High in these crumbling hills nature is winning. Vines wrap themselves along forgotten walls, plants break through the concrete foundation, the wind knocks at the front door at all hours of day and night. There is a view. From the vantage point of my tiny desk the city unfolds in front of me. Two palm trees hold a hammock. A flock of parrots chatter as they fly overhead.
Small and simple with welcoming light, this place was my Los Angeles home for a single overcast week in May.
There are seemingly endless rooms in this rambling East Van apartment. Since arriving I have barely set foot in the living room - the bedroom and kitchen are vast enough as it is. You can never be bored here - crystals are sprinkled liberally, photos are tucked into corners - everywhere you look uncovers another layer of treasure. My roommate is a cat called Bruce Wayne and I fall for him instantly.
This was my home for two months as Summer turned to Fall.
Casa Bonita sits on 100 acres of rolling forest in the heart of the Hockley Valley. All the stones used in it's construction were dug from this land by the owner's mother. She was aided only by a cart and a donkey. It is now the home of a dear friend and, while I live in Toronto, it is my refuge from the vast and sprawling city. Good food, bad television and long walks are what we share here.
This was my home when I learned my grandmother had passed away.
The Ace in Seattle always smells the way I want my life to feel - citrusy and bright. I visit often - this city is just far enough from my own to gain perspective. The hotel is where, in the early 2000's, I first fall in love with white spaces, subway tile and plumbing pipe accents.
This has been my home on countless road trips. Most recently for a weekend with a friend after five years of living too far apart.
It takes a five hour flight and a three hour bus ride to get here. Taxco, a city synonymous with silver. Our hotel is only a few blocks from the main zocalo and is an old hacienda with simple wood furniture and a view of the town rolling down the mountainside. There is a reading room but my Spanish is too poor to take advantage.
This was my home for a weekend spent researching a project that never came to be.
You can get strong, dark coffee in Sayulita. Mexicans don't drink strong coffee - as a nation they prefer instant. Anywhere you can get real espresso in Mexico warms my heart. Here at the Petite Hotel Hafa I can sip hot coffee and read on the rooftop terrace amid a sea of painted hearts. The noise from the town envelopes and the sun makes up for the cold Canadian winter I am escaping.
This was my home for a weekend as a respite from freezing Toronto temperatures.
Four hours north of Toronto, this is a place to get out of the city, hold music festivals, float in forest pools and feed horses crab apples. There are always too many people to beds and never enough beer.
This was my home for several summer weekends when we braved the traffic out of the city and slept under the stars.
Every time I visit it is cold. This is unfortunate because there is a rooftop patio with a pool. If you stand at just the right angle there is a view of the Hudson River. My hosts are the warmest people and always make delicious meals and strong coffee.
This was my home on my 34th birthday.
The room I rent in this cute Los Angeles home is bigger than my apartment in Vancouver. After three weeks of traveling and couch surfing the time I spend here feels deliciously private. There are two cats and a talented roommate who quickly becomes a friend. For the first time I explore the city slowly with the luxury of being a resident.
This was my home for two weeks while I dreamt of living in LA for a lifetime.
The air is hot and dry and the pastel landscape makes me feel like I'm on the moon. I spend two nights here before I turn my car north and drive endlessly up the I-5 towards home. I have come to see Salvation Mountain - a place of haunting beauty that impacts me more than I was expecting.
This was my home for a short time while I took a closer look at the desert's secrets.
This quiet mountain town was was once the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, it's wealth built on silver mines dug deep in the Sierra Madre mountains. Today the mines are dry and the population sits at only 800. Here I stay in a hotel that was once a grande hacienda. The courtyard is overgrown and the rooms are spare but clean. A local woman gives us a tour of the town and the vacant mines at the base of the hills.
This was my home over several weekends while living in Mexico where I slept under heavy blankets and woke to fresh mountain air.
From the view on the top deck It feels like you can see to the end of the earth. If you stand there long enough you will surely see whales.
This is the home of the ultimate pizza party. We throw our dough high into the air and apply toppings liberally before placing them into the outdoor wood burning oven. When they are ready we gather, catching up with old friends over good food, many languages being spoken at once.
This was my home for many gatherings while living in Mexico - where I shook off the isolation of a new move and made friends.
The drive to Salvation Mountain is long, hot and lonely. Rarely does any car come into view and more than once I stop to take a picture of the desert and stillness around me. When I arrive I talk to an older couple from San Diego who recommend steak houses to eat at all the way up the I-5 from California to Washington. I wander under a forest of paint and sit in rooms paying tribute to God.
