I’ve been in Kamloops just over a month now and when I first got here I found myself missing the comforts of home. When I say home I don’t just mean Penticton, where I grew up, but also Toronto, and Calgary. I lived in both of these cities long enough to make them feel like home as well and that made me wonder what it will take to consider Kamloops home too.
Penticton will always be home because it is where I grew up and where my family still lives, but Toronto is another of my homes where I learned how to be independent and a (somewhat) functioning adult. Calgary is a different kind of home because I only lived there a year, but in that time I met some amazing people who changed the way I look at the world and I worked in a place that gave me skills I will use for the rest of my life. Kamloops is my new ‘home’, although it doesn’t feel like it yet. With that in mind I have come up with some things I’ve noticed about Kamloops that could become part of why I might soon consider it home.
1. The landscape: Every time I park my car in Lot U or K (the ones behind the New Residence Building) I am taken in by the view of the valley, with the river winding into the distance and the mountains towering above. Cities don’t have views like that and I think its something we take for granted living in a place this picturesque.
2. Motivo/Zack’s Coffee: as an avid coffee drinking one of the most important things to make me feel at home is finding a coffee shop that makes my coffee just the way I like it and has an atmosphere conducive to reading. Motivo makes a wicked latte and has some delicious food, and its the perfect weekend study spot downtown on Victoria Street. Zack’s coffee also knows how I like my coffee and with a location near campus I can get my coffee fix between classes!
3. The Squirrels: the squirrels at TRU are some of the most adorable little creatures I have ever seen. City squirrels do not compare to these disney-like munchkins scurrying around campus. The city variety are black and scraggly, and usually mean and aggressive. For context here is a picture of a creepy city squirrel.
4. Proximity to Penticton (without having to live in Penticton): I haven’t lived this close to my family in 7 years and it is really comforting to be able to drive down and visit them in just a few short hours. This coming weekend will be my first Thanksgiving at home in the same amount of time and I couldn’t be more excited! A small town like Penticton doesn’t change much from year to year, so I always find in comforting to be able to go back and it will still be the same as I left it from my last visit.
Now I know these aren’t ground breaking discoveries, but I think the little things are what make the difference in the long run. The places I have lived may have helped shape me into the person I am today, but that’s not what I think of when I think of home. I think of my favorite little coffee shop in Calgary and the best all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant in Toronto and most of all I think of the people I shared those places with.
I can’t guarantee that I will put my roots down in Kamloops when I finish my program, but I hope that if and when I do leave, it will become a city I can add to my list of homes along with a list of people that made it feel that way.
That’s it for me,
p.s. Please comment if you have any Kamloops gems I haven’t discovered!