Somewhere new is not something I am looking for

I have never had the skin tightening feeling of growing out of a space, of packing a suitcase and finding my somewhere new. Vancouver is my perpetual somewhere new, a community transient, fluid and ever-evolving. It’s my someone new I met in passing on the SkyTrain. It’s my new discovery of an Indian-Chinese fusion place…

From the Amazon to Canada to find a more sustainable life

I come from Manaus, a hot and rainy city located in the heart of the Amazonian jungle. I decided to move, looking for a more sustainable life. This might sound a little paradoxical at first, but it is not. Since studying in environmental sciences, I’ve known Vancouver to be referred to as a benchmark in…

My experience with integration in Vancouver

These days, many Canadians are proud to call our country multicultural and diverse. Along with saying ‘eh’ and living in igloos, Canada is also known internationally for being a kind and welcoming place. As a nation, we can look back to Canada’s history and the decades of oppression, negligence and exploitation of minority groups and…

Diversity in Metro Vancouver

I came to this city as an international student from Kenya. Living on campus and going to a university outside the country I grew up in opened my eyes up to a variety of people from an array of cultures and backgrounds. Through living on campus and just generally going to classes, I met some…

All the colours of Vancouver

I have known many geographic latitudes and multicultural societies, starting with my island of origin. I come from a land of mixed races and cultures, Reunion Island. For me, diversity is natural. I always felt a little cramped, uncomfortable, in mono-cultural societies. I have explored different lands, always looking for a balance in post-colonial societies,…

Where I come from

I think that for travelers, whether over the short or long term, the search for meaning and identity follows them everywhere. Having arrived in Vancouver on October 22nd 2019, I would never have thought of being part of such a mix of cultures. And yet, diversity is something I had always experienced in my native…

Multicultural belonging in two acts

Act One I remember a smooth landing, except for three hours of wait time afterwards to go through customs at YVR. My flight arrived in the afternoon, but it felt like evening in the waiting room. The waiting area was packed, and luggage sat or stood in the aisles. Bags of various sizes, colours and…

The twelve-year itch

I’m not sure why, but I always imagined I would write a column to celebrate my first seven years of “marriage” with Vancouver. I would have called it “The Seven-Year Itch,” an homage to Billy Wilder’s movie in which Tom Ewell tries not to succumb to the temptations of Marilyn Monroe and cheat on his…

Beyond boundaries

Where are you from?” A familiar question. One I’ve heard ever since I moved to Canada at age 16. I remember how my classmate’s face wrinkled in confusion when he heard the answer. “But you’re not…” “There are all kinds of people in South Africa.” I hadn’t realized my skin colour would be a surprise.…

With an open mind

Originally from Le Havre, an industrial city in the west of France, I arrived in Vancouver in June. Since 2012, I have been fortunate to live and work in various countries, collecting lessons and teachings along the way: I’ve experienced hard work in Atlanta, discovered work-life balance in Ireland, learned about management at a Cameroonian…

Growing up in Vancouver’s multiculturalism

If you were to see me in school, I’d most likely be surrounded by Asian friends, but even though they all look more or less alike, their roots sprawl across the entire globe. One of them is an international student from Vietnam, and another grew up in rural Japan. I think that having friends of…

The first steps of a Frenchwoman in Vancouver

I’ve been roaming around the city and its surroundings for two months, slowly, at my own pace. As a former marketing person, before settling in the most populated city of British Columbia, I did my own research. I spent hours on the web “discovering” the city before even arriving. I found that I would read…