When we moved from Alberta to Victoria, BC, almost four years ago, we were coming as students. We planned to get our degrees (because the University of Victoria offered programs we couldn’t find elsewhere) and return.
Well, that was four years ago. Now Sunshine has started school here. We had a baby here. We’ve got friends in multiple parishes around the city. My husband has worked three co-op jobs here. It’s starting to feel like home.
Sometimes, when I drive around Victoria, I’m surprised to find that I’ve gotten myself from Point A to Point B without needing a map—even if I’ve never driven that road before. I’ve got a mental map of the city in my head, though I do still occasionally pull out the mapbook that was so handy in our first months here. (If you move to a new city, buy a mapbook. It is worth it.)
As graduation approaches in April, we talk about what happens next. We don’t know yet (my husband is busy job-hunting), but it’s nice to have many of our friends say, “You’re looking for jobs HERE, right?” Hopefully! There are so many things we love about this city. My husband likes the weather and the lack of snow and ice on the roads. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of the rain right now, but the flowers poking up are very pretty.
Sunshine and Lily love the beaches. I grew up going to the beach occasionally, but I’ll admit that Alberta’s man-made lake beaches have nothing on the ocean beaches around here. We haven’t even seen all the beaches around Victoria yet! We’ve learned to turn over rocks to look for crabs, recognize chitons in tide pools, and to show up when the tide is right.
We’ve also done quite a bit of hiking. There are a couple “mountains” near our house that we take every out-of-town visitor up to see the view of the city. Within a two hours’ drive, there are plenty of other places to hike for an hour or a day. And this summer, I’m looking forward to doing more biking, now that Jade is old enough to go in the bike trailer or bike seat and Sunshine is getting better at riding her bike. I’ve wanted to bike the Galloping Goose Trail from top to bottom since we move here, so perhaps this will be the summer!
The downside to living in Victoria is the fact that we’re on an island. Last month, my husband had two events in Vancouver—a rugby game and a law competition. I would have liked to watch him at both, but we couldn’t afford to take all of us across on the ferry for the day, much less pay for the hotel to stay overnight. There was recently a big blogging event at the Vancouver Aquarium that I would have liked to attend, but again, I couldn’t justify the expense of getting myself there. So sometimes we feel isolated here; Vancouver is “only” two hours away, but that two hours costs $200.
I think the best part about Victoria and Vancouver Island is the natural beauty that surrounds us—and the ability to enjoy it year-round (if you don’t mind getting rained on occasionally). Today is March 1st, and already the daffodils are growing and the trees are flowering. We’ve talked about learning to sail since we moved out here and we’d like to get out canoeing/kayaking more often. And when I think about the Island, I think about the fact that we’ve really only explored this tip—there’s so much more of it to see!
For more about life in Victoria, check out my Vancouver Island page.
Where is “home” for you?