Two years ago when I was planning my move to Canada, I decided to move to Toronto. It was a big, bold north American city, and it held the promises and fulfilment that I was seeking. Within five days of being there I felt restless and direction-less, and pondering exactly what it was I was doing in Canada. I had met a great number of people in Toronto who encouraged me to seek out more adventure and Vancouver had been mentioned to me on several occasions.
I headed up to Montreal and spent the week basking in all its European glory, comforted by the familiarity I had left behind in the UK. I booked my flight to Vancouver and headed out there with a promise of mountains, nature and a change of pace I had been ready to embrace.
What I landed in was a city that was unlike anything I’d have ever imagined. It had a small town vibe to it that Toronto and Montreal most certainty didn’t have, yet was large in size and population. The mindset was something totally different to anywhere I had been before. People seemed to retreat into themselves and friendliness to strangers was off the cards. I wasn’t asking people to be my BFF, but there was a closed off feeling that I got from pretty much everyone I met.
This place was different. I thought it would be good for me to live somewhere I wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to live in otherwise. The lifestyle was a huge culture shock as well as the distinct lack of culture. This was a new city and I was not ready to accept this new way of life just yet. I wasn’t prepared to give myself over to it 100%, despite my wishful thinking. First I had to figure what it was I wanted to give and what I wanted to take.
What followed was a year and a half of one of the most trying, stressful and happiest times of my life. It was also one wrought with frustration, a strange identity crisis, navigating the perils of making new friends as an adult and finally realising I have the worst judgement when it comes to men and dating. I navigated the job market, tried to establish myself in a career and did a heck of a lot of stuff. I also pondered serious subjects such as ‘why are Canadians obsessed with people taking their shoes off the second they walk into a house? ‘ And ‘why doesn’t this debit card have the ‘Visa’ logo on it?’ And the most important, ‘why is cheese the same price as a car?’ and ‘Clubs close at 2AM? ARE YOU SERIOUS?!’
I also spent a lot time binging on Netflix but nobody wants to read about that, right? Right?!
As of right now I am 28, single, unemployed and slightly in debt. I left a whole lot behind to embark on this journey only to find myself recently fired from a dream job and about to start working as an office temp. So it’s time for me to throw on my Lululemons, jump on my bike and cycle to the beach through this giant weed dispensary I now call home.
And I wonder, just how exactly did I get to this point?