I spend a fair amount of my time in Vancouver thinking about what I miss about the UK, but when I arrived back in the UK last month I was barely off the plane before I started thinking about what I missed about Vancouver. I’ve been living here for nearly two years now, and my second year has made all the difference in terms of settling in and making Canada my home. I obviously decided to move here, and stay here, for a reason, and here are some of the reasons why.
It seems like I’ve gotten very used to the Canadian accent, not only through people I know but also from TV, radio and just listening to Canadians all day every day. I didn’t realize quite how comfortable I’d gotten until I stopped off at the supermarket on the way home from the airport. The first English voice I heard (other than my brother, his girlfriend and the customs officials) was a high pitched scream which sounded something like ‘Oi, Chantelle, git back ‘ere naaaaah’. I shuddered, then shuddered again, then begged for the soothing, dulcet tones of the West Coast. Unfortunately they didn’t arrive, though this incident showed me how much I’ve come to appreciate the calming and inoffensive accent that is Canadian.
I’ve written about how much I love the mountains before, and it’s a love that will never die. The mountains are a navigational aid (where is North?), a barometer (can you see them?) and an important feature of the Vancouver landscape. Viewable from the city, the beaches and the parks, it was strange going 10 days without seeing them. East Anglia is a particularly flat part of the UK, so there wasn’t so much as a hill to meet my needs. The only consolation is that now I’ve returned to Vancouver there is only a matter of weeks before the snowboard season begins again. The countdown is well and truly on!