Home Away From Home, Vancouver

Home.  A term that is often interpreted in different ways. For some it is where their parents are, their spouses or for some travel blogger it changes between month to month as they make their way around the world. I have always thought of Bournemouth as home, for me. I was born there, I grew up there and my parents are still there. However, I don’t think it is the case anymore, I feel like I have slowly adapted London to be my home over the past 3 years.

When the topic of home came up for this months travel link-up, I made the decision to write about my transition of moving between Bournemouth and London, until I dug deeper. There has always been one place in my heart that I would love to call home one day, so in a sense it is my home away from home. Vancouver, B.C.

As soon as I hear someone mention Canada or Vancouver, I get a sudden rush of excitement, almost like a sense of protection and shock that someone has found out ‘my’ hidden gem of a country.

I first flew out to Vancouver back in 2009 for the first time, visiting my immediate family. I had not seen them in a while and my sister and I had never seen Canada, so it was a no brainer really. My 15 year old self, so naive and young, I wasn’t expecting to feel so in touch with a city. So free, so welcome… so at home. We visited for around 4 weeks, which was labelled the best summer of my life. My family lived right near the most beautiful boat dock with sky line buildings in the distance and not far from the beach either.

False Creek, Vancouver.

Days were spent basking in the sun and watching fireworks by night, trying the restaurant scene and shopping, Canadian style. We even rented out a hotel room for a party and got busted, but that’s another story to tell. Friends were made, memories were formed, a summer that was so rewarding and uplighting for my teen self. It’s almost like I forgot about my insecurities about being a brace face as the city just welcomed me with open arms.

Kitsalano Beach, Vancouver

This summer memory definitely stuck with me and I had a clear, open love for Vancouver. However, I needed to go back to confirm it was exactly how I felt about Vancouver. Luckily back in 2015, 6 years after my last visit, my cousin got married so it was the perfect opportunity to visit again.

I was home. Memories came flooding back, a little overwhelming if anything. The same house we stayed at before, the same beautiful dockside having aged so well in its natural beauty. The little 7 eleven on the corner was still going and serving the best slurpees at a steal.

I couldn’t be happier. I was in my element and nobody but I knew about it.

I would say Canada is a cross of England and America, which why it makes it so special. I had always wanted to live in America but still have some of our British ways and it was exactly that. The even have T.K. Maxx (which they called T.J. Maxx)!

Canada was sporting its beautiful hot weather, not forgetting the heavy snow that comes in the winter, exactly like seasons are perceived to be.

The people are so friendly and community based. Everyone knows most of their surrounding neighbours, who tend to be the most kind hearted sort of people. Even doing 3am airport trips for you without even needing to be asked. People exchanged greetings when passing each other, even the youngsters.

Buntzen LakeVancouver SkylineTrees

The beautiful tall buildings are met with the serene mountains, forests and water. How could this all exist in harmony in one place? It was utterly breathtaking. Also, taking a break from the city has never been easier, just take a trip to the Rockies. It’s simply on your doorstep. I must say I went on one of the best trail hikes at Buntzen Lake, even though I wore loafers (I didn’t bring trainers) it was such a fun and relaxing experience. Nothing but forest, lakes, wilderness and grizzly bears. 😉

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My home away from home is definitely Vancouver, B.C…With love, from a fellow Londoner.

Until next time…

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