Hello from Vancouver!
It is has been almost three weeks since my one-way ticket brought me to the westernmost province of Canada. In these three weeks, I went from homeless to having a home, no furniture, to an IKEA look alike, and no sense of routine to walking everywhere in my Lululemon gear.
It was just like a year ago, when I was greeted by my old friend, Ashley, just this time, I wasn’t going to be leaving, and I promised her, my stay on her air mattress was going to be very short (considering they needed the air mattress for camping that weekend, and I was determined to find an apartment).
Of course, in typical Krista fashion, I had contacted property managers ahead of time and had an excel document printed with room for notes. After ensuring the first words out of my mouth were “Registered Nurse,” I sauntered through each apartment trying to put forward my best “please let me have this apartment” look. It was mid-afternoon after leaving a not so great apartment, we stumbled across a sign advertising a one bedroom apartment on top of some of my favourite stores. When I walked into the fourth-floor unit, the natural light of the sun shining in the east, it was love at first sight. With all the close amenities, proximity to transit and a dishwasher and laundry IN the unit, I couldn’t resist! Within 8 hours of getting off the plane, I was no longer homeless!
I was so happy to be able to showcase my new flat to my parents when they came August long weekend. After all, I wanted them to be impressed with my new solo living arrangements. I think they were pleasantly surprised, not only by my apartment but by Vancouver in general. I wanted to be sure they saw Vancouver the same way I did. The best way to do that was to go to Kitsilano Beach to catch the sunset. Leaving my parents at the airport was bittersweet. However, considering I am heading home in September for my best friend’s wedding, they knew I would be back soon enough!
Before I could even put a dent in the Costco sized supply of food my parents left in my freezer, the Vinken twins arrived! Though it was a short trip, we made the most of it! We hit all the major spots: Stanley Park, English Bay Beach, Tacofino, Granville Island, and the Beer Market in Olympic Village. I was so happy to share some of the special places that make Vancouver unique.
However, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. With school not starting until September and work not starting until October, I am trying to keep busy by checking out different neighbourhoods, little shops and free outdoor yoga by the beach. How Vancouver of me, I know. Granted, with nothing to keep me busy, my mind has been racing. I’ve been thinking about why I came here in the first place, how it would have been easier to stay in Ontario. I always said I never wanted easy. I wanted to be challenged, and go to a place that could nurture and support my independence. I knew Vancouver was the place that I could take the next step in my life, personally, academically and professionally. I know I will be able to find support in my family and friends in the East and the new friends I will gain here in the West.
I live three hours behind almost everyone I keep in touch with, so unless my friends are on night shift, I can enjoy the simple things, like reading a book on the balcony, binge-watching Netflix and finding new recipes to try on my electric stove. I feel joy when I buy cleaning supplies, and the price matching at No Frills down the street is essential to keep in line with my groceries budget. I know that I will find my own way and sense of independence here in Vancouver. As the days go by, I look forward to the coming weeks and months with excitement as I take Vancouver by storm (not literally I hope, the sun can stay around a lot longer)!