Be yourself in Vancouver

Everyone knows Vancouver is a great city to live in. The mix between large urban buildings and nature makes the city attractive to all kinds of people. Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life. Besides that, it’s also the third largest film production centre…

A Parisienne attempts a Vancouver makeover

Freshly disembarked from her native France on a winter morning (it’s all of 3°C out), the Parisienne, her ankles swollen with pride upon stepping out onto the soil of the new continent (or was it perhaps poor blood circulation due to the trip), changes her shoes. Indeed, as soon as she leaves the airport she…

Exploring cultures within a culture

During a long flight I opened my eyes and peeked out of the airplane window. There it was, a green stretch of mountainous land, surrounded by sea and arctic, seemingly wild and pure. I was on my way to Vancouver, the city where people talk in elevators, where yoga pants are for everyday use and…

Dream or reality

Sept. 27, 2014 found me on a plane, my heart palpitating with fear. The unknown was what terrified me most. In my backpack I had a sleeping mask, a pen, my diary and very precious memories. “This journey will unsettle me forever. I am not ready,” I wrote. I was on my way from Egypt…

From digital to reality: a Vancouver adventure

Having lived in Vietnam all my life, I decided to take a journey beyond and explore the vast cultures Vancouver has to offer. Indeed, the city accommodates a safe place for people from many backgrounds: from adopting multiple languages on public signs to helping people of different nationalities, to establishing the freedom of exercising various…

Different, just like everyone else

I left my native France at the age of 18. Italy, England and then Thailand became my new homes. Every step was a breath of fresh air, a culture to adopt, a language to learn and each time I had that feeling of freedom where I could be who I wanted because I was different,…

The impressions of a Tunisian in Vancouver

As soon as you arrive at Vancouver International Airport in Canada you are struck by the pleasant greeting of the customs and immigration officers. Be it timid and restrained or large and welcoming, the sincere smile of these officials brightens your day, even if it’s the first time you set foot on Canadian soil. This…

Please forget my accent

In Vancouver, everybody comes from somewhere else. I’ve always liked this aspect in a town, being multicultural. However, one of the things that confused me the most in Vancouver is the way people make you notice, on an awfully regular basis, your own accent. With 52% of the population speaking another mother tongue than English,…

Everyone should live in Vancouver at least once

I have been in Vancouver for a year and a half or so. I grew up in Shanghai, the biggest city and financial centre in China. After twenty-two years living there, I made the biggest decision of my life. With the support of my family, I came to Canada to study at UBC’s School of…

The prism effect

I still remember that one of my favourite childhood toys was a kaleidoscope. It is a tube that contains loose fragments of coloured glass that produce, through an interaction of light and mirrors, symmetrical and geometric patterns, which vary with each rotation. The whole image consists of segments reflected in mirrors. If we compare Vancouver’s…

Vancouver, the livable city

My first months as a newbie in Vancouver were spent trying to establish myself, find a job and a suitable longer-term home. And just like any excited tourist, I was imbibing all that the land had to offer. The backdrop of the North Shore Mountains beyond the Burrard Inlet is always panoramic. And if you…

What do I do with this?!

In the early 80s when I was five years old, my parents brought my younger sister and me to live in Vancouver. Our family stayed for four years while my parents started a business before moving back to Hong Kong. Back then, occupied with priorities such as my first trick-or-treat outing and building my first…

I am home

I am from Québec City and the decisive moment to throw it all out the window and start anew in the West came about rather suddenly. The original intention of moving to the West Coast went through a maturation process of about six months before a decision was made. The call of the peaks grew…