Our second stop on our around the world adventure is Vancouver, British Columbia.
When planning this trip we heard mixed reviews about our decision to stay in Vancouver. Lots of people were excited for us or jealous; sharing their opinion that Vancouver is one of the best cities in the world. Others were confused, thinking that we weren’t really “abroad” until we’ve officially left not just our home country of the United States but the continent of North America.
I have to admit that even I fell into the second category.
After planning this adventure for the last two years I’m eager to get going.
For some reason our trip won’t feel as real until we’ve crossed an ocean. Selling our house, moving around the country, using our passports across the border, selling our car… none of that feels as meaningful as setting foot in a country that speaks another language.
I know this a prejudice I need to overcome, seeing as how no one understands that even Western Canada is, in fact, a foreign country than someone currently in my position. But no.
There’s another reason that Vancouver just hasn’t made it’s way into my heart: it’s not Montreal.
In preparation for our extended trip abroad we spent the summer in Montreal two years ago. Being a country away from the manufacturing plant handling orders for our business went perfectly. We found a great system for communicating, working digitally, and traveling, which encouraged us to seek out this grander voyage.
I fell in love with Montreal that summer. I was in hook, line and sinker. Down for the count, punch drunk, and every other sports metaphor you can think of.
I loved the French influence in language, food, architecture, and landscaping. Bakeries, bicycles, lavender fields, cathedrals… all with the kind gentleness of Canada. Ahhh… it’s my heaven.
I didn’t realize that Vancouver never had a chance until we arrived. What I came to understand is that I subconsciously don’t want to be anywhere in Canada for a month unless it’s Montreal. If I’m planning to be in the country for so long I should be reuniting with my love!
I feel like I’m in the middle of a breakup. I miss my other half and I don’t really understand why we aren’t together, since I’m obviously willing and able to be with someone similar.
This sounds dramatic.
What can I say? You’re welcome?
At any rate, I promise I’m giving Vancouver a chance.
On paper we’re really good together. I love culturally diverse cities and Vancouver is one of those (52% of residents report English as a second language.) It has a Chinatown and Little Italy, it’s surrounded by water with tons of gorgeous nature activities around, and the downtown is funky and easy to navigate on foot.
And yet… le sigh.
I’m actively looking for things to love. We spend hours and hours out and about every day trying new restaurants, walking tours, and unique activities. I’m hoping one of them sticks. All I need are a couple of things to cling to and I’ll be able to slowly form a connection here.
Unfortunately, being super interesting just isn’t enough to form a love connection. Vancouver is an amazing city, but you can’t force chemistry.
Wish me luck! Or at least wish me patience!