About a month ago I packed up what little I owned and moved across the country, from Victoria, BC to Toronto, ON. To add to that, I did it not only for adventure but for love.
I left everyone I have ever known behind on that little island off the west coast of Canada, to move to a city of nearly three million. To put that in perspective, my home town had less than four hundred thousand people. A community that is usually referred to as “The newly weds and nearly deads” because our sunny coast life attracts both newly married couples starting families, and retirees looking to enjoy the sun and mild weather. I should mention right now that I am neither planning on having a family, or retiring (as much as I’d like to retire at twenty seven).
My plan to run from the even tempered weather of the coastal life to the big city of Toronto was years in the making. I have always been tempted by the idea of dropping everything and moving to a new city to see if I could survive. So a few years ago when two close friends flew away from our home (to go to Toronto and Montréal respectively) I was immediately jealous and all the more tempted. My original plan was to move to Montréal to attend McGill University to study journalism and creative writing. However owing to my severe lack of French skills and some issues with anxiety, I put this plan on the back burner for a couple years.
I got my first taste of the travel bug at the late age of twenty six, on a road trip to Disneyland in Anaheim. Driving down the coast was the kick in the pants I needed to make a change, my fear was gone and my love of seeing new places was born. I had never truly been more than a few hours driving from home, so getting to take this trip was the chance of a life time. When I arrived home it was already set in my head, and heart that I was leaving home finally. It was one of the harder moments in my life to break the news to my best friends M. and S. that I was leaving them behind, and had no plans of returning. I have the best of friends however, because they were sad but extremely supportive. So it was set, I was leaving for Toronto.
I mentioned in the beginning that I moved not only for adventure but for love, or at least a real chance at it. I was fortunate enough to have met someone I was falling for that lived in Toronto, thus the shift from Montréal. Together we tackled the task of finding me a place to live, despite me not yet being in the city and being unemployed. With a bit of luck and a lot of persistence (and a few awkward skype conversations with potential room mates) I was able to find a place to call home in an area called Oakwood Village. Not to far from the downtown core by bike, and a short walk to my girlfriends house. With this settled I was one step closer to my new home, and my new life.
I had my ticket, two backpacks and a suitcase with me as I stood waiting for my first plane ride ever. My dad drove me to the airport for my 6:40am flight, we waited in silence due to being up at such an unreasonable hour that I previously may have denied existed. As I said goodbye to the person that helped form the man I am today I had surprisingly few worries or thoughts. If I remember correctly my main thought was “I wonder what movies will be playing” and “The Calgary airport is going to be boring*) As I got onto a half empty plan, with “Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” appropriately playing it’s theme song in my head phones, I could only feel the excitement.
With that, the adventure began.
*I was right. Sorry Calgary.