V. Vancity. V-town. I had the luxury of spending Thanksgiving long-weekend in Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and I have to say, it’s like night and day when compared to Toronto. Toronto is like the New York of Canada – go go go. Vancouver on the other hand, is chill and things somehow slow down. And I low key love Vancouver. But don’t tell Toronto.
Here are 5 things I love about Vancouver (and Vancouver Island).
1. The Scenery
Sorry to sound a bit cliche, but this one takes the Nanaimo bars. While I was on Vancouver Island, looking left to right, I could see beautiful lush trees. And in the distance, the Pacific Ocean with more trees and islands in the background. It’s literally like beautiful Unsplash wallpapers coming to life, right before your eyes. In Vancouver, almost everywhere you look, you’ll see mountains in the distance. It’s awesome that in an instant you can look in the distance and something, whether it’s mountains or nature, can calm you down.
2. The Driving
This one may be specific to me, but I noticed the drivers were all so relaxed. Not too many speeders. Almost no cut-offs. Essentially, there were no dick drivers. Compared to Toronto where everyone acts like it’s the end of the world, this was a welcome change and I love it. It’s definitely true that one’s commute can impact their energy. So you can expect nothing but relaxation after a drive on Vancouver Island. Oh, and pair that with the wide-open roads, it’s definitely therapeutic. Word of advice for Vancouver Island, if you see a gas station, you should probably gas up. When driving between cities on Vancouver Island, you can go for hours without seeing another gas station. P.S. Gas is really expensive.
Also also, it was very fun and relatively easy driving to Vancouver Island by way of BC Ferries. Just remember to book your ride in advance since spots fill up pretty quickly. It’ll also cost you a pretty penny. But it went swimmingly and was actually pretty unique loading a vehicle onto a ferry.
3. The People
This one may be more specific to Vancouver Island, but the people are absolutely lovely. 9 times out of 10, whoever I passed by, either smiled or said hello. That’s foreign to me! In Toronto, everyone is out to get you and is judging you, or ensuring you don’t get to wherever they’re going to first. So, it was very refreshing to see that. Again, like the driving point above, how people treat you can affect how you feel – how you show up. I found myself actually invigorated after every “hello” I received. And I loved it.
I also really love Stoked’s pizza.
4. The Night Life
Well, rather the lack thereof. One of the more interesting things I found and felt about Vancouver/Vancouver Island is that there isn’t the biggest selection of things to do when the sun sets. Nature and outdoor activities are more popular in the West. I could even go as far as to argue that even staying in and chilling is more the norm out West. Here in Toronto, it’s always about going out. It doesn’t help that we have a plethora of restaurants and night activities to choose from, but I really loved the slow down and relax vibes that you can feel when the sun sets.
Though I have to give crazy shoutous to Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar’s interpretation of a Thanksgiving dinner. 5 out of 5!
5. The Weather
I like rain. When you pair that with lush greenery, clear skies, uplifting, spirited people, and beautiful scenic views – well that’s just a recipe for success – and positive, relaxed vibes. Not only that, rain is good for mother nature! I know there are people that hate rain, but when you think about how much people actually love water… Well I mean people love going to the beach to swim, surf, or kayak. Or how people love going to water parks. Or how Hollywood romanticizes kissing under the rain… Yet the second we get wet when we don’t expect to, it’s an issue? Kind of confusing. But I love Vancouver’s weather.
I would actually recommend going to Capilano Suspension Bridge on a rainy day. The mist, the pitter patter, and the treacherous heights need to be felt to understand – but it’s calming.
So there you have it, five things I love about Vancouver. Have you been to Vancouver? If so, what did you love? What did you hate? See my trip in living colour over on YouTube and please subscribe if you want to see more travel, technology, and Toronto content.