Loving Where You Are vs.
Dreaming Where You Want To Be

~ 3 Minute Read

I’m officially back from LA and going there made me really feel at home. It was a weird thing to come back to Vancouver this time. Previously when I’ve been on vacation, I’ve always had something forcing me back. Whether that be my school, my job, or my cat. This time was different. I was in the airport for my return flight and all I kept thinking was: I am finished school, my job is remote/replaceable, and my cat is no longer with us. I mean, my boyfriend still has a pretty cute one but the obsession isn’t nearly as close as I had with mine. I almost felt like I should’ve stayed there. But in my right mind, I know that Canada is my home and I am really happy here. There are many pros and cons to California and I wanted to lay out for myself why I liked LA and what I can bring to my life in Vancouver that made me happy there.

Me at Venice Beach

For starters, LA was great because you would wake up with the sun. No need for an alarm, the light shining through the window was enough to nudge you awake. You didn’t have to wake up in the morning with the weather still being dark and gloomy and the incessant need to stay rolled up in your blankets. I would wake up, see the sun, and immediately want to take advantage of it. I’m wondering if this would be the case even if I lived there and the majority of my days were sunny; or if eventually the lazy streak would come right back as I’d always have tomorrow.

Sitting on Venice Beach

I would say the main event of our travels was trying new things. There were so many new restaurants we have never heard of and were recommended to us to try. Every day, every meal we would go out for something new. And not only that, but the places we went almost every single one of them had a line-up no matter what time of day it was. At home in Greater Vancouver, the city gets quiet around 9:00pm and there’s not much left to go and do. In California, the night life isn’t only clubs but it’s dessert shops, restaurants, movie theatres; things to keep you entertained.

urban lights - LA urban lights - LA

(Read more about the differences of LA marketing vs. home that I wrote about in my last blog:
How Traditional Marketing Still Works).

As much as I love it there, there will always be cons. To be a bit nit-picky, the things I don’t like about LA are as follows:

  • The drinking water (not as fresh as Canada’s pure tap water)
  • The traffic
  • The width of the highway (with so many more lanes, crossing them is nerve-racking)
  • The he-who-can’t-be-named POTUS

Yoseb in the Palm Trees

And then I think back to where I am today and realize I do have it really good. I love my seasons and although it is gorgeous here right now, (reflecting the same weather as LA – with the advantage of a nice breeze); I know that I get to look forward to the falling of the leaves, the snow, and eventually the bloom of the flowers. While there isn’t much to do in the Greater Vancouver area, it is only a drive away to get into Vancouver where places stay open later. As a tourist of LA we had a friend drive us around and I can’t deny the fact that some of the things were pretty far out of the way. We even went to places he as a local had never seen before. This made me realize that maybe it’s not that LA is better, it’s just that I haven’t taken in the full experience of Vancouver yet.

Seeing posts updated non-stop on the Daily Hive or from friends on Facebook, I know there are hole-in-the-wall shops or brand new places that look incredible that I have yet to try. I know there are many destination hikes, waterfalls, or lakes that I have yet to see. And I know that there are many more activities to go and do such as paint nights, archery tag, and more. So, maybe I don’t love LA more than I love Vancouver. Maybe I need to get out and take advantage of it more.

It’s easy to get dazed with the love of a new city that you are visiting. For one thing, I have a budget set aside that I got to spend while being there. Living at home, of course I’m not going to go out for every meal of every day. That obviously had an impact on how I viewed the city. If I were to live there, I wouldn’t have the freedom of each day to spend on leisure. I would have to work, save money, and would probably complain of boredom when there is still so much to see. Now that I realize this, it makes me want to spend more of my spare time venturing out in the lower mainland. I have a feeling that once I do, I will become the tour guide for the Californians who come visit us. I’ll eventually have non-stop recommendations for scenery, restaurants, and activities; and soon enough they’ll have the same manipulated idea that our city is better than theirs, (if only for a brief moment).

Griffith Observatory - City of LA
Los Angeles seen from Griffith Observatory

So next time you catch yourself “California Dreaming” or wanting to go to a new major city; remember you have a whole home to explore. Our cities are always shifting and are always going to have historic monuments for you to see. It’s time you get out there and see what makes it so great. I shouldn’t daydream about moving to LA when I can make my time here just as special.

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