Wednesday, May 8, 2013
My Wonderful Crazy Good News
I've absolutely fallen in love with Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver. If you've never been, it's one of the most beautiful places on this planet - especially if you like hiking, mountain climbing, or pretty much any outdoor activity. Those are the kind of things I live for, so for me, it's a perfect fit.
When I first came to Vancouver, I'd never been to Canada before and I honestly didn't know what to expect. The 2010 Olympics had just wrapped up, and this city had a glow around it that felt great. Being an American, I wondered how different it would be from the United States. On one hand, it's not that different. On the other hand, there are thousands of small differences that amount to something you can't help but see.
For me, Vancouver is the first city that feels like home. When I was a kid, I always wanted to move to New York, or Boston, or even Europe. I never really had any interest in California or the west coast. In fact, L.A. has the distinction of being my least favourite major city in America, mostly because I hate driving and that city is basically a big suburb. But fate eventually brought me back to the west coast - the north west coast, and it's a good thing too because there is so much that I love about this city.
I love how Vancouver maintains its urban density while protecting its mountain views. I love how people are passionate about the environment and community development. I love how people have a sense of social responsibility as well as individual responsibility. I love how people take the time to enjoy nature. I love how calm the atmosphere is here. I love how multicultural the city is and how we attract people from around the world. I love how people can disagree without being disagreeable. I love how people don't tolerate racism, homophobia, or sexism. I love that people care about their health and well being. And after three years, I even love sitting in a coffee shop when it rains for months at a time.
It's not hard for me to say goodbye to America because I always feel like that will be a part of my identity. Whenever the topic of America comes up in discussion, I always try to point out that America is a really big country, and while Americans have some things in common, they have a lot of differences from region to region. Everybody likes to think their beliefs and actions are a result of their own independent thinking. I don't tend to believe that entirely. Where you are born, where you live, and who you associate with - those things matter, and to some degree they define who you are as a person.
And now, after a grueling three years process, Canada (and more specifically Vancouver) gets its chance to shape me and I get my chance to shape it. The best part? In three more years, I'm eligible for citizenship.