I do surmise that this time for you leaving will feel different in some way because before when you have left to cruise you have known in the back of your mind that you would be coming back at some particular date. You will not have that this time.
True. On our Great Lakes journeys, there always came a time when we knew we had to start heading back. This has always been hard. We would joke about how we could easily just keep going. The boat is fine, we're loving it, we've got enough food to last another month or so ... why not just keep going. But duties, obligations, and the need to make $$$, have always pulled us back.
NOT THIS TIME!
So yeah, it probably will feel different. I'll probably start a blog, or some such thing, so I'll let you all know.
As for your cruising ground, I'm rather envious. I love the PNW. I've sailed out of Vancouver, north to the edge of Desolation Sound, and around the area. It reminds me a lot of Lake Superior with its rugged beauty and tons of small anchorages everywhere. We toyed with the idea of trucking out boat out to the west coast to begin our travels, but the costs were prohibitive. So we may get there in five or six years by water ... or we may not. Who knows. That's the fun of heading out with no real plans.
Enjoy the time in your area. It's an amazing place.