Vancouver is a spectacular city that sits oceanfront to the Pacific Ocean as well as being surrounded by magnificent mountains. This west coast seaport city on the mainland of Canada’s province of British Columbia is a place that never ceases to amaze me in its sheer beauty. It seems wherever you may find yourself in Vancouver, you can usually steal a fine view of those glorious Coast Mountains. They remain snow capped to at least some degree for usually 9 months of the year.
Vancouver is a city of 600 000 people. “It is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. The Greater Vancouver area of around 2.4 million inhabitants is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country and the most populous in Western Canada. Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life, and the Economist Intelligence Unit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_Most_Livable_Cities) acknowledged it as the first city to rank among the top-ten of the world’s most livable cities for five consecutive years.” –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver
It is almost limitless with what Vancouver and the nearby areas offers. It is a mecca for city goers wanting that active lifestyle. The activities are endless: hiking, mountain biking, and skiing the nearby mountains (Mount Seymour, Grouse or Cypress to choose from) or kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating Vancouver’s bays, or perhaps strolling/biking the seawall that runs miles around the edge of the peninsula that Vancouver sits on; not to mention the various beaches to comb and roam around. It is an incredibly picturesque city that can also be easily soaked up by simply sitting in of the many parks or absorbing up the ubiquitous choice of cafes, bars, and restaurants dependent on which neighbourhood you find yourself – Kitsilano?! Chinatown?! West End?! The Drive?! Little Saigon?! – just to name a few. It’s a spectacular city to visit, as well as to live. Vancouver is a city that welcomed me with open arms ever since my arrival a few years earlier. I drove across Canada from Toronto, Ontario to get here four years prior. I picked up my car from my Dad’s who had graciously been storing it for the better part of the last 7 years while I was overseas. My exploration across Canada took me two weeks as I curiously and slowly drove across country, 5 provinces and 3 time zones to get Vancouver. I took my time and made the most of my excursion with the desire to get to know my motherland better. Finally when the moment did arrive, my inevitable arrival into Vancouver was an anxious one at that. I remember finally driving into Vancouver after thousands of kilometres, arriving, and not knowing a soul, with all my belongings wrapped into my cozy coupe. I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a phone, I didn’t have a home. I did not know a soul, I had barely even been to Vancouver…but I was going on a vibe. I was going to live here. Vancouver was calling my name. It was going to work out. This was nothing that I hadn’t done before after all. But do not be fooled by this all, it is always still quite scary; I am human. I remember though with Vancouver it was easy to not let the fear or loneliness set in upon my arrival. I drove in, grabbed a guesthouse, booked in for a week. I then immediately went for a walk; I remember it was a gorgeous sunny late May day. I walked towards the Cambie Bridge, towards the city and instantly the clear sky and those sublime mountains spoke to me, it was a welcome home, it was bliss. A week later I had found a place to live in the hood, East Van by the Drive, that I now know and love deeply, where I am now – where my journey has continued to evolve. So I love Vancouver, and needless to say, everything did work out. It always does just as it should. Vancouver is a remarkable city but so much more. It is a magical place not to be missed.
“Home is where the heart is.” ~ Pliny the Elder
“Home is where the backpack is.” ~ Trace Miller