A lot of people warned me before I moved to Vancouver that the cost of living here would be much higher than living in Regina, SK. I prepared financially for this move (in particular, I actually got a job) so that I wouldn’t be in the same dire shape I was living in Toronto. But now that I’m actually here, I’m finding that everything people warned me about is actually untrue.
I’m sure Vancouver could be an extremely expensive place to live. But it is what you make it. Right now I’m living in a really beautiful, brand new basement suite. I do pay for utilities here, but my monthly expenses for rent + utilities actually is less than what I was paying in SK. My insurance for my vehicle was another scare. I’ve heard how expensive it is to plate vehicle in BC and it made me nervous. Fortunately, there’s a program where you can provide a driver’s abstract to ICBC and for every year you have no at-fault claims, you get a 5% discount for a maximum of 40%. I’m lucky enough to qualify for this program since my at-fault claims all occurred when I was 16, which is more than 8 years ago. So now, my insurance with the exact same policy features is again, cheaper than what I was paying in SK. I find that groceries are cheaper because you have the option of shopping at markets instead of chain grocery stores. I am the type of person who could wander around markets for hours, so not only does it suit my lifestyle, but it suits my bank account too! Of course the options of ‘things to do’ here far outweighs SK. This is partly because I still consider myself a tourist and partly because there legit is more to do in Vancouver than Regina (attributed to 9 months less of the winter season). I do end up spending more on going out to eat and going to events and festivals, but it’s all so worth it. I would much rather spend my money and my time on experiences. Plus, the beaches are free!!!
Yesterday, I spoke with a friend who just moved to Toronto. Literally, yesterday she landed. We had been sitting on my couch about 2 months ago contemplating our futures. We talked about our hopes and dreams and what we wished for ourselves in the upcoming months. Here we both sit, 2 months later, having accomplished everything we had set out to do. It’s quite profound.
Right now, my biggest struggles are the usual things like missing my family and friends and the familiarity of my hometown. But this move has been really great. It really forces me to look at my move to Toronto in a completely different perspective since my experience moving to Vancouver has been completely different in itself. I moved here with a job – a good job too! I have friends here that I have known for a really long time and I have friends who fully intend on visiting in the upcoming months. I’m only a $350 plane ticket home. It’s the west, and people are..well..different here. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and for someone who truly enjoys and admires nature and the outdoors, this place is near perfect. However, I don’t think I would have been able to transition so easily had I not struggled last year in TO.
So, in closing, if you’re thinking of moving but you’re really scared and people keep reminding you of all of the negatives about the places in which you’re seeking to go…IGNORE THEM! Go, have fun, take a chance. You’ll be really happy you did and you’ll soon realize a lot of what people “warned” you about aren’t actually true. If they are, you learn to deal with them. Don’t let fear hold you back. Moving is definitely scary, but it’s possible and once you do it, you feel a sense of freedom that you never thought possible. Plus you’re super proud of yourself for not being a complete and utter pussy.