Hello Vancouver! I’m Britanny. As you may or may not know, I’m new to this city! Here’s a bit of my perspective on the city I’ve come to know and love:
You know when you arrive in a new city and you feel like a total alien? You’re constantly lost, a new public transit system could not be more daunting, you don’t know the “places” yet (your closest coffee shop, grocery store, gym, wine store, you know, the basics), and everything just feels a bit strange. This is my third metropolitan city since 2014 and I was fully prepared to embrace full alien mode. Here’s the thing, I woke up every morning, walked new streets, sipped new coffee in new coffee shops, wandered the aisles of a new grocery store, and went about my day-to-day life feeling entirely at ease and all with an unexpected feeling of belonging. Because it was a wonderful feeling I was experiencing, I really didn’t put much thought into it, until I came to a second realization: Vancouverites are more prideful of their city than I’ve ever experienced elsewhere, and as a result (I believe) they are astonishingly welcoming and excited to share their home’s wonder.
As is said, this sort of pride for one’s city is something I’ve not come across before. Everyone’s always wishing they were somewhere else, plotting their next move, or in the very least they’ve got their list of complaints readied to rattle off when the mood strikes. As much as people are content with their place of residence, there always seems to be a big BUT after a praising sentence. Well, not here! When I started sharing my plans to move to Vancouver not one person responded with a “why?” or “for what?” In fact, I was met with support and comments like “you will LOVE it there” or “you HAVE to try…” and they would go on to tell me about their favourite places and best kept secrets. Anyone I encountered that was living in Vancouver or had lived here in the past was delighted to hear of my plans, and proceeded to speak of Vancouver like a proud parent whose child had just won the spelling bee.
I must say, this positivity and pride is incredibly refreshing and has played a pivotal role in my feelings of comfort, belonging, and general happiness here. I’ve been writing these pieces about my observations in my new city, and on each one I’m receiving comments filled with welcome, agreement, and a blatant love for Vancouver. Vancouver is beautiful beyond words when it comes to landscape, but the beauty of this shared sense of pride is what has made me fall in love.
Do you ever notice something lovely, quirky, nice, or unique when you’re on a walk or even just commuting and feel a pang of gratitude for your current situation? I’ve been doing this daily! Yesterday I turned a corner and noticed the inside of a traffic circle was being used as a community herb garden. On the next corner was a tiny library for people to take or leave books. Next turn my eyes fell upon the immensity of the ocean and the salty air filed my lungs. There is truly no wonder why Vancouverites are so proud to be Vancouverites, between the immense and the seemingly insignificant qualities the city holds, how could you not!?
Until next week,