I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.
I adore Canadians.
It wasn’t my first time in Canada. Two years ago, my best friend and I had flown to Montreal from Atlanta. The Ameristralian loves EDM and I like anything I can shake my tail feather to. He’d flipped through his phone, looking for somewhere we could go and party on down at.
“There’s a club nearby,” he mused. “Could be a goer. Might be a little dark though; not completely sure.”
I shrugged. “No harm in checking it out.”
It was warm outside, about 22 degrees Celsius. I pulled on my brand new black skirt, with smiling fruit plastered all over it. We left our hotel and followed Google maps to the club.
Walking in, I realised I had made a terrible mistake. The Ameristralian had taken us to a full on goth-punk club. Tartan and black was all the rage, with crazy hair and piercings to accessorise. Patrons of the club threw shade at me from every corner. In the end I shrugged, flipped my hair and fist-pumped along to Rammstein with my buddy.
The next day, he confessed he had known what we were getting ourselves into all along. I hit him, hard.
“My skirt had smiling fruit on it!”
Montreal, while beautiful, could have been a continent away from Vancouver. I flew in on a ten hour trip, followed by a game of twenty questions with a customs officer. He flipped through my passport, eyeing me over. I wanted to grab and shake him, while yelling:
“We are all part of the Commonwealth, friend! What’s with the attitude?!”
Finally, I was in beautiful Vancouver, sans my luggage which was still in Edmonton. I guess I had my health. I delivered myself into the arms of my smiling friend and waited to fall in love with the city.
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And fall in love I did. Vancouver is beautiful – like Seattle, but Canadian. The city is surrounded by mountains and nature is rife. Main Street boasts a stack of funky cafes and shops. Cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes. As a citizen of an nanny-state inclined country , this blew my mind.
At the end of the day, I think it was the people that make Vancouver what it is. At every bus stop, people would disembark and thank the driver as they got off the bus. Yes. They would take two seconds out of their busy day to personally thank the person who was driving them from point A to point B.
And maybe it’s not just Vancouver – it could be the entire province, as nearby Victoria seems to have just as many wonderful things to do.
I wandered around this new city, feeling a sense of familiarity. I dig a lot of places that I visit, but few feel like home.
London is a fantastic city and I never regret moving there. Yet London is cold. London is big. London can be overwhelmingly unfriendly. Canada, opened me with wide open arms. I wanted to drop everything and move to Vancouver immediately.
“Come inside, LC.” It crooned into my ear. “See what I have to offer.”
Australians can live in Canada for two years on a working visa. When my time in Europe finally comes to either a pause or a close, well Vancouver – I promise you there is no one else.