My First Three Months in Vancouver

Today I am going to share a little bit of my experiences during the first three months of my life here in Vancouver. Well, before that I would say that my life transition from Korea to Canada has not been easy. On the days before my departure from Korea, I was so hectic that I could not even have a chance to visit my home country (at least to get some moral or spiritual support from my family, friends, and relatives who have been very helpful to me). I had so many things to do within only short period of times: (1) finish up some experiments and paper work as a part of my job duties to my supervisor, (2) clean up some stuffs and belongings in my dormitory and laboratory, (3) arrange some travel plans for myself going to Vancouver as well as itinerary for my family coming to Korea for a holiday trip to Jeju-do, Busan, and Seoul, (4) organize some appointments for farewell lunch or dinner with my friends and colleagues, (5) find out a new place to live in Vancouver and manage the contract with the landlord, etc. And after all, the hardest part was to be away from my significant other ㅠㅠ

I was thinking, “Had I continued to study in Korea, life would have been easier”. After living four years with a settled down life in Korea, I started to feel the needs for a new environment, new challenges, new connections, etc. The point is “moving out of comfort zone”, however I was not even sure if my feelings was real or just an illusion and whether my decision is out of a selfish ambition or a wise expectation. After three months living here with all the shocks and the circumstances in which I should start all over again, I am increasingly aware that human’s life is like a cycle: we are moving out of comfort zone in order to get another comfort zone from which we are going to move out again just to be in another comfort zone again, and again… (maybe until we finally find our peaceful rest). What are we really looking for in this short life? Experiences? Lessons? Meanings? Achievements? Glory? No clear answer for that… And then I began to question my decision to leave all the comforts of life in Korea for entering a new season of life that is full of uncertainties. However, this is my conviction: It does not matter where you are going in this life as long as you know WHO are going with you. The place you visit is less important than the PERSON with whom you visit the place. So, I keep reminding myself that I am not alone, yes I am weak but God is strong, and if God brings me to it, He will bring me through it. Thanks God for sending me kind-hearted people who readily help me in times of need. My prayer is that God will repay all their favors and sincerity with His never-ending grace and love.

Alright, enough for the introduction part… Before I become too much “philosophical” (like what I used to be), 😀 now let me share a little bit of my story from the past three months here and how is the comparison to life in Korea (Seoul).

Moving from Korea to Canada, specifically from Seoul to Vancouver, is moving to a bigger country but a smaller city. Yes, I can feel a huge difference. While life in Seoul is more dynamic with its “bballi bballi” culture and the distinct four seasons (winter-spring-summer-fall), life in Vancouver tends to be more relaxed and the weather is only good and enjoyable during spring and summer (during fall and winter you will mostly see the dark cloudy skies with the drizzle or rain and strong wind, sometimes). While Seoul is a city that never sleeps where you can find most of the convenient stores open until 12 AM (or even for 24 hours), in Vancouver most of the public places only operate until 8-9 PM (as far as I know hitherto). Transportation in Seoul is also more convenient as you have many options like subway, bus, taxi, or KTX and the public transits are almost always on time, while in Vancouver, even though you also have many options like skytrain, bus, taxi, or seabus, the waiting time is often long and in my experiences they are not always on time. In Seoul, the food menus are more diverse than in Vancouver (so far the typical Canadian food I have ever had is poutine; burger, pizza, sandwich, fries are of the most common meals here), so most likely, my culinary experience would be more memorable in Korea (although in the beginning I had to struggle with kimchi). For the entertainment, in the leisure time you can do a variety of activities in Seoul (like noraebang, drinking-eating-partying, hanbok wearing experience, cultural tour, etc.) while in Vancouver the leisure activities are mostly related to the adventures exploring the naturally beautiful places, like mountain, lake, beach, etc. Overall, based on my last three months experiences here, I would like to imagine Vancouver as a beautiful lady who walks slowly and elegantly; she is an easy-going person and nice to people around her, while Seoul as an active sporty woman who moves quickly and surely; she is more like a task-oriented person trying to accomplish her goals in life.

OK, for now I think that’s all I can tell about my first three months life here. My post would be sort of boring if the content is only all words… 😀

Anyway… here are some pictures that I have collected so far (mostly taken by Sony Alpha-65 or LG G5 smartphone). Check these out!

Canadian flag at UBC

Canadian flag at UBC, just to make sure that I am in Canada. 🙂

Welcome to the University of British Columbia (UBC)

Welcome to the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Here we had the first orientation day for UBC graduate students.

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Here we had the first orientation day for UBC graduate students.

UBC Student Nest, a very nice place to meet up and enjoy food together with friends.

UBC Student Nest, a very nice place to meet up and enjoy food together with friends.

Pizza cafe at UBC Nest, the place I usually go for instant lunch or dinner

Pizza cafe at UBC Nest, the place I usually go for instant lunch or dinner.

My first lunch menu in my first day at UBC

My lunch menu in my first day at UBC. All this costs C$ 6.80 after tax.

My first home in Vancouver, I live with a nice family and helpful persons

My first home in Vancouver, I live with a nice family and people who are kind and very helpful.

Thank you David Takagawa and Stacy for inviting me for Thanksgiving Dinner! From left to right: Katie, Kwan, Etienne, Yuri, Mika, Brendan, Al, Devon, Stacy, David, and me

Thank you David Takagawa and Stacy for inviting us to the Thanksgiving Dinner! (From left to right: Katie, Kwan, Etienne, Yuri, Mika, Brendan, Al, Devon, Stacy, David, and me).

My very first hiking experience at British Columbia: Stawamus Chief.

My very first hiking experience in British Columbia: Stawamus Chief.

Lost Lagoon, an artificial body of water located at the near entrance to Stanley Park.

Lost Lagoon, an artificial body of water located at the near entrance to Stanley Park.

Beautiful trees surrounding our hiking trails to Elfin Lake.

Beautiful trees surrounding our hiking trails to Elfin Lake.

Natural beauty of the surrounding scenery in our journey to Elfin Lake.

Natural beauty of the surrounding scenery in our journey to Elfin Lake.

Wish I could join the camping and enjoy the nature here.

Wish someday I could join the camping and enjoy the nature here.

Here is our destination in my second hiking experience: Elfin Lake.

Here is our destination in the second hiking experience: Elfin Lake.

Me and Kwan during the hiking day to Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Provincial Park

My third hiking experience with Kwan to Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Beautiful landscape of Garibaldi. Thanks God for the wide-lens camera in LG G5.

A beautiful landscape of Garibaldi. Thanks God for the wide-lens camera in LG G5.

Another beautiful landscape with snow. We are on the journey to the top!

Another beautiful landscape covered with snow. We were on the journey to the top!

This beautiful landscape reminds me about beautiful pictures we see in the calendar

During the journey to the Panorama Ridge, we really enjoyed the surrounding views.

Here we are! Kwan, Christine, and me at the top of Panorama Ridge.

Here we are! Kwan, Christine, and me at the top of Panorama Ridge.

Here is our hand-prints in the snow. Moment to celebrate and remember later :D

Here is our hand-prints in the snow. A moment to celebrate and remember later 😀

Finally, this is it! Panorama Ridge. One of the most stunning view I have ever seen.

Finally, this is it! Panorama Ridge. One of the most stunning view I have ever seen.

See you on the next posts! Stay happy, healthy, and wealthy.

Vancouver, November 2016

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