Toronto Skyline

Finding a Home

My life has been a bit of a rollercoaster when it comes to finding a home. What I once considered home, isn’t really home anymore. At the same time, I could say that it still is and that I have three different homes. It all depends on how you define home. A quick glance at the dictionary would tell us the following:

one’s place of residence

a place of origin

the social unit formed by a family living together

From origin I was born and raised in the Netherlands. All of my family, including my parents, still live there. For twenty years this was my home until I decided to move to Canada. Pretty quickly Orangeville, ON became my home. It’s where, through family friends, I started my life in Canada. Though now, I don’t call them family friends, just family! Currently, I call Toronto home. For the past 3 years I have been living in Toronto. A great city, but here comes the million dollar question: what’s next?

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I have my parents and an agent friend telling me that I should buy something to get in to the housing market. Something that I would love to do, but the housing market in Toronto is absurd right now. If something pops up for sale you would have to make an offer that day and the offer should probably be 30K to 50K over asking. At the same time, I struggle with where I would want to live? If I make that kind of an investment I would want to make sure that’s where I want to be for a while! I currently live just a little west of downtown Toronto. Would I want to be a bit more downtown if I would buy something? I don’t want to keep wasting $1700 a month on rent. However, all I could afford in Toronto would be one-bedroom condo’s which on average would go for 400K. At the same time do I want to make this kind of investment or do I want to explore other opportunities?

I love living on my own! However, if I would have a roommate I could probably save an additional $500 per month, which is a lot of money! I could use that money to save for a down payment or use it to go on trips and explore the world! The downfall of this is that I would give up living on my own. Can I go back to having a roommate? How would I even find a roommate now? All my friends are all partnered up, it would likely be with someone I don’t really know. A bit of a scary thought especially if we don’t get along.

Annoying roomate (Ross from friends hand gesture)

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Perhaps, there is a way that I can still live on my own and save on rent. I could find a cheaper apartment in the suburbs. This way I am able to still live on my own and save money. However, what would I do in my free time? I am sure I would find something to do but now I would be so far away from downtown Toronto. Do I want to give up downtown and city living?

Showing differen images from downtown toronto

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Then, there is the thought of maybe doing my MBA. An MBA program is pretty much the cost of a down payment if I want to go to a respectable school. Buying something would make me committed! I wouldn’t have any savings and probably have less disposable income to do activities since mortgage, maintenance fees, and taxes would probably be more than my current rent. I think this is one of the reasons why I haven’t bought anything yet. I don’t want to be house poor either!

Lastly, there has always been the thought about moving to California. Not sure how realistic this is since it would be hard to get a green card. At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily have to be California. If the right opportunity would come around I could see myself moving again. This could be within Canada or a new country. I am always open to experiencing new things. At the same time am I just hoping this would happen naturally or should I actively pursue this like I did when I wanted to come to Canada?

Kim Kardashian "I have no idea what i'm doing"

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So many questions with no answers. I don’t think any direction is right or wrong; they are all different. Home can be anywhere and it is really what you make of it. I just don’t know which home is the most suitable for me.

#shapedforhappines

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YOLO

YOLO

About two months ago two of my good friends decided to do a joint Bachelor party in Vegas. The dates for this event would be February 23rd to February 26th. It was an easy decision, and I instantly jumped all over it. When looking at the dates, I noticed that the Monday before the trip was a holiday and thoughts about visiting some friends in California before Vegas came up. In the past I would have thought long and hard about going or not since it would cost extra. However, this time I said YOLO and immediately booked it!

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In the past I have always been very good in talking myself out of things. I gave myself reasons to do things but also to not do them. I have let many opportunities go by because I talked myself out of it. It’s one of the things that I am working on changing about myself. I am trying to be more of a “Yes” man.

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In reference to Jim Carey’s movie Yes Man, when you say no all the time you aren’t living! You are missing all the wonderful things that life has to offer. It could be anything from checking out this new bar, to meeting new people, to going on trips and exploring new places. The reason for me to not go on trips in the past was due to finances. Not because I cannot afford it but that different thoughts would pop up: “I should save for a down payment instead or $1500 seems like a lot for an all-inclusive.” The worst reason I would give myself was that it was always bad timing to leave work.

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Obviously, money plays an important part in everyone’s life. In addition, you shouldn’t live above your means. However, it shouldn’t withhold you from doing things that affect your happiness. In my case, I love traveling and should be doing a lot more of it in the future! In the end it’s always easier to say “no” than “yes.” This time though, I said, “YOLO, California and Vegas it is!”

#Shapedforhappiness

Featured Image photo credit: https://speedpropertybuyers.co.uk/

The moment it hits you!

Not too long ago I felt a bit stuck in life. It felt like I missed direction, a goal, a bigger purpose in life. So far I had accomplished all my goals that I had set for myself. I had moved to Canada and was able to finally get permanent residency after 10 years of being here. During that time I had graduated from Ryerson University and had built a solid career for myself. Obviously there were a lot of ups and downs during that time but I never gave up! Now I am a young professional, part of the workforce, just doing my thing as millions of others. However, I was struggling with one question; “now what?”

It wasn’t until I saw the above video that it hit me! I asked myself the question “have I gotten the most out of life?” The question made me think and the simple answer would be “yes!” Nobody wants to admit that they are down, depressed, not happy, hate their work or that they missed out on any other opportunities in life. We all prefer to make our social media accounts look like we have the best life ever!  Truth be told, I answered “no.” I haven’t been living life to the fullest and I haven’t been enjoying all the wonderful things that life has to offer.

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It was/is time for a change! I forgot that life is a playground. Remember when we were young and our imagination and dreams were endless. We were superheroes! All stars in any sport we wanted to be! We created worlds of Lego and had endless dreams. I know we are 20/30/40 years older now but that playground is still here, we just decided not to play on it anymore!

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I would encourage you to reflect on your own life and be honest with yourself. The best thing of life is that we can shape it ourselves. Sometimes I think we forget about this and just continue with what we are doing because it is comfortable. However, being comfortable doesn’t allow you to chase your goals and dreams. Pain, suffering, perseverance, dedication, getting up, working hard, putting yourself out there and not taking no for an answer are all things that will help achieve your goals and dreams. In the end reaching these goals and dreams will allow you to life a more richer and fulfilling life with lots of happiness.

#Shapedforhappiness