For 21 years I called Montreal home. And for 21 years I never got why people loved it here. I never understood what made people want to come from all over the World to visit. What were they seeing? What appeal had them coming back each year? I was never in love with this city. There were moments where I thought I was on the brink, and then nothing. So when the opportunity came up for me to move to the West Coast I obviously jumped at it! Since that one move to Alberta, I've called different, towns, cities, countries even continents home, and it wasn't until this past weekend that I found my love for Montreal.
Coming home from Vancouver there was some family stuff going on, some high stress situations, and some less than supportive friends to come back to, and while it may not have started off as the trip I hoped for, it definitely ended the way I wanted it to. My last weekend in Montreal was definitely one for the books, 2 days seeing so much of the city & surrounding area that I had never even thought twice about before leaving 7 years ago. I spent a whole day just wandering (with my mom because she’s the best!), stopping in alleys I never even knew existed. Soaking in views I’d taken for granted for two decades.
Seeing things with a whole new set of eyes basically, and feeling more & more in awe of this city. Montreal is vibrant, she's a firework. She houses some of the most incredible artists in the country & maybe the world. Her architecture made me so much more excited to get to Europe & start exploring. The food, the music, the people; all of it together is why people love this city. Every tiny corner of this city has something to show off, all you need to do is look for it. Views for miles over Montreal from Mount Royal, peaceful afternoons at Beaver Lake, magic like nowhere else at Notre Dame Basillica, and amazing murals down even the darkest of alleys.
I took this city for granted when I lived here, sure I had some good times but for the most part I went to the same places and saw the same things because that’s what I knew. That’s what I thought I was supposed to do. But now, 7 years after leaving my home I’m seeing it with a whole new light. Sometimes it takes leaving to make you realize just how much you appreciate a place, and that’s exactly what happened for me with Montreal.
And while I’m currently sitting in the airport waiting to board my flight to London for an undetermined period of time, I’m excited that I was finally able to fall for Montreal. I made some amazing memories this past weekend, ones I’ll be able to look back on fondly while I’m off wandering abroad again. And there’s no doubt about it- Montreal & I aren’t finished yet, there’s so much more to explore!
So until then, stay incredible Montreal, a beintot!