Tuesday, July 18th, 2017.
Granville Island Starbucks
Today’s Another Day
Today’s Another Day, but a special kind of day. Its my 6th year anniversary from when I moved to Vancouver. On July 18th, 2011, I stepped off a Greyhound bus in downtown Vancouver with nothing but a suitcase and a pocket of change. I was broke and stoked to live in a new city that was magnificent as ever. My plan was to just stay for the summer and then keep travelling, however, after spending the summer at Kits Beach, I fell in love with the Vancouver lifestyle. It was my new found playground.
Long story short, I ended up applying for jobs and eventually landed two jobs in the food and bar industry. I wasn’t making a ton of money but it was a great way to get familiar with the city and meet new people. I learned to hold a tray piled with food and drinks on one arm. I’ll never forget my first shift though, as I was handing one drink out to a woman at a table on a patio in Gastown, my elbow knocked the other drink, a glass of red wine, onto her friend. And she was wearing a white dress!! Woops. They were visiting from out of town too. My bad. I apologized and gave her another glass on the house. Happy to say, I never got fired. Accidents happen, but I learned what never to do again lol.
The one summer turned into 3 years. Never did I think I’d be here that long! So fair warning to people visiting Vancouver – it may keep ya! With the mountains kissing the ocean and the ocean kissing the downtown core and lovely beach fronts, its a hard place to leave…especially in summer. Winter is a different story, it just rains, and it rains a lot. Sunshine is something that is known to not occur during the grey days which lasts a few months. I could say you’d never catch me here during the winter season again, perhaps a short visit, but not to live. I love sunshine too much. Palm trees is where my hearts at.
Coming back to Van is still the same, but very different. I don’t live here anymore but there will always be a sense of “home” to it. Its wild to think how much my life has changed since then. From working in the bar industry, serving drinks 5 or 6 nights a week till 3am, having my own place – a bed, a kitchen, a closet, which I’ve definitely had to detach from while traveling for the past 3 years, and having a boyfriend, I was so settled here. I had all of my comforts and lifestyle in order for what would seem as complete – a home, lots of money from a fun job, a relationship, lots of friends, a yoga studio 3 blocks away, I was so good and always did what I loved. Life was easy.
Yet, I felt like there was more out there, more for me to explore. I was more. I was more than just a girl working my ass off every night just to sell as many drinks as I could to get good tips. With a new serving job at the most popular bar in Vancouver, I was making more money than I had been in my life. Rent was a piece of cake, I’d go to WholeFoods after every yoga class and buy whatever I wanted, and always had my kitchen stocked with food from the bulk section stored in jars for my shakes. That, I loved. I have always had a passion for healthy eating. I would walk around the health food store, write down new foods I saw then google their benefits when I’d get home. I was a superfood junkie, and still am. It was nice though, my wallet was always filled with cash and my credit card always made it to zero. I even paid for Make Up School myself which I did during the days.
After a devastating break- up, I gave myself a lot of time to heal, move on, and re-evaluate my life and self-worth. Yoga became my therapy and I’d spend my days writing in parks by the ocean. I never drank once while serving, which was surprising to most people for the kind of place it was. I was just focused on working hard and having fun while doing it all while staying sober. My body and mind were so clean. But soon after the break up, I didn’t really care, I wasn’t as happy at my job anymore. I started saying yes, when I was offered a drink. Not that I’d get drunk, but I’d have one or two, etc. Happiness slipped through my fingers as fast as shots were being taken.
So one night after work, I got home around the usual time around 4:30am and I looked at my “Dream Board” that I had made in 2012 that was posted beside my bed. I’d read it every day. “Go to Thailand”, “Do a Yoga Teacher Training Abroad”, “Serve at Vipassana in India” were 3 of the things on it. I felt it was time. I felt it was time to cross these off and I hopped on my computer to do some research. I found a 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in the south of Thailand on the island of Koh Phangan for November 2013. Lo and behold, I booked it on the spot! It was exactly what I wanted, I was SO ready!! I booked a flight soon after and was on my way to Thailand in a few weeks.
I have to say it was the best thing I ever did. I told my job I was heading to South East Asia and they were so happy and supportive of me. I paid for my flights and training all upfront as I had been saving for this long term adventure. And after completing my Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand and spending 2 months travelling around the country, I flew to India. On January 1st 2014 I landed on not just a piece of land but a Land of Peace. It was the most life changing, eye opening, and spiritually enhancing place I’d ever been. Heart moving experiences were on a constant basis. 3 and a half months travelling around the country solo on a spiritual journey, you wouldn’t expect anything less.
I was so right, there were two worlds waiting for me to explore – the actual world, and the world inside me.
Its 7pm and I need to get going to head downtown. Tuesdays were my volunteer day when I lived in Vancouver, volunteering with a woman with MS in a swimming program in the mornings and then volunteering at a shelter serving food to the homeless in the evening. So thats where I’m heading now, to First Baptist Church on Burrard and Nelson to be of service. For me, there is no better way for me to spend than giving back to the city that held on to me with so much love and nurtured me so I could set out into the world fearlessly to achieve my dreams.