corner.

Thinking back to that first day feels similar to thinking to my first day in Toronto. Though it was only a year ago, it feels like another lifetime. A lifetime before last-minute shotgun trips to London, nights of Guinness and Whiskey with folks from all over the world, spice bags on rainy days, theatre and trad music, and secretly sipping white wine on the steps of the amphitheatre in front of city hall. A lifetime before I’d learned how to fall in love with life and myself all over again.

When I wrote, From Somewhere in the World with Love, I hadn’t yet purchased a ticket back to Toronto. I flew back the day the Toronto Raptors won the NBA finals, had a bowl of Pho and snuggled into bed with my cat and partner as if I’d never been gone. When I wrote that piece, Toronto felt like home. I referred to Toronto as “home”. Now, I continuously catch myself calling Dublin “home”.

I have a sense of home, but I don’t have a concrete idea of it. Toronto, Dublin, Loja, Shediac Bridge, Halifax, Anghiari, St. Johns, and Scoudouc are all home in some sense. If home is where the heart is, then home is all of those places. I’ve had the privilege of seeing incredible places in the world and meeting beautiful people and as a result, have left chunks of my heart all over the world. With that privilege comes the responsibility to share what I’ve learned from these people and places with everyone I come across. The chance that maybe, they will find a sense of home somewhere else as well. I’m lucky because, for me, home is everywhere.

Thalia Gonzalez Kane is an Ecuadorian-Canadian, multidisciplinary artist. She has worked as a performer, playwright, designer and producer in Canada, the UK, Ireland and Sweden. She is a co-founder of Got Your Back Canada, an advisor to [de]centre, the queer creative network for Atlantic Canadians, creator and host of the podcast “Stage Door Confessional”, and the Artistic Director of Crave Productions. She recently completed her MA in Theatre Practice from University College Dublin and the Gaiety School of Acting. Read her latest article in the Canadian Theatre Review entitled “From Somewhere in the World, with Love” free for a limited time here.

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