It’s been a while, and a lot has changed. 2023 is already well under-way as I type this, and my surroundings stand out to me as unusually beautiful.
Being Canadian from the bilingual part of the country, there’s been a surprisingly large amount to learn about Canada’s west coast; it’s both nothing like the part of Canada I’m from, and yet in some ways is reminiscent of home. Vancouver’s “outdoorsy” culture is not just some stereotypical thing you hear about and never witness – it’s in the daily experience here. I’ve never witnessed so many people running outside, on the daily, as I have here, but it’s incredibly inspiring.
Living so far away from what feels familiar and in a totally different environment within the same country I grew up in, has been an interesting shake-up. Vancouver has a lot to offer, and yet it still remains a complete mystery to me. Aspects of the city’s culture have brought me closer to who I really am, and other aspects of it have made me realize what I actually value. Vancouver really revitalizes the health nut in you, and yet it can make you yearn for the cobblestones of Europe, too.
However, so far, Vancouver has helped revved me up again. The last 2 years have been immensely difficult for a lot of us, especially those of us who felt stuck wherever we were. Vancouver’s given me a fresh perspective, many beautiful hiking trails, and daily mountain views. My top 5 favourite (albeit slightly cliche) things about the city so far:
1 – Mountains. I knew I liked mountains, but I didn’t know I liked mountains this much, before Vancouver.
2 – The air. The air is noticeably crisper than the air back in Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec.
3 – The ocean views. While Vancouver isn’t my favourite place for the ocean, being so close to the water is really peaceful and feels right.
4 – The athletic vibe. This one might be annoying for some, but I grew up as an athlete, and the city’s slowly (if somewhat reluctantly) turning me into an athlete again.
5 – The west coast’s version of “laissez faire” – the way everyone just does their thing, and no one seems to bother you.
As I live here now and have already traversed a couple of the area’s beautiful mountains (with more to be seen), I imagine I’ll have much more to write about the area in the next few months. For now, this is my ode to Canada’s west coast.