I’ve lived in Vancouver for thirteen (minus a little less than one) great years and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I love my home, the city, and the local food scene that boasts the freshest seafood and widest array of Asian cuisine outside of Asia. Vancouver is beautiful, boasts a thriving film & television industry and, with its innumerable parks, pet shops, and doggy daycares, is a great place to raise your dogs. Why would I ever want to leave?
Of course, I said the same thing thirteen years ago when I was in Montreal. Back then, I was quite content living on the city’s West Island, freelancing from home. And then, an opportunity came along – the possibility of joining the writing staff of and awesome SF series, Stargate: SG-1. I didn’t know anything about Vancouver but I went where the work was, assuming I’d put in a couple of years and then move back home. That two year stint turned into a wild twelve year ride and, along the way, I settled in quite nicely. In time, thoughts of moving back to Montreal eventually faded.
Now, Vancouver is my home and, while I won’t discount the possibility of ever moving away, I will say it would take a pretty damn big opportunity to convince me to pack my bags (and toys) and go. So I was thinking today: What if? What if that pretty damn big opportunity did present itself elsewhere? What if the city of Vancouver suddenly passed a strict “no dog” bylaw? Where else might I consider giving it a go?
If Vancouver was no longer an option and I was offered the opportunity move anywhere of my choosing, Tokyo would top the list. It’s an incredibly safe, dynamic city, packed full of fascinating people and places, and fairly easy to negotiate thanks to its top-notch subway system. The food is second to none and the customer service is, well, mind-blowing for someone accustomed to the North American “way of doing things”. The only drawback, besides the language, is the fact that work might be a little hard to come by – unless I can land a sweet gig on one of those awesome Japanese gameshows. Getting the dogs there would be a problem – and then there’s the earthquakes.
An obvious choice given my line of work, Los Angeles offers opportunity, excitement, and great restaurants (have you noted a pattern?). Its urban sprawl does give me pause as does it’s higher crime rate but, on the bright side, its home to a number of friends and former co-workers.
A city as beautiful as Vancouver and, I’m guessing, just as expensive to live in. It also boasts a great, Asian-influenced restaurant scene and a lot of character in its unique neighborhoods.
Vancouver’s sister city would be a damn fine choice as well. It offers much of the same things I love about Vancouver in a less expensive though admittedly more dangerous locale. Like Vancouver, it’s conveniently located within relatively quick flight distance from some of my regular vacation destinations like Vegas, Tokyo, and Los Angeles.
Surprising, no, given my experience there last year? The traffic is terrible and the winter brutal, but it’s actually quite lovely in the summer, boasts some terrific restaurants and, provided I could live where I lived in 2011 (smackcab in the heart of the entertainment district), a lot of fun.
Honorable mentions: Hawaii (Obvious, I know, but I bet that even I would eventually grow tired of the sun and sand), Montreal (Whenever I go back, it’s like I never left and, while it’s always great to see family and friends, the language politics are incredibly silly and tiresome), New York (Less industry opportunities than L.A. and decidedly more expensive, but vibrant and full of world class restaurants).
What about you? Where are you living and where would you consider going? Give me your Top 3 picks and tell me why.