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Why Vancouver? Why You?

Thank you to all entrants. Please visit the semifinalist page to view the top ten essays as determined by our panel and the public voting. Click here to view the top ten

Where the dreams are

By Mauricio Coronado

The heart leads us where our dreams are. The difficult thing about this; is we don’t know that our dreams have a place. It comes as an idea, a dream job, the dream car, the dream girl. It just floats around nicely in the back of our minds. For me, it was a dream job. The job needed some studies to do, but I was kind of stuck somewhere ignoring it. Then, a fabulous opportunity comes to me: A chance to win a scholarship at the Vancouver Film School. Vancouver? Who knows about Vancouver? Is the school any good? It turned out to be so. Is it for me? A city in a foreign country? This particular one? For what I knew, it was the hottest place in Canada and lots of friends told me it was amazing. Suddenly it’s fears, tears and goodbyes. I don’t want to leave my comfort zone. MY TOWN. Where I’ve lived for the past 24 years. I needed to follow my dream, though. Some months later, here I find myself, in a fabulous city, with just a little bit of cold. Then, we adapt, we transform, we morph with the city that welcomes us in its parks, its big streets and narrow alleys. And as I discovered the new things in this town I started to discover myself as well.

First I have to do my homework be good. There’s no real time to know what’s around me. But, my God, what are those beautiful pink trees? Cherry blossom trees. They are marvellous and natural to this place. It took my breath away. But I have to do homework and meet deadlines. I don’t have time to loose my mind in this Kitsilano beach. And I concentrate; I go from my new house to my new school. I go around one class to another meeting a bunch of fabulous people with the same dreams as me. From every part of the world, they come to this enormous city. And in some point, from the school to the house I find that I’m lost. I see people running, going to their work. They know where everything is, they have a specific purpose and they just look so right. And these humongous buildings that don’t let me see the sky. The huge cars that make noise zipping away. Everybody knows where they’re going, except for me.

But the city starts to grow in you. Suddenly I found myself going everywhere in a bike. How I loved to be in the bike, to be so free, so careless! A small breeze hits me while riding along Canada place. I saw myself running along these beautiful buildings. I wish I lived in one of them. From the heart of Yaletown I sprint to the shore. The docks, the planes, and the other side of the sea. There it is: The sea, the pines, the civilisation and in top of that the snowy mountains. I take a deep breath of air and feel the power of this nature. I cross Stanley Park. I go to my house. I study. I run. I share. I repeat. Then one day I realise I have tons of friends living the same thing I am. Summer comes and there we are: The beach, the city and the mountains, all in one place. I see into the sunset and admire the beauty of this now not so scary town. As I walk to school some strangers stop me. Where’s Hastings? Walk with me, I’ll show you. Then I know where I’m going. It hits me, I have become like these people. I know where to go. And it feels right: everything falls into place. I discover the power in me to be whom I want. And from all of the places, in the scariest one. When I followed my dream, I didn’t know I was going to be in the place I dreamed of. I hadn’t realised that Vancouver was my dream town; where my dreams awaited for me.

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