One of these days, I’m going to write about the things I learned about myself during our time in Europe.
Not in this post, though. This one is about a recent change that I’ve been too busy to really think about but is worth documenting and remembering.
Mike and I have moved to Vancouver.
During our time in Switzerland, it became clear to us how amazing it was to live so close to mountains and water. While Switzerland isn’t exactly close to the ocean, there are endless streams, rivers, and lakes cutting through every single city we visited and it made for a very scenic backdrop. One that we really clung to. We fantasized about trying to stay there long-term, but it wasn’t in the cards for us.
That’s when we started talking about other places to live, and when Vancouver came up as a possibility, both of us were shocked at how doable that option seemed:
- I’m Canadian and Mike has his permanent residency so we wouldn’t face any visa issues moving to this city.
- We both speak the main language, a limitation for me in terms of finding work in Switzerland or Germany (our top choices to live in) since I typically work in client-facing roles and don’t speak German.
- It has two schools that I’m considering studying holistic nutrition at (more on that later). Both of these schools also have campuses in Toronto, but the main point is that they exist only in Canada so I wouldn’t be able to study the courses I’m interested in as easily if I were abroad.
- The weather is more mild compared to Toronto – especially in the Winter – which is the specific season I need a break from. Ironically, Vancouver is in the midst of a record-breaking heat wave and a very hot and dry summer has been predicted. Imagine our luck!
- It’s smaller than Toronto but still a major city which (hopefully) means more job opportunities than a much smaller city like Aarau, Switzerland.
So, after a whirlwind month focused on my sister’s wedding reception, we had just under two weeks to say our goodbyes and pack up the minimal amount of stuff to move with. We briefly tossed around the idea of driving to Vancouver to bring more but the thought of driving for 5+ hours a day for a week seemed like a mild form of torture.
Instead, we’ve flown over with four pieces of luggage, two backpacks and our vita-mix (yes, I am one of those people… but in my defense, I knew that I would have just bought an inferior blender if I didn’t bring it and then complain about how I have a better one back in Toronto).
We’re going to try out the city for 6-12 months and ship the rest of our things if it all works out.
To be honest, we’re tired of city hopping and living out of a suitcase. Yes, it made us realize how little we need to be happy, but financially, it was taking a toll and I do miss having a home to retreat to without worrying about bothering anybody else. The only thing I wasn’t expecting was how hard it was to leave my family and friends the second time around. At least with Europe, we had a return ticket and were fairly positive that we’d come back to Toronto after our travels to stay. But, you can’t ever really predict how things will work out and my heart told me that I would regret it if we didn’t give this city a try. It ticks so many must-haves in terms of what we consider livability and quality of life that we felt like we had to try it. Leaving my parents, though… my sister, and my friends – the people I have grown to love so much … it’s heartbreaking to know that I won’t be able to pop over as conveniently as I could when I was in the city.
Of course, you always take for granted how close everyone is and never see them as much as you’d like, but now there’s really no chance that I’ll be seeing most of them unless they visit or vice versa. I don’t know if that is going to become a barrier to settling down in Vancouver long-term. Only time will tell.
But, we flew in yesterday and are already in love with what we’ve seen of the city so far. Tomorrow, I’ll be running my first race in this city as well! It’s the Scotiabank Half Marathon which is organized by CRS, so I know it’ll be a good time despite the fact that it’s forecasted to be 20C at the 7:30am start. It’s looking good, Vancouver, it’s looking really good.