On December 10, 2016,  returning from 10 glorious days in Adelaide, I report to Karl:

Adelaide feels lovely, gentle, comfortable — and easy. And Vancouver feels exciting: an adventure. So I am moving there. With you by my side, I am excited to embark on this adventure of radical trust, and I am eager to begin! I am going to have an abundant and creative new life in Canada, maybe even a life of influence.

Karl enthusiastically replies:

This is music to my ears. I can do a lot — if you listen, and our intentions can be aligned. So you need to tell me directly what you need help with.

Finding an apartment in Vancouver

Now basking in our successful property sale, I engage Karl to help me find suitable low-rent accommodation in Vancouver. My compensation settlement might be years off. I must accept that I might not get a payout at all and take the little money I have and rent a small place in a safe neighborhood.

When I visited Vancouver six months earlier, I find the perfect spot: a seven-story, heritage apartment building in the vibrant, LGBTQ+ supportive neighborhood of Davie Village in Vancouver’s high-density West End.

Now I tell Karl, “The Davie Street neighborhood is just perfect for me. I’ll probably be taken for a dyke – and that’s fine. It’s safe, edgy, and funky – and I would love to live there.”

Old enough to make my own decisions

However, not everybody agrees that my moving to Vancouver is a good idea, including two longstanding Vancouver friends, Maya and Anna. Independently, each one writes to Angela, my spiritual director, saying that it is snowing there, and my Vancouver friends cannot look after me. Fortunately, Angela chooses to ignore both emails and does not tell me about them for several months. She feels that, at nearly 74, I am old enough to make my own decisions.

Face the fear and do it anyway

Later, Angela and I discuss Linda Graham’s sage advice about facing your fear and doing it anyway. Graham is quoting Grace Hopper, the pioneer computer programmer: “A ship is safe in harbor, but it’s not what ships are for.”

I agree. I believe, with Jean Shinoda Bolen, that we make our way through life, determining who we become by the choices we make.

Now, life is confronting me and saying, “Choose!” I must accept my reality and choose.


I have survived a fatal car crash for Pete’s sake! Moving to Vancouver can hardly be more challenging than that. I feel like Brené Brown, in Braving the Wilderness (in my case, braving a rainy, even snowy Vancouver winter). After the magnitude of what I have lost, I should say to myself (as Brown suggested), “I am the wilderness.”

I know what wilderness looks like. And feels like.

Karl joins in with an upbeat exposition on trust:

I am so glad that this decision to move to Canada made itself so easily and gently. Now, Wadie, you must trust! We did so well with the Nimbin property sale. Finding a Vancouver spot for you to live is what we need now. You have selected the perfect neighborhood. Now leave it up to your various friends to have a good walk around. Please trust, Wadie. That is all that’s needed now.