Return To Beautiful Vancouver (West Coast Girl, Pt 23)

Fall 2022

While I visited Vancouver a few times when living in Whistler (I couldn’t stay away too long), it was wonderful to be back in my dream city on a more permanent basis. The mountain resort was gorgeous and chill (and I had a great job), but it didn’t have the same spirit or heart that Vancouver had. I love how Vancity has everything all in one place – the city, nature, mountains, and the sea. I’ve found that I don’t like being too far from open water. I need to be within 30 minutes of a sea/great lake. There’s something about being close to a great gulf of blue for me.

After staying briefly at the dorm Air BNB in Burnaby again, I was able to get a micro suite in historic China Town and restart my life in Vancouver. I connected with a guy at the Air BNB and found myself missing our talks. While I was only there for a few weeks, I enjoyed coming home and seeing him in the kitchen around dinner. I love my space, but he was a reminder of how much I love having the right company around. After being on the road and not having connected with someone for awhile, that short time with him felt a little bit like home. I miss it.

I worked through Christmas at a hotel downtown then visited my family in Ontario for early January. This time I wasn’t so anxious to visit home. It’s not that I didn’t like Ontario before, but I used to avoid being attached to any place that isn’t the west coast. My sister and I met up with two of our cousins – two girls around our age who we grew up with. I felt quite tired that week since I just got my period, but I love how they were happy to see us anyway and they didn’t mind I was low energy. We talked about maybe traveling to the Maldives in 2023 – the four of us. I felt nice as I sat there. These are my people.

I told my mom and sister while visiting that I’d probably be moving back to Ontario that year. I’d considered staying in Vancouver and visit Ontario more, but something was telling me it really was time to move back. I could visit Vancouver when I missed it. It was time to be closer to family after a decade of living far away.

I was so happy to fly back into Vancouver as always, but this time I knew it would be my final chapter living there. There was a time where I was convinced I would never move back to Ontario. If someone told me I’d move back one day, I wouldn’t have believed them. There’s a time for everything. I did need some time away from all that was familiar and build a new creative life in a gorgeous west coast city. Vancouver gave me everything I wanted and needed. I realized it was okay to let go of my dream city to start a new volume of my life. There were things I wanted that it couldn’t give me and it was time to acknowledge that.

^ A photo of East Vancouver in the morning

To enjoy my final few weeks in Vancouver, I went to a live EDM event downtown to support some local DJs. I ate at my favourite restaurants and cafes. I went on some walks I really enjoyed. Olympic Village, Lynn Valley, Granville, Main Street, Gastown, English Bay, and Stanley Park are some of the areas I visited.

^ A photo of my gorgeous west coast. So many exciting ideas were born and nurtured here on my writing journey.

I couldn’t leave the place I loved so much on a whim, so I let myself savour all the wonderful things it offered me. I went on many walks out in nature and around the city, knowing the final days were coming. I would leave on a good note and I wouldn’t regret my choice.

^ The photo above is of Olympic Village at night.

While I will always have a west coast heart, my heritage is in Ontario. That’s where I’m welcomed by people and that’s where I’m loved.

^ The photo above is at False Creek. I have always loved the sunsets there.

Moving back to Ontario was really going to happen. In the same way that my writing journey was coming to a close, my west coast life was about to end as well. It was bizarre, sad, and exciting all at once. I just had to decide when and how I was going to leave.



  1. This post made me a little bit emotional, Sara. As I resonate so deeply with your story, having a west coast heart myself but with my heritage back in Ontario, this chapter of your journey gives me a permission to imagine that one day I may move back, and that there could be a beauty in that that I haven’t yet considered. I’m so grateful for you sharing this! 💕

    • Awh I’m so glad you’ve read this and that it speaks to you. It’s really heart breaking to leave the west coast when it’s the best area for your mind, but it’s also nice being closer to family. I hope this didn’t sway you toward Ontario – unless you feel called to go back.
      I cried last night reading about my early experiences in Vancouver. I really do miss it a lot.

      • It hasn’t swayed me back to Ontario, yet, but it did open my mind to the possibility, whereas before I felt that way was shut forever. I’m happy you are feeling nourished with the presence of your family around you-I miss mine deeply and often 💕

      • it’s such a crazy feeling when you do start to feel more open to it. 2 years ago, I would have said NO WAY, but over the last year and abit I started to be more open to it & now I’m back. :O
        I love the great lakes in Ontario so I found moving to a place that’s close to a coast and forests was helpful. I’ve been on some nature walks and it’s helped a lot. I don’t think I would have made it if I just moved to a generic city with no trails or water.

      • I love the great lakes too- if I ever did move back, I know I would need to be near a coast to be happy! That part of west coast living will never leave me either 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s