How many of you have ever wished you were somewhere else? Working 10 straight days but wishing you were on the beach? In the middle of a blizzard ion January and wishing you could be strapped into a kayak chasing some heavy white-water instead? Whatever the place might me I think we’re all guilty of wishing we were somewhere else at least once in our lives. I know I have, more so now than ever before.
I’ve been living back in Canada for just short of 9 months, and this is the longest I have been back in my home country in almost 2 years. And it’s taken me this long to realize that something is missing. Something here doesn’t feel right, and I could question it. I could spend time thinking about what that something is, but I already know. Travel. That's what's missing from my life right now. I miss the excitement of starting out in a new place, thinking about the people I'll meet. The adventures that I'll have, the things I'll see and most of all how blissfully happy it will all make me. I am 100% the best version of myself when I'm travelling. Everything about travelling makes me a better, more curious human being and I thrive off of it. I don't sweat the small stuff, I don't worry about plans being changed 10 times over, and most of all I don't mind being alone. Once you travel solo for the first time you realize just how capable you are of doing it, time & time again. I'm sure there are those of you who disagree with me and would prefer to travel with a significant other or best friend, which is totally fine. Making memories with those closest to you is an incredible thing and having had the chance to travel both solo and with my best friend I feel confident in saying that although, they are both incredible experiences, they are so different. When you have someone with you you aren't necessarily looking around a hostel to make friends (not always but most of the time from my experiences), but when you travel solo you find yourself striking up conversations with people you may never have met in your hometown (aka reality for the sake of this post). I've met countless people along my travels that I most likely would not have met had I stayed in my home town (Montreal). And now? I've been calling Vancouver "home" for about 8.5 months now and I can honestly say it is nothing like I had imagined.
When I “decided” to come back to Canada I didn’t do so willingly (hence the “” around the word decided). Sadly for myself and probably hundreds of other Canadians who went to New Zealand and absolutely fell in love with the country, immigration doesn’t make it all that easy for us to stay. Sure there’s paperwork to fill out and I’m game for that, but without a permanent job (I was temping all year long in between a 6 month stint working in a hostel), you’re less likely to be approved for residency than someone with a permanent job. And I guess I get that, but at the same time it’s frustrating. Here I was absolutely in love with my life in NZ, seeing the most incredible things & meeting equally as incredible people. But that ended exactly 365 days after I had arrived in the country. I used up every last second of my 1 year visa, departing at the same time on the same date I had left Montreal 12 months previous. So with that heavy on my mind & heart coming back to Canada was my only option at the moment as I wanted to work somewhere without visa restrictions while I figured out where my next adventure would take me. And so here I am a little less than a year into my “Vancity Life” as I so eloquently hash -tagged it on Instagram and suffering. Maybe suffering a bit of a dramatic term of phrase to be using, but that’s how I feel. I’m suffering through the struggle on whether or not this city was the right choice for me.
Vancouver, one of Canada’s largest cities & one that most people I’ve met traveling dream of visiting. And why not? I’ve been a visitor here several times before moving here and I loved it. I dreamed of living here on my last visit & swore one day I would, so what’s changed? Well, here’s my first mistake-I had a picture of what my #VancityLife would be like. I’ve learned that having too high of expectations of a situation can result in you ultimately being disappointed. Whether you agree with me or not on that statement, that’s how I feel about my current situation. I wasn’t ready to leave New Zealand, I had to make a fairly quick decision (was still unsure about what to do with 30 days left on my Visa) and wasn’t too keen on living back in Montreal, and figured that Vancouver would be the best choice for me. But yet here I am, 9 months later & still totally unsure about it. The views are spectacular, but you almost forget about it when you spend 5 months under a constant drizzle, mountains hidden by cloud & fog. The summers, yes are fantastic and I’m currently writing this while thinking about the fact that its 20C on April 7th (sorry all my east coasters), but is that enough to keep ones spirits up during the doom & gloom that is a west coast winter? I’m not sure. And my other major concern is a more personal one that I’ve touched on before. The struggle to meet people – one that more than a few people I have met are struggling with as well. Vancouverites seem to already have their cliques and don’t seem all that interested in making an effort to expand that circle. So I find myself spending a lot of time alone, sure it gives me a lot of time to have started this website & take some courses, but at the end of the day I miss meeting people. Like I said before when I’m travelling I have no issue going places by myself, and sometimes I love having some “me time” here, but when the only time you’ve got involves just hanging out with yourself, you start to realize that’s not as fun as you’d like it to be. I want to meet people, I want to experience things with them and get to know other people & places at the same time.
I can’t say that I haven’t been taking advantage of living on the West Coast, because that’s not true. I’ve have a few little getaways since moving here but nearly as many as I would like (which I’m in the process of changing, even if that means going it alone). That being said, while I’m away whether it’s a day trip or a weekend getaway, I always feel incredible while I’m gone, soaking up every little bit of a place I can. And then I come back. I start to unpack & that dreaded “something’s missing” feeling starts to pack back into my soul. I’ve been trying my hardest to keep the good vibes from my trips around for as long as possible but this whole “staying in one place” thing is a lot harder than I thought. I’m grateful for the great job I have which keeps me going Monday-Friday, and equally as grateful for all of you who look in on my blog, or my Facebook, IG, Twitter accounts. You guys are why I post what I post, I’ve said it before but I do love sharing it with all of you and can’t thank you enough for the support & kind words since I started this whole thing. But for now I'm trying to work my through things, and figure out how I can get that missing feeling back in my life, and it just might mean that it's time to take off again in the near future. Travel has become a necessity in my life. Necessary to keep me happy. necessary to keep me learning. Necessary for the best life I could be living. There are a lot of things I want in life, an unlimited bank account (maybe on one of these trips I'll find that money tree I heard about as a kid), a nice 1 bedroom apartment, a puppy. All those thing's I want sound really great, but at the end of the day there's one thing that I absolutely NEED; travel.