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.