Well, well, well,... Here I'm sitting at Starbuck Coffee, sipping my London fog, and diving right back to my year off in Vancouver.
There's so much stuff I'd like to cover in this article, I just don't know where to start. I'll try to be straight to the point and focus on the most important while staying aligned with my blog (wellbeing, mental health, balance, blabla).
Why I decided to leave
I was barely graduated when I packed and left for Vancouver. It wasn't a decision taken on a whim, it was well-thought. We, my bf and I, wanted to see how it was out there "if it wasn't greener on the other side" as they say. We were curious and also keen to discover a new culture, to meet new friends, and to test ourselves.
I, for one, have to admit that I was a bit lost mentally speaking. I wasn't in full harmony with myself, I had no idea of the job I wanted to do, and above all, I didn't know what I was passionate about, which was a big thing for me. In short, I was searching for myself.
A bit about Van
Vancouver is a pretty chill city populated with lovely and respectful people. What I like the most is that you have everything around. The city, the beach, the mountains, what else except friends and family eh?
I'd say that one of the biggest differences with Belgium is that people do not judge nor talk on your back. They have more important things to focus on. They're career and goals oriented. It was so good to live in such an environment for a year. It allowed me to be the person I truly am without fearing any judgments, it pushed me harder and harder. Mentally it was such a release.
People are also very healthy (no kidding eh?). They work-out, they're very active, they favor unprocessed and local food, and they constantly strive for being the best version of themselves (mentally, physically, and professionally). Vancouver is also hailed for being one of the greenest cities in the world because of its use of hydroelectricity. On the other hand, they keep using lots of plastics, which is really insane and doesn't make any sense though. :p
Anyway, let's not get sidetracked. So, as for my professional experience, I've to admit it wasn't super rewarding (applause for COVID 19). Fortunately, I had the chance to work in a start-up allowing me to find what I do love. Lots of challenges and reconsideration on the way, but in the end, it was very worth it.
I also met incredible people in Vancouver, I'm lucky to call them friends. I learned a lot from them, which is to me the basics of a good, strong, and healthy friendship. Most of them are foreigners because natives do not really care about you. They're polite and friendly, but that's it. They don't really go deeper.
What do I take out of my experience
If I have to pick up one single thing, I'd say that I'm more confident about myself and my future.
I feel like I found my way. Today, I can say that I know the job I want to do, the persons I want to be surrounded by, the lifestyle I want to live, in other words, the life I want to lead. I feel released, fulfilled, and way better off.
Last but not least! I realized that Belgium is a nice country to live in. I do miss a lot the Belgian vibes (partying, the sense of hosting, the food, the warm side, not to be forgotten: my friends and family of course).
I'll be forever thankful for the opportunity I had to experience Vancouver for a year and for all the people I met. It brought me so much. I'm now ready to go back home a head full of memories, projects, and excitement.
See you soon Vancouver.
PS: If you have the opportunity to travel, just go for it!
"Do not fear the unknown. It's a sea of possibilities." Tom Althouse