Friday, July 18, 2008

Wanderlusting - Vancouver, BC

First of all, thank you so much everyone for all of your kind words and encouragement. It's lovely to know that I have so many friends and supporters out there. If you couldn't tell, I truly was in a terrible funk but I've gotten myself out of it. I have a new outlook and attitude (about work, writing, everthing) - let me tell you, it's a very freeing thing when you let go of something and you still see it come back to you. I've made peace with certain expectations for myself and have a more simple plan ahead of me for the future, finding out what I want to truly live a happy life. And perhaps next week I will have some good news, too.

In the meantime, I am going to write, not much about myself, but about my dear old hometown of Vancouver. I've realized that many of you don't know much about the city itself, where I live and what it is like. And that living here, I never think to appreciate this place with new eyes, see it for the first time the way the tourists do (I know, there is hostel down the street from me and I see gaga-eyed foreigners everywhere I walk).

It's happened a few times, upon returning from a year and a bit stint in Auckland, NZ, I was yearning to see the North Shore mountains. After three-months vagabonding around Europe, I couldn't wait to wear my foreign outfits on my hometown beach. But now, in the midst of summer and sunshine, I need to remind myself that I live HERE:

Vancouver, which has been rated the Top Ten Most Liveable City in the WORLD, for the last decade or whatever, on several top ten lists. It's even been NUMBER ONE more than a few times. Can YOUR city claim that (PS please shut up you Sydneysiders, Aucklanders and everyone in Switzerland - we know you made the lists too :P) Bill Clinton even declared it one of the most beautiful cities he has seen.

Of course, we have our share of problems. With its popularity, Vancouver has the highest housing prices in the country (for example, a modest one-bedroom downtown is going to set me and my boyfriend back around $300,000 - I'm selling my 430 sq. foot tiny studio for $200,000!). We also have the worst drug and problems in all of North America (no seriously, look it up). And traffic can be a real bitch sometimes.

But overall, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. OK, I would, but just for a few years becaus I know I would ALWAYS come back to Vancouver, Sea to Sky City.

Plus the Winter Olympics in 2010. Come on!

View from the top of Whistler Mountain, Best Ski Resort in North America and only 2 hour drive away

Even in November, the city can take your breath away (my apartment is just a little to the right)

View from my roof deck facing North

View from apartment facing South/West

The ocean is everywhere! (note city way in the background)

Stanley Park is one of the biggest parks in North America and an easy stroll away from me - perfect way to spend a summer day

The beach is a one-minute walk from my place

Warmest place in Canada - palm trees, you see!

How can you say no to this every night?

I love having our boat so close by

Stunning in Winter - view from top of Grouse Mountain, looking down on part of the city - Peter Jokan photography

Calming in Autumn - Stanley Park Seawall, Peter Jokan

Cherry Blossomtastic in Spring

The nearby Gulf Islands provide refuge in Summer

Beautiful day...

Or night

I encourage YOU to find the beauty in your city!


Farrell said...

well thank you for that; i think you just planned my next vacation!
but 200k for less than 500sq feet? GASP!!!!!!!!!

WiscoBlonde said...

It's funny you wrote this post because my Canadian is from Vancouver. He's actually there right now until he moves to Chicago in two weeks. It's fun to see pictures of things he always talks about, like Whistler.

I'm just sad that he's so far away for now.

Wondering Woman said...

Wow -- you do live in a beautiful place. Is the roof deck your new apartment or old one? Is it completely yours or shared? Totally cool either way..........
I'm with farrell, I'm moving Vancouver to the top of my must-do vacation spots also.

Mitch said...


Vancouver... I love this city... like you say, it has problems, and challenges, but it's still really bloody beautiful, even in the gray winter!

Drinks... SOON!

Tawcan said...

Vancouver is indeed a beautiful city. some people though don't appreciate it until they leave the city for a short period of time and live in a different city.

almost famous kiwi said...

Haha I love that pic of you and me in the bushes, so scandalous. I love living in Montreal but I can't wait to go back home to Van!

Peter Bond said...

Having lived away from Vancouver for two years, your post has hit me hard, and now I can't wait to come home!

I have one question though: if I work in North Van, should I live there or brave the commute and live downtown?


Kass said...

I miss Van :(

Vegas Princess said...

Okay I am coming to visit. I always knew Vancouver was beautiful but those pictures just took my breath away! I have to go and see them for myself!

I am glad you are doing better. We all get a little down sometimes and it is our friends that help pick us back up, dust us off and remind us we are wonderful or else they wouldn't be friends with us!

Coffee in Kits said...

I completely agree! I wake up to this city every morning, still amazed at how amazing it is...

Waving at you from the other side of the water...