Welcome To Vancouver: A frustrating yet incomparable experience


Whether you’ve been living in Vancouver your entire life, three years, or two months, there are many components that can make living in this city incredibly frustrating and stressful, yet incomparable and ridiculously awesome.

A small to medium sized portion of the Vancouverites who are currently living here are those who have left their hometown to branch out and move onto bigger and better things, in the hopes to find something or themselves. Others within that portion may have moved with a significant other, accepted into school, or just needed a change of scenery. Whatever the story or reason was for the move, most find it difficult to adjust to the financial and cultural shock of Vancouver.

If you have just arrived in Vancouver or you’re planning on moving sometime in 2013, here is a set of tips, notes, advice, and recommendations that may help you prepare for the big move to Vancity.

  • When in doubt, stock up on peanut butter, rice, and beans from No Frills. Filling and affordably delicious.
  • A good air mattress will physically last you about 3 years.
  • There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with  having an epic cry/break down on the bench on 4th and Vine.
  • If you go to Whole Foods on Vine and 4th (right beside the park bench) you may see David Suzuki.
  • Pre drink and “walk” drink as much as you can while on the way to your Friday or Saturday night hotspot. This helps you spend less money throughout the night.
  • It will take you 1-3 months to find a permanent job.
  • Google maps will save your life. Don’t be a hero and assume you know where you’re going and end up being late for that interview you’ve been waiting to get for 1-3 months.
  • Some of the bus drivers are moderately good looking.
  • Expect to work at a job you don’t want to be at.
  • Invest in a GOOD pair of shoes/rain boots and a raincoat. Get used to the fact that they WILL become apart of your everyday attire. This is an impressive fashion statement in Vancouver.
  • Don’t bother buying an expensive umbrella. You will either lose it, have it get stolen, or break  it.
  • Some homeless people are actually hipsters.
  • It’s not you, Vancouver is just cliquey.
  • Invest in Vitamin D supplements.
  • 90% of the time you will get somewhere faster if you take transit.
  • The seagulls that look like cats are actually seagulls.
  • If you smile at someone and they give you the “I don’t have any money look”, don’t worry. They just think you’re homeless.
  • Do things that build your resume – even if you’re not getting paid for it and ESPECIALLY in Vancouver. If you want to walk the walk and talk the talk, you better have some experience in your industry or you’re going to get a swift punch hard in your pride.
  • $1500 a month for a less than 1000 square feet, 2 bedroom apartment in a 100 year old building with molding carpets and bedbugs is a good price. Don’t expect anything more if you want to live in Kits, South Granville or Downtown.
  • Be sure to make eye contact with drivers when you’re a pedestrian crossing a street. Your chance of getting run over is high if you don’t.
  • To avoid dirty looks on the bus, don’t talk on your cell phone, have your music too loud, or have loud(ER) conversations with your friends.
  • The Wreck Beach stairs. That is all.
  • Bon’s off Broadway is the best $3.00 you’ll ever spend on Breakfast.
  • Seeing people yell and scream down the street and wear tin foil on their ears as earmuffs, is a normal sight to see.

You will love the beach, the organic produce, the freshness of the air, how your hair and eyelashes curl so easily, all the amazing restaurants, the sea wall, the scenery, the competition, the versatility of the city and how each part is so different, the sushi, how everyone owns a yoga mat, the character homes with bedbugs, walking everywhere, hiking in North Van, watching pretentious women in Yaletown, JJ bean coffee, Whistler, the Granville Island market, and when its sunny out at the end of November and all you’re wearing is a light sweater.

You will fall in love with this city.

Welcome to Vancouver!

Editor’s note: The following is from the observations and experiences of one individual trying to make it in Vancouver.

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