I L♥ve Victoria
Chapter 1: Entranced
View from Mt. Doug on December 4th, 2008, at 3:15pm.
I think Victoria is the sweetest home on Earth. In this time of economic loss, political posturing, and holiday bustling, let us not forget one thing! It is December 4, 2008, and it is sunny and gorgeous outside because this is Victoria and we have the best climate in Canada.
For the first entry into this journal, I want to tell you how I fell in love with Victoria. You need to know where I came from to help appreciate it. I grew up in a tiny town called Sorrento. To condense the enjoyment of my first sixteen years─I lived in a small town beside the big, gorgeous Shuswap lake and never had a boat! All the shops and stores closed early, so you couldn't get a tank of gas or a pack of Smarties past 8 pm (people in Sooke can relate). My next move was to the college at Kamloops─an arid, somewhat malodorous city with hot, stagnant summers plus winters with bone-chilling, gale force winds that will penetrate anything you wear. Climate is very important to whether or not I enjoy a city. I don't like to be too cold or too hot. Who does?
At 21 years of age, I traveled to Vancouver─the city many small town B.C. boys and girls dream of. I started working as a respiratory therapist and married the most caring nurse I could ever meet. My wife and I worked together at B.C. Children's Hospital for and helped save hundreds of lives. I still praise any hospital employee for the amazing, sometimes heartbreaking work they do. After almost a decade of working in the hospital, we decided we needed to take a year off to travel. December, 2002, just before Christmas, we sold our leaky/remediated condo and flew to Thailand without even booking a hotel.
I will condense our 9 month trip abroad. That isn't what this story is about. I can say that we saw the beaches and mountains of Thailand, the beauty and poverty of Cambodia, the white sands and crystal clear waters of Malaysia. But everyone has to return to reality sometime. We flew back to Vancouver, the city where we had a third of our lives, but it just wasn't home anymore. Something had shifted in us. Homeless, we decided to spend a month in Victoria with our catsitters.
Our two friends lived in Metchosin—a big, beautiful house on 4 acres of land. While enjoying coffee on the deck, we could watch sheep grazing in neighboring pastures and deer munching beside our house. We loved Devonian Regional Park and the walks along the ocean. We picked blackberries and walked along the bluffs. Even the drive into Victoria from Metchosin seemed wonderful compared to the rat race of Vancouver.
My wife and I found jobs with VIHA and returned to our old careers at Victoria General Hospital. We decided to rent for a year─a decision that will forever haunt me now that I'm in real estate as prices went up a lot while we waited. However, by extending our budget for our rental allowance, we rented a waterfront house on Portage Inlet, within walking distance to the hospital. What a paradise! We couldn't believe that we were living on an ocean inlet just 10 minutes from downtown Victoria. For months, we didn't have a TV. We stared out the huge picture window, completely entranced with the beauty of the birds and wildlife. And we had yet to discover the Gorge, Swan Lake, Mt. Doug, and the many other natural treasures Victoria has to offer.
Portage Inlet, my backyard for a year.
By now, we knew we were never leaving. I changed careers and went into real estate because I wanted to work with properties like the one I was living in. Victoria has so many sweet homes! Victoria's blend of nature and urban living is beyond comparison. It is as beautiful here as the most tropical paradises in Thailand—the ocean is just colder, much colder.
I still travel to Thailand, Mexico, and other warm climates for vacations where I can swim in the ocean without risking hypothermia. But when I return home, flying over Vancouver Island, I always realize how much I love it here.
If you love Victoria, please send me your essay, photos, poems, etc. and allow me to post them for our worldwide viewers to enjoy on this website. firstname.lastname@example.org