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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.