Forgoing prompt repayment of my student debts, I accepted a job for the summer in Vancouver.
Packed things up, spent a small fortune in a short amount of time and flew into a whole new world that was about as far away from everyone I knew and loved as I could get without leaving the country.
The summer was a whirlwind of new adventures, thrills, trials and sometimes challenges. This I could claim as my first true foray into the real adult world. I was renting an apartment (room), I was working a full time job, doing everything for myself and creating a routine and life for myself as I got to know the city more and more as I got out into it.
And I got to know it pretty quickly. There weren't too many parts to Vancouver I hadn't been to or knew about and that felt good. Sometimes I would forget that I'd only been there a few weeks, it would feel like I'd lived there for years.
And it was fun too. Summer is a beautiful time of year on the West Coast and we were spoilt by a rain free mild July.
Everyone I seemed to talk to when I went out were from somewhere else, either visiting or had come for a bit and ended up staying a long while.
And it was very exciting and I met some very nice people and did some really cool stuff.
The highlight for me was definitely getting to volunteer for the Illuminares Lantern festival, where I got to see the strength and connection amongst the residents of Trout Lake and Kensington cedar Cottage. It felt good to be a part of it all, something I am searching for for my life.
Everyone wants to feel like they belong to something.
I volunteered for the Folk Festival, attended meetups for coffee lovers, shy people, urban farmers, wandered about and tried some foods that I would never find here in Winnipeg (beef tendon in soup...so good!)
For 3.5 months I was a resident of Vancouver and for the month of October I was the volunteer housekeeper at the Great Bear Nature Tours lodge up in the great Bear Rainforest. It was a challenging but once in a lifetime and rewarding experience for sure.
The wandering and adventuring life felt good, but at the end of October I knew that it was time to go back, I needed my mum (proudly a mommys girl), and some structure and stability. That, and I needed to be somewhere where I could be for a while. You cant set roots if youère always coming and going.
While I loved Vancouver for all its neat places and convenient transit and cheap food...I wasnt sure if I wanted to make it my place. Victoria maybe, but I was lacking the energy to start home all over again.
So Winnipeg drew me back in again, despite the many times I have said I could not live there for what reason or another: The cold, the sprawl.
But after a 2 day 2 night train trip, that is where I find myself.
And Im liking it. There is a lot of treasure in this city if you are willing to take the time to look for it, such as music and art and culture. SO much, that you have to be very good at deciding what not to do because theres so much going on that you have to sometimes pick one thing over another.
Looking forward to being here for a while, even despite nervousness about the cold. Im not as well insulated as I once was so when the mercury drops to the negative double digits its going to be a toughy.