Below is a photo I took from a plane on my first visit to Vancouver. Except it wasn't a visit, it was a move. I had no clue what I was getting into, but I knew I wanted to try it out to escape what I knew and change my surroundings for a while.
I'd just graduated from Fanshawe College with a Music Industry Arts degree and wanted to head to one of Canada's biggest music hubs. Toronto didn't appeal to me, so Vancouver it was. I hadn't been to Vancouver before and looking back, I have no idea why I wasn't scared. Thank goodness for youth and an adventurous spirit.
It feels like I was just a baby when I first came here. Really, it was basically a third of my life ago that it happened. My mom, bless her, flew out here with me. We packed four suitcases with clothes and things that I'd need to set myself up in a furnished apartment.
My mom's a gem. I only left her half a suitcase worth of space to pack her clothes for one week. I know she's the reason for my adventurous spirit, but she's also the reason I wasn't scared to make the move. I'm definitely more supported than I realize.
Upon landing in Vancouver, I promptly found an apartment in Kitsilano (the only neighbourhood I've ever lived in here in Vancouver) within 48 hours, a temp job within a week and my long-term job within 2 weeks. Everything worked out fine. That good fortune stayed with me until I returned to Vancouver back in 2016, when I found a job and an apartment within 48 hours of landing. When it's right, it's right.
This week marked 10 years since the first time I moved to Vancouver. For those who know me, no...I haven't been here for 10 years. But 4 years ain't bad! My love never wained for this city either. For the entire 6 years I moved back to Ontario whenever someone asked me about Vancouver I couldn't help but gush over it. It's chill vibes and beautiful scenery left a bright stain on my heart and soul. I knew I'd return one day, and here I am.
WHAT VANCOUVER MEANS TO ME
Vancouver will always be the first place that made me jump. When I first moved here, I was forced to spend an inordinate amount of time alone with myself to learn who I was, what I liked and what I didn't like. I was also pushed to expand my comfort zone, meet new people and visit new places. It set the bar for new experiences in my life. It made me comfortable in making big moves.
Ontario will always be home for me and nothing will change that, but there's something special about the west. Maybe it's because I connect with the lifestyle here more so than I do that in Ontario, but I just feel like at certain times in my life I fit better here. It's a place I know I can go to centre myself, normalize and explore who I am and where I'm headed next. I love and appreciate that about this place.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR ME
I've been quite flighty in my adult life. In the past 15 years I've moved 18 times. 18 times! That's nuts, right?!? Once I figured out that uplifting my life wasn't difficult to do, I couldn't stop. I'm one who follows my heart and go where I'm called to go. Settling down in one place wasn't really for me, until recently.
No, I don't plan on being in Vancouver forever. And no, I'm not done with my excursions. There's too much to explore for that and as much as it looks like I've done on paper, I don't feel like I've done nearly as much as I'd like to in my life. I do plan on putting down some roots in the future, building tiny houses and small scale farms and whatnot, but that's further down the line.
Right now, I'm finding the urge to settle in to this city for a bit longer. I really don't feel it's my time to go anywhere new for a while and that feels good. That means I'm where I'm supposed to be right now.
For all you've given me and for the times you've been there when I needed you, thank you, Vancouver. We've still got some good times ahead.