!xml version = "1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1">
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
I moved to Vancouver in 2001 from Ottawa. I had visited California and one morning while taking a walk a guy walking his dog said “Hi”. This was unknown in Ottawa as people were pretty tunnel-vision there. I thought “Wow, the west coast is great people acknowledge you there”. So I packed a suitcase and lived on a friends couch for 2 months. Then I found my own place. People ask me why I moved here and I always say “To get into the film industry” But to be honest I have done very little acting work (aside from a SOC role on Star Gate Atlantis). I always considered myself a great writer. But the only thing I ever wrote was expiry dates on food items at the hellish retail stores I worked at. Luckily I got out of retail. I don’t write anymore I should do it but Life Got In The Way. When I was growing up my teacher told me If you move you take the problem with you-yourself. I used to really stand behind that statement. But on reflection I feel that you have to make the best of the situation you are in. I had numerous chances to move back to Ontario with family and free meals every Sunday. But to be honest I love Vancouver. Why? The weather is a BIG reason. It is not minus 40 in the winter and not uncomfortably humid in the summer. It is perfect weather here. Just right. Not too hot not too cold. And yes it does RAIN here. But you know what? They have an invention called an umbrella. You can take a walk in the rain. Hard to take a walk in the cold with ice underneath the 30 inches of snow. Here the snow stays on the mountains where it belongs. The other reason I love Vancouver is the people. So many people from different parts of the world here. It is great. So many different languages being spoken on the street. That is very cool. Also we have lots to offer Stanley Park, Mountains to gaze at on a sunny day, An Ocean, And a city built all around it. The lights of Science World, the city parks, I could go on and on. As for if this city is friendly I hear all the time online that Vancouver people are mean and stuck up. For me it took a long time to get a circle of friends here. A long time. Now I have so many friends it is hard to fit them into a weekend. As for relationships they say people are snobby and money driven. It is so hard to find love here. And it was very difficult for me at first. Once I learned to be happy in my own skin and just do what I love to do all day and have a happy humble approach to life it was easy to attract the opposite sex. My only issue is the cost of living here as it gets more expensive every year. I hope I never have to leave this city as I have grown to love it and it is a part of me now. One last note is the fact that on my Facebook wall I see photos of people going on vacation to Vegas and Toronto and other places. I never understood this. Why on earth would you need to get away from Vancouver? You can be a tourist in your own town as there are so many amazing places to visit here. This place IS paradise as far as I am concerned.