Love you, love you not

When I look at you, walk along you, discover you, I have the song Whirlwind by Joseph, in mind. Vancouver, you surprise me but also throw me. You are both welcoming and recalcitrant. You open the door but do not let me in. You enthrall me by your lightness and your sweetness of life, and…

Be you, here

I come from a very settled place. It’s a city, but it feels like a town. I know families who have lived in the same neighbourhoods for generations and grandparents who attended the same high schools as their grandkids. Even my dad has lived in the same neighbourhood ever since he was a kid. When this…

Discovering the Pacific Northwest

I remember running in the rain along the Arbutus Greenway – an old railway line converted into a pedestrian and bicycle path – and despite the pouring rain that had plagued the city for weeks, a thought kept repeating itself in my mind: I love you, Vancouver! I was living in Seattle, WA and occasionally…

Now I’m surrounded by mountains

For a while it had become my daily routine to get lost in the streets of Vancouver. One minute I would be asking a stranger for directions and the next, I would be zooming in on Google Maps just to get more confused. Relying completely on Google Maps is never a good idea and I…

I found respect everywhere

To go on a quest for a comforting place outside of one’s home is essential. To leave your hometown, to discover the world and to then share your experiences – all to enlighten the dreamy eyes of those who stayed put and let you go with a heavy heart. Western Canada has attracted me since…

Every city is a world on its own

Those who travel frequently expose themselves to the nuances of each new “world” even when they exist in a shared country. From the true metropolitan cities to small, mountainside villages each place has a breath and pace independent from the rest. There is a tradeoff though, an exchange of city bustle and diversity for the…

A small-town girl captivated by diversity

I grew up in a rural community in southern Ontario. I grew up knowing every person that lived on my long country road, and I had gone to school with the same group of kids from kindergarten to grade 12. Although small town life has its charms, it also lacks a sense of diversity that…

Emigration to Vancouver – A study in other cultures

To those who ask me to describe it, I like to compare Vancouver to the forests that surround it and through which I travel so often. Cedars, pines, cypresses – so many varieties make up this green ensemble. One who takes the time to look can distinguish all the nuances, where each variety has its…

From the unknown to the familiar

From the sweltering heat of Chennai, India to the rainy coldness of Vancouver, Canada, moving halfway around the world has provided me with an abundance of new experiences. India, known for its diversity in culture, is sometimes scrutinized by its own citizens for not being as accepting as countries like Canada. Hence for me, life…

I wanted another way of life

Leaving for Canada was a choice I had made a long time ago. Originally from the French countryside, from a family that takes little or no vacation and where we work hard, travelling is somewhat foreign to us. Despite that, leaving my comfort zone and leaving alone for far, far away from home tempted me.…

Bem vindo à Vancouver

Do you know what a Brazil nut is called in Brazil? A nut. Why am I mentioning this silly joke? Well, we Latinas don’t call ourselves “Latinas” before moving out of South America. We usually identify with our specific nationality, not with the whole continent, particularly in Brazil, where we speak Portuguese instead of Spanish,…

A childhood dream come true…

As a child I dreamed of travelling, exploring new horizons and learning other languages. Whenever my parents took a trip I always hoped that they would take me along on their journey, at the very last minute. Their travels were a time of long absences and tearful goodbyes. Wanting to escape myself, I came up…