Leaving Canada: Vancouver

Leaving Canada: End of an Era

I recently had a pretty tough decision to make. I moved to Vancouver back in spring of 2017, with an exciting new job to go to. The city sparkled with places to explore, new things to see, and people to meet. I grasped it with both hands and got stuck in. I experienced some incredible things, met some awesome people, and saw plenty of new places. In bittersweet fashion, the time finally came for me to think about leaving Canada.

Arriving in Canada

I remember the magic of arriving in Vancouver – my very own, sparkling new apartment; new people to meet, new places to see, and a whole new job role in a new office. The opportunities literally seemed endless. Everything felt different to how it did before leaving Canada. I was exploring the city with fresh eyes and loving the adventure. There were plenty of hours to spend seeing the city after work, visiting new beaches or grabbing Happy Hour at a new bar. Vancouver’s a beautiful city, and I wanted to see as much of it as I possibly could.

Arriving in Vancouver

Travelling from Vancouver

One of the most exciting aspects of moving to Canada was the prospect of travel. Vancouver’s handy position on the West Coast makes it so close to some amazing places – Hawaii, California, western Canada, Mexico, and beyond. All these places are within a few hours flight, and the incredible neighbouring city of Seattle is a short drive away. That’s not to mention the awesome places in Canada to see – nearby Whistler, Banff, Vancouver Island, and beyond. With my job, I was lucky enough to travel across North America, and it was one of the greatest – and most enjoyable – achievements of my life. I visited New York, Toronto, San Francisco, and Jacksonville multiple times and it was incredible to see the continent on work’s dime.

Travelling San Francisco while living in Canada

Meeting New People

Of course, as with the territory of travelling, you’ll meet a bunch of new people. I made friends with my coworkers, drinking after hours, brunching, and hitting up the many hotspots of the city. I met a boy, and spent many months exploring Vancouver – and Canada – with him, flying across the country both together and to see each other. I spent time with my paternal family, from Thanksgiving dinners to sipping wine in a local restaurant. I made new friends, and made countless walks along the seawall, bought an even greater number of coffees from JJ Bean, and wiled away hours talking with friends I’ll stay in touch with for life.

Leaving Canada - new girlfriends

Having Success

‘Fortune favours the brave’ is a quote that often resonates with me. To me, it suggests that for those who do something a little risky, great things will happen. Being an expat in a foreign country is no easy feat. You miss family, friends, and home comforts. But it really is true – the most incredible things will happen. I mastered a new job at a new company in a new country, and got promoted along the way. I travelled the continent relentlessly. I met new people from different cultures, made new friends, and bonded with strangers. I loved, laughed, and lost – quite literally. But for anyone questioning whether or not to do, grab it with both hands and don’t be afraid to say yes.

Leaving Canada: saying goodbye to Toronto

Leaving Canada

Anyone who follows my blog may understand my occasional struggles with Vancouver. I addressed them in a post where I discussed whether or not Vancouver is as liveable as it seems. It may not be a surprise to some of you that leaving Canada is something I considered for a while. Living a ten hour flight away from your home can sometimes be isolating. I found that my job prospects were becoming pretty limited, and I felt like I’d ‘done’ Vancouver and that it was time for a fresh start. I weighed up my option, planned some travels to make the most of my remaining time in British Columbia, and booked a flight to the UK. My company was willing to relocate me back to London, and so a new adventure became apparent.

Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver

Moving to London

It’s now been over a month that I’ve been living in London! After leaving Canada on Canada Day (oh, the irony), I had a few weeks to readjust into the UK and even managed a quick trip over to my favourite island, Ibiza. I’ve moved into a new place in hip Hoxton (via Stockwell for a couple of weeks), and am slowly adjusting to the new way of life. I’ve officially traded in the beautiful panoramic views of the mountains for old buildings that tell centuries of stories. Seawall walks have been switched for strolls along the Thames. Green juices have been switched for pints at the local pub, and it seems the culture here is less about running and yoga than smoking outside the local – healthy I know. So, London, let’s see what you’ve got in store for me.

Moving to London: St Paul's Cathedral

Looking forward to keeping you posted on my London adventures! Do you have a story about leaving Canada, or moving to a new city? Let me know.

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  1. I recently had to move back to the USA after four years in France. It was really tough saying goodbye, and I can’t say that I’ve gotten completely over it. But being back in one’s home country can be comforting, as it is where one grew up and is most familiar with the language and culture. Never an easy decision to leave a place you’ve called home for a while, but there’s always new adventures to be had, even back home! Best of luck to your new life in the UK!

    1. Thanks for this, Rebecca – always interested to hear others’ experiences of moving cities. It’s very difficult isn’t it!? Wishing you all the best in the US.

  2. Moving back from Vancouver was way harder than moving out there – I still miss it so much! I’m happy to be back in Scotland though. Every adventure I take creates a new era of my life, and Vancouver is one era that I will forever look back on extremely fondly. All the best for whatever comes next in London!

  3. Your pictures do make me want to visit! Although I know exactly how you feel regarding being so far away from home.

    As I see from your Ibiza trip you hit Europe running, and I do like to keep travelling as soon as I land back home to avoid those holiday blues. Love that picture from St Paul’s too, looking forward to your posts 🙂

    1. Thanks, Sam – you definitely need to visit, it’s gorgeous. I am exactly the same and need to have travel plans constantly. Although it’s hard moving back from another country you’ve lived in for a while, there’s so much to see on our own doorstep 🙂

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