I would move to Vancouver in a heartbeat. My two worlds, my two backgrounds collide when I am there. Never, in all my life, have I been somewhere with so many British and Iranians in one place. I can hear a British accent with one ear and Farsi with the other as I walk down one street lined with streets and intricately designed high-rise apartments. I can go to a random fish and chips place, hear the proprietor speaking with an accent and bite into the most perfectly crispy battered tender piece of cod and then go down the street and order the best kabob I can probably get outside of Iran. And then I can go eat sushi and also order the best Chinese food I’ve ever tasted. But that last part is just my taste buds talking.
It’s not just the culture that I find entrancing about Vancouver. It’s not just the fact that Vancouver is a big city with Pacific Northwest vibes, where you can see people dressed for a hike but also see an appreciation for high fashion that doesn’t seem to exist where I currently live. Those things definitely make me love it more.
The thing I love the most, the absolute most about being in British Columbia is the landscape. When you’re there, you can be on the beach looking at the mountains. You can be in North Vancouver and feel the shadow of the mountain lurking above you. I used to tell Ben that what I really wanted was to have a house at the base of a mountain, but that I also love the sea and I also love the city. And in British Columbia, you can have that. You can have all of it. You can live by the sea looking at the mountains in a big city. No photo or painting or video can ever prepare you for the beauty of this place. Every time I am there, I find myself feeling inexplicably joyful and sad. I am grateful to be staring out the window at the mountain and the harbor and saddened that I cannot hang on to that feeling. I will sit by the window for hours and hours just watching the sun go down. I am perfectly happy to drive up to Whistler even if just to stay for an hour just to see the drive.
I know there are other beautiful places on this planet, places that are just as majestic, if not more. I can think of a few drives I’d love to be doing right about now. But the fact that Vancouver is basically in my backyard (give or take 5 hours), makes it all the more special to me.
I was going to end this post there, but I do have one more thing to say. Being in British Columbia this weekend felt like a breath of fresh air and a huge sigh of relief. It was our first trip out of the U.S. since 2019, and I nearly cried once we crossed the border.