I’m getting itchy feet. Any time I have a trip planned it seems to bring out this wanderlust in me that makes me rethink where I want to be living.
In less than two weeks I’ll be heading to Prague where I’ll be playing with team Zephyr at the World Club Championships. I can’t wait. I feel it’s been way too long since I’ve last been in Europe and seen my dear friends.
After the tournament I have almost five weeks to myself to just explore Eastern Europe and my plan is to hit up Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia plus Slovenia if there’s an opportunity.
It’s also going to be my first test of working and travelling, a lifestyle I am working towards having with my recently launched WomanzWorld.com business.
I can write my blog from there, I can produce valuable products and programs to launch to my awesome audience of women entrepreneurs, and I can work on my Social Media personal training plans for my clients. In fact I’m going to relish being away from the life I’ve set up here in Vancouver to see how I handle it.
I’m often surprised that I’ve been living in Vancouver for almost two years. I first came here to compete at the World Ultimate Frisbee Championships with the NZ women’s team late July 2008, and because I got my work permit.
In that time I’ve become an entrepreneur, co-founded a tech company, started a blog, left the first company to turn my blog into a business that I’m truly passionate about.
I’ve travelled mainly across North America but also to Costa Rica. I’ve thrown myself into various sports and played some fantastic Ultimate tournaments with great teams. I’ve had several adventures and cultural experiences. I’ve moved 3 times, nope make that 4 and now live in an awesome house in a great location with two fab roomies.
I’ve had a decent amount of money and more recently had no money. I guess that’s what you get for not paying yourself for over 5 months. I’d like to thank my recent tax refund for making what’s been a pretty tough period seem that much better and just in the nick of time!
That being said I’ve become adept at not spending money, it’s amazing how easy it is to plan your spending when you don’t have a disposable income – you recognise what’s necessary and what’s not. I recommend it to anyone (but preferably not long term as it’s really not much fun).
Vancouver itself is not an inexpensive city, the cost of housing is ludicrous and dining out is about to become more expensive with the HST tax they’re bringing in July 1st.
What I love about Vancouver is it’s just a beautiful city, you can see the mountains in the distance with snow on them when you’re sitting on the beach in the warm sunshine – that’s pretty rare.
You can be skiing in 40 minutes, on the water sailing, kayaking, windsurfing or more at the drop of a hat. There’s numerous outdoor activities to occupy your time including incredible hikes and unlimited number of great coffee shops.
People are friendly, fit, healthy and fairly relaxed and I’ve met some incredible friends here who I’m honoured to have in my life.
What Vancouver could work on though is it’s pace of life. Don’t get me wrong relaxed is great, but then the busy people seem too busy to turn up to events, to commit to a meeting and it seems harder and harder to catch up with friends – yet this isn’t London!
I get it because I’m falling into this trap too. It’s too easy to be flaky in this city and it’s not something I like. A classic example was at a recent Linchpin event put on as a giant meet up of all meetups by my hero Seth Godin, marketing guru and thought leader in NYC.
Vancouver was in the top 5 meetups scheduled with over 100 people coming, I’d say 45 turned up. I mean really? A Monday night – what else do you have to do? You’re coming to a Linchpin event and you can’t even muster your Linchpin-ness and show up? How many events did you sign up to and not make? Was it easier to just go to yoga?
I sound frustrated and I am. My first reflection on arriving in this city was scheduling a business meeting and the person emailed 30 minutes before saying they had some other things come up and wouldn’t make it. No reschedule, no apology, no real reason.
Coming from London where you set up purposeful meetings, honoured them, turned up on time (ok so not my forte) I find this lax attitude gets on my wick.
Local `Sociable’ Vancouverite, professional speaker and author Shane Gibson summed it up well in this post on the 10 tips to doing business in Vancouver – they are spot on. It’s a quick read and gives you greater insights.
Perhaps it’s because more and more my dealings in Vancouver have been business ones, although I often look to make a meaningful connection with those I meet, I aim to offer advice, value, support, guidance or at least a laugh and I think most people in return genuinely want to do the same.
I like this video below because it’s the first video of Vancouver that is more gritty, it’s real. It showcases the beauty but also the less pretty side of this city. The things Vancouverites love about it.
Perhaps what I wish Vancouver to be – more vibrant, more cultural, more alive and less quiet, conservative and guarded, is actually what I need to accept as it’s charm. There are a ton of benefits for living here, I think you have to be at a certain time in your life to enjoy it all, it’s great for young people, for families and for the retired.
If you’re ambitious, single and adventurous then perhaps it’s not for you. I may change my mind if my permanent residency ever comes through. That said my new NZ passport is busy winging it’s way to me with a whole lot of new pages to be stamped and 56 countries to be visited to make my goal of seeing half the world……
PS this is a new look blog theme I’m still working on. Suggestions welcomed as I’m just starting to play with it.