The Year It Became Normal

When do you finally get to stop saying “We’re new here” and start feeling like a real Vancouverite?  For us, that would be 2011 – we all agreed that was the year when it all started to seem “normal” (to a given value of normal in a family of 5 nutters, lunatics and worry-warts).

Looking back, our emigration fell into 3 neat time packages:

2009 The Year It Was Scary:  everything was new, everything was confusing, the job and money situation was downright terrifying and we spent a lot of time finding ways to distract ourselves from the terrible mistake we might have made.

2010 The Year It Was Fake: the jobs were going well, school was great, and we found a house, but it still didn’t feel real.  It was like an extended holiday with bits of real life thrown in, and I think the children were waiting for us to announce “It’s all been a big joke, we’re off back to England!”  We were still trying to do everything Vancouver had to offer, just in case this adventure ended.

2011 The Year It Became Normal:  I was half way through the year before I realized I had not thought “I’m in Vancouver!” for ages.  The news every morning on my commute (“CBC News broadcasting from downtown Vancouver”) is as comforting as Radio 2 used to be.  I smile when I see the eagles perched along Ladner Trunk Road, but I don’t pull over to take pictures any more.  I can discuss the relative merits of the ski hills, but we are busy with our regular weekend activities – figure skating, Ringette, grocery shopping, walking the dog and gardening; we’ll get a couple of weekends skiing in, but there’s norush – the mountains, and we, aren’t going anywhere for a while.

Vancouver view - the new normal



  1. I have often heard that it takes six months to a year to become used to living in a new country. But, it is worth remembering from time to time that we really are lucky to live in this beautiful place.

    Great post!

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