I really love living in LA. I mean, besides the traffic, it’s amazing. It is almost always sunny and mild. We have moutains and beaches galore. We are the only city besides NYC that has people from every country in the world living together peacefully. But I have to admit, our neighbors up north have been on my mind since I visited. While we have it 'going on' in LA there are some pretty compelling reasons to consider the benefits of living in the BC area.
My girlfriend and I recently went up to Whistler, British Columbia by way of Vancouver. Whistler is a short two hour drive north of the vibrant city. We visited both places for a short ski vacation and the experience was nothing short of spectacular.
I had been to Canada once before, but I was too young to really take note of how astonishingly nice the people there are. If an alien were sent here to study earth's inhabitants... Canadians and Southern Californians would seem to be a totally different species - with equally different social norms governing their casual interactions.
Canadians being an especially friendly crowd is a sterotype that I had given very little thought to until this excursion. For better or worse many stereotypes are based squarely in reality. This proved no exception. It was disarming how warm everyone was! I couldn't help but think it must be so freeing to not have to have your guard up all the time - like you have to in L.A. To just know everyone you run into will be mellow and upbeat. So refereshing.
Whistler was the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to a picture book "winter wonderland". The village is lively and accessible entirely by foot. And the mountain? Wow. The closest word I can find to describe it is 'epic'.
Vancouver was equally as exciting as Whistler but completely different. It’s basically a bigger, yet less-busy, version of San Francisco (minus the endless throngs of elitist, know-it-alls). The city’s population is extremely diverse and all it's citizens I encountered were genuinely nice. They’re always smiling. They'd always pipe up with a "Good morning!" or "Hello there!". And not just a handful, pretty much everyone I made eye contact with.
The most noticeable difference I felt between Canada and the U.S. was the anti hierarchical perspective on everyone's occupations. For example, I felt like public workers were honored instead of being taken for granted as they are here. As a result, it seemed that everyone felt more highly valued, which obviously leads to a greater sense of overall happiness for a greater number of people than here in the states.
Whether I make it back for another vacation or get fed up with the attitudes of Angelenos and move there for good (this is highly unlikely) it was an eye opening expereince to observe first hand how incredibly different and wonderful our neightbors to the north are. I have a whole new affection for the area I visited.