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Vancouver, Vancity, Van, or whatever you want to call it, is home to a diverse ethnic community of individuals many of whom have one thing in common – they do not want to leave this amazing place. Having been voted the third most beautiful city in the world, and possessing the unique blend of ocean, mountains, forest, and downtown, the beauty and simple life of the city make it truly captivating. But yet I left.
Unlike many of my peers, I chose to leave Vancouver for California after high school. I grew up in Kerrisdale and went to Magee Secondary. I did the usual Vancouver kid things like eating sushi, getting my nails done at Star Nail on West Boulevard, going to McDonalds on a Saturday at midnight, and trying not to get caught while drinking at Kits Beach during the Festival of Lights fireworks.
It was all great except for one thing – the damn rain. Month after month of never seeing the sun, of tennis games being cancelled, and of my jeans getting soaked through on my walk home from school finally got to me after 18 years. I decided to venture off to sunny California to attend the University of Southern California and boy was it sunny! If honestly do not think it rained no more than ten times in the four years I lived there. You could wear shorts almost all year round, the warmest jacket you needed was a leather not a down, and you definitely needed to wear sunscreen everyday.
Yet although I still live in California (now in the “colder” city of San Francisco) I keep coming back home. My parents sold our childhood house years ago now so it is not really coming home to sleep in my own bedroom or to visit my physical home. It is home because it is Vancouver. It is relishing in the fact that we now have a wonderful rapid transit system that can take you from YVR to Pacific Center in 26 minutes. It is wearing a sundress because it is sunny not because it is warm. It is deciding between Indian, Japanese, Italian, and French for a fancy dinner and knowing that each top restaurant represents a slice of Vancouver’s diversity. And it is dreading going to Granville Island on a summer Saturday, but going anyway since the fish and chips from Go Fish are just too good to pass up.
I might hate the rain, and who knows if or when I will live in Vancouver full time again, but one thing is for sure – that when the sun comes out and you see the beautiful green of Stanley park blended into a skyline of Grouse Mountain, the West End, and Second Beach, that Vancouver truly is the most gorgeous city in the world and I cannot blame my friends and family for never wanting to leave.