A few years ago, a sudden need for nature and wilderness took part of my innocent soul and all my plans changed. I was seeking a whole new world that was still unknown to me – the West Coast. Vancouver suddenly popped out in my head as a perfect location, and I only had to buy a plane ticket, and a new life was starting for me.
My heart was broken a year ago when I decided I should leave this city to come back where I am from. I would not lie to you, I was sad. But it wasn’t at that specific moment I realized this city should be my home. It is while slowly walking in these dark alleys at night that I realized, it was it. I was stuck with a fascination for Vancouver. These streets filled with memories, these buildings that remind me histories, these faces that remind me someone else, these huge mountains that are part of the landscape and the subtle breeze coming from the sea. I looked around and realized that I might have walked for hours, and I wasn’t scared at all. I knew the city was always showing me one of its beauty, one of its secrets.
Yes, there are some rough neighborhoods where drugs are too popular and where people are homeless. I agree, this is sad. But we once told me that we should always walk past them. ‘’It reminds us that it’s part of us, it’s part of our city. That’s where we live, and it sucks to see it, but it exists. We need to remind ourselves how lucky we are, and remember that some people need help,’’ said one of my friends while I was there, scared to walk in the area that everyone is calling sketchy. And, this is only a small part of what Vancouver really is. You actually end up enjoying the rain and the thousand umbrellas you will probably forget in a coffee shop, trying to warm up a bit. You get to enjoy days at the beach with friends, even though you are not necessarily going into the water. You get used to going to different bars and talk to travelers from across the globe, but mainly Australians that are trying to explore the Canadian sights. You get to love cheap cider and good breweries. You fall in love with 30 minutes bus ride that lead you to a new mountain, peaceful moments you didn’t think could be available to you. You now allow yourself to forget your cell phone home to get lost in random forests, discovering trees bigger than one another and the silence. Ahhh, the silence. It feels so good to be alone!
Now, when I talk about Vancouver, I feel nostalgic for a place I wasn’t born in. A place that became like a home for me, where I thought ‘’I could live there for the rest of my life’’. Ursel probably felt the same thing as well, but we need to remember that as travelers, we’re constantly on the road. We need to keep our goals in mind and push ourselves out our comfort zone, which also means, leaving places we fall in love with. Ursel is now keeping her next stop in mind, just to be sure not to forget it – Hawaii. As for me, Vancouver is still waiting for my return. Slowly, but it’s coming.