A little over a year ago I was in serious denial about what was next for me with my New Zealand visa only a few weeks shy of it's expiration date. 12 months previously with a new visa & a seriously adventurous spirit I boarded a flight from Montreal to Auckland without a clue of what lay on the other side. Fast forward to this time last year & I was so blissfully in love with the country & all it had to offer that the thought of leaving tore at me constantly. Barring a quick turn of events (IE: finding a kiwi boyfriend or a job that would sponsor me) I was going to have to leave a country that I felt more at home in than my actual home country of Canada🍁. And that's when I made the choice to take on a new adventure in Vancouver once my visa fully expired. I remember being a work, pulling out my credit card & booking thinking to myself "You always said one day you would live in Vancouver!" and started telling everyone I was headed back to the mountains summer of 2015.
Which brings me to now. A year after a visit home to Montreal and landing in my new "home away from home away from home away from..." (well you get it) has now turned into something a little more like "why am I still living in Vancouver?" Yep you read that right, a year after my move here and I'm 100% certain that this was not the right choice for me. It wasn't a well thought out plan or a calculated one even, it was just a 'well I can't stay in NZ, I have no clue where I want to go, but Montreal & Jasper are out of the question (the last two places I had lived in Canada). So why not Vancouver?"and now after 12 months of calling Vancouver "home" I can 100% say that I've never felt less at home than I do here. I've been in a foreign country where no one spoke my language and still felt more welcome than I do in a province of my own home country. Coming & going as much as I have in the last half dozen years I've come to expect a ton of post travel blues but this is different. It feels like that, with an additional side of misery to accompany it. I'm sure a lot of people would tell me I'm just being dramatic, and that's fine to each their own. Only I really know how I feel, and at the moment confused seems like a good emotion to explain things.
My first error, I think, in coming to Vancouver was that I was coming from a place that I loved more than I had ever loved a place before. A place I truly felt at home. I wasn't ready to leave but I had to (staying illegally just didn't tickle my fancy, deportation isn't on my bucket list). And I made a decision to come to a place I had spent a total of 10 days in the last 4 years visiting thinking life would be great. I had high hopes, and that is where I think I went wrong. I try not to go into anything in life with too high of expectations so if it doesn't pan out I'm not too disappointed or when it does work out I'm even more thrilled than I would have been. So now here I am, a year into living Vancouver feeling less hopeful than ever before that I'll be able to get that New Zealand feeling back. Like I've said before I'm grateful for the job I have that I really enjoy with an organization I 100% support & love, but aside from that I don't have much else. I don't have a support system here (which has been a huge factor), I'm not excited about my life here & I probably should be, I mean British Columbia is surreal if you've ever seen any part of it. Yet, at the end of the day I'm left feeling uninspired being here. Sure, the views are gorgeous and there are times when I get out exploring that I have to do a double take & what I;m seeing. But at the end of the day those feelings don't pull me through the low points. They don't inspire me outside of that moment, and that's not how I want to feel. Constantly searching for inspiration and good vibes. There have been 2 years out of my 27 that have hit me harder than anything else and this is #2. I never imagined that at 27 years old I would be left feeling this way, and I'm taking it as a serious sign that it's time for things to change and me to leave Vancouver.
Great right? That's what I'm good at, leaving for a far off place on the map. And leaving a place that I'm not happy in. So what's stopping me? I wish I knew to be honest. There is something that is blocking all the ideas I've been coming up with. I'll be sitting at home and have a "eureka⚡️⚡️⚡️" moment to only go to sleep & wake up in the morning being less than enamored by the idea. Talking to my best friend last night he brought up a good point, and one that I've touched on before: that because of the incredible time I had in New Zealand maybe I'm comparing all these other plans & ideas to that trip. Which is not something I should be doing. Every trip is different, and that's what has made each of my worldly adventures amazing. I learned different things, I met different people & experienced different things. I wouldn't change any of those trips, but New Zealand is that one place (that everyone has) that means more to me than I can explain. So how do I move past that and onto the next adventure? Do I just do something risky like apply for a visa for a place that I've never been drawn to but see positives in going to? Or do I wait for a sign, staying here in a place that's sucking my soul out? Do I take off on a trip for a few weeks to get back to the best part of myself before making a decision?
Vancouver, you & I were not meant to be, maybe not at this point in my life, maybe not ever. And now I'm left with what should be an exciting question for someone who loves adventure as much as I do; What's a girl to do...