This was my home for an hour while I took in the magic of one man's unique voice.
For the last 30 years Trapper Rick has resided deep in these woods - a life made from guiding small groups of people along the river to meet the community of local bears that live steps from his A-frame home. He tells us he lives here because years before he witnessed a murder and fled to this forgotten part of the world as refuge. He claims he now can't imagine another way of living.
This was our home for a day, hosted by a coastal character, whose connection to the land and his community is an inspiration.
I meet a friend from Toronto in an old hotel deep in the city center. The lobby is opulent in a way that neither of us is used to. We wander Seattle's streets under grey skies while I play host in a city that is not truly my own.
This was my home for a weekend while I catch up on news from the home I have just left.
For almost a year now every weekend has been spent in Squamish - a small mountain town no one cared about until recently - on renovation projects that are not even my own. This is the second house that will be renovated and rented. It was built in the 90's and is an example of every poor design decision from that time. It has beautiful light and I find myself, in between tasks, taking photos of sun spots as they travel across rooms.
This is my weekend home in the first half of 2016 - a place I never would have chosen to spend time but has turned out to be a welcome escape from city life.
I had never been to the American south. We drive up from Mexico, through Texas, and as we enter Louisiana the desert views begin to change to forests dripping with Spanish moss. We pass over long, boggy bodies of water and find the Mississippi River, following it slowly south. Everything feels slow and soft. The Nottoway Plantation sits right on the river. It is large and imposing sitting on acres of manicured lawn.
This was my home for a few hours while I learned more about a nations conflict.
I am not Catholic and yet I have spent a weekend at an Abbey. Located in the heart of the Fraser Valley, it is surrounded by lush farmland and a slow snaking river. My mother goes on retreat here every year and when I can I join her. The monks serve us food they have harvested from their land. I spend my time walking the grounds, reading, and meditating. Mostly I sleep.
This was my home for a weekend last September where I hit the mute button on the world and all it's distractions.
We are lucky enough to find a small cottage built right on the sea for our family's annual summer escape. We slow down, eat delicious food, pick blackberries along country roads and wander cobble stone streets in historic towns. My father makes strong martini's and we play a lot of cribbage.
This is my home for three hot July days - where life feels like every summer book I ever read as a child. We can not wait to visit again.
Our apartment in Toronto spans 3 floors. It is the biggest place I have ever lived. In Toronto I learn what it is to be Canadian and what it takes to run a business. Our second bedroom becomes my studio and I seldom leave home. Even with the isolation I make good friends. When we separate I move 3000 miles across the country.
This was my home for three years while I learned how to make a home from a rented house.
Casa Cielo - our house in the sky. A small glass home built illegally on top of an apartment building in downtown Vallarta was the birthplace of the brand Scout & Catalogue. Here I learned to slow down, cook veggie burger patties from scratch, conjugate Spanish verbs and dye fabrics. When friends would visit we hosted them in a tent next to the gas tanks and warned them of the overly frisky iguana's that roamed the rooftop. We drank light beers and strong margaritas. Once a cockroach flew into my hair and it felt like time stopped.
This was my home during the two years I lived in Mexico - a country that inspired me with it's passion, colours and pace. I am forever grateful for my experiences living on Mexican time.
Two hours north of Toronto lies cottage country. Here summer days blend into one - filled with lake swims, ice cream, lazy hikes and long games of crib.
This was my home for a week one summer when all I wanted was to rest and spend time with people I love.
On the first warm weekend of the year we escaped the city for a tiny private island deep across the Georgia Straight. We set prawn traps, made simple meals, wore matching whale temporary tattoos, wandered wooded paths and slept while the boat swayed. I suffered from motion sickness the whole way through.
This was my home on a bright and sunny April weekend where we looked forward to the long hot summer to come.
It had been three years since my last visit. This small place, nestled just far enough out of the city, has always felt like a second home. It rained most days which just made the cabin more enjoyable.
This was my home for three days while I worked endlessly on Scout & Catalogue deadlines. Between glaring at my computer was fireside tequila sipped slowly, movies watched as darkness fell and delicious food served by the most generous of hosts.
I have lived in this small studio space, the first home I've ever owned, for over a year now. In the summer it feels like a tree house and in the winter I have clear view of the ex-con that lives in the apartment across the road. He usually keeps his blinds drawn. There is a coffee shop below where the baristas know my order and the neighbourhood is just the right amount of removed from the city centre.
This is my current home - I leave it often to travel but am always happy to return.