A Sense of Place

I’m a stay-at-home dad.  Does that surprise you?

During the winter I’m more likely to be found at the helm of a Subaru Impreza Sport than a Kawasaki KLR650. The odds are I’ll be driving through Vancouver rush hour traffic getting my son Marc to Kindergarten or my eldest Michael to his high school. I’m very proud of my sons and how they’ve both adjusted to new schools this year. I’ll also be the one making meals for them at home and getting them to their after school activities.

I’ll be honest. It can be difficult. Facing traffic day after day can become a stressful routine. After dropping off the boys at school and my wife at work, I have a few hours to get to my work in my home office.

What I find sometimes is that I rush back to that home office and fail to look at where it is that I live. In bounding back to get to work, I usually don’t take any time to appreciate my surroundings. That’s a shame. What’s more of a shame is that, increasingly, I doubt I’m alone. I live in Vancouver, there’s natural beauty all around me.

I think I’m losing my sense of place.

You’d think as a travel writer and author I would do more to reconnect with the very places I claim to connect with. So I did something about it this morning. I stopped.

The above photo was taken at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver. There is snow on the mountains, ice on the sand and the crisp air is electric. I took a walk. It was rejuvenating.

Sure, when I got home I got to work rewriting a press release and promoting my two books, but what I’ve got to remember, and I hope you will too, is to take a moment to reconnect with where you live. You may already do that daily and, if you do, I’m envious. But some of us need a reminder about that.  You don’t need to travel by motorcycle to do it either. Strive to understand where you live, how your community was created, to know the people around you. Don’t get caught in a bubble. I sometimes need to remind myself of that.

With my wife I’m planning to take my sons on more local trips when the weather warms up a bit. I’ve been reading about hikes to be taken on the Gulf Islands.

Now that’s something to look forward to.

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Author: Trevor Marc Hughes

Trevor Marc Hughes is an author and travel writer. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife and two sons. He rides a Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle. If he can help it, he doesn't ride his motorcycle in Vancouver; he takes it out of town, where he enjoys exploring the province of B.C. and beyond, and writing about his adventures. He has written for magazines such as Canadian Biker, Rider, Motorcycle Mojo, Inside Motorcycles, and RidersWest. His two books are "Nearly 40 on the 37: Triumph and Trepidation on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway" and "Zero Avenue to Peace Park: Confidence and Collapse on the 49th Parallel".