When I moved to Vancouver, Canada from London UK in September 2013 with my boyfriend, I pretty much left everything behind, including my budding career as a Design and Technology teacher. Since then, I've often referred to my life in Vancouver as a 'struggle in a bubble' or a 'loner in paradise'. While it was extremely difficult to get my foot into teaching due to British Columbia's highly regulated education system and a lot of red tape, it was also not easy to make friends. That being said, I am approaching 30 and have already forged deep and meaningful relationships with long term friends back in London, so I'm not too proactive in the hunt for new ones. If anything, people appear to embrace solitude. The amount of solo folks I have witnessed on Kits beach still surprises me to this day, so maybe I should be taking a leaf out of their book.
Personally, I don't make friends easily. I am a little on the weird side and in my own world most of the time. For fear of letting out too much, I'd quite happily daydream for hours! When I was at school the importance of being popular was paramount, a feeling encouraged through peer pressure. In my older age, I realised that 'quality of quantity' was what mattered most. If I can have 3 really amazing friends, or 20 half decent ones, I'd rather cut out the half-arsed ones and retain the amazing ones any day! I'm talking about long-term friendship, and for me that's about chemistry, clicking, trust and depth. I really have to feel that someone is on my level and this is where my intuitiveness helps. I consider myself to be approachable, loving, kind, bubbly and a bit bloody mental, but I won't entertain people who come across fake, superficial, and lack a down-with-it vibe. Aside from common interests, banter is important. The worst thing that can happen is when a conversation becomes awkward, one-sided and I'm the only one asking questions.
In theory, I'm actually lovely and happily acquainted with many, I'll always begin any given moment with a friendly disposition and see how it goes from there, the relationship could go the extra mileage... or not. Just saying.
How many of you share similar feelings? What do you value in friendships? How do you define deep, meaningful connections? What about those sparkling flash in the pan encounters? Even both is possible. I've experienced beautiful short-lived connections with people at music festivals, art exhibitions and on my travels. I was probably off my nut for all I know, however these encounters were extra special because there was a spark to begin with, almost written in the stars, yet unexpected. I always get nostalgic about the past and reminisce about those lovely souls I left behind or still know today.
Bringing it back to Canada. In my personal opinion, which is what this blog of mine is all about, when one arrives at the opportunity to reside long term (not holiday) in multiple cities, they can't help but compare and judge it against the place they grew up in. Isn't that just human nature? We identify the pros and cons, move on or have a little moan. Quite often, I am eager to partake in the latter. Not everyone has lived in another country so they may find it a challenge to empathise, especially if they are from the very place you are moaning about! Some folk become defensive - as though my comments were personally driven towards them, whilst others listen and kickstart a big old moaning session... with the help of wine. Being quite the perceptive and intuitive little crab that I am, I do notice small details that make a big difference on my outlook and emotional state. How did you cope moving abroad? I would love to hear your story.
Aside from all the challenges, my journey so far has been rewarding, soul-impacting and spring loaded with vibrant adventures and learning curves. Vancouver has been a launch pad for cherished travels near and distant to other memorable places.