Today marks the 10th anniversary of my arrival (and setting up shop, as it were) in Vancouver BC. For some reason, this is more important to me than my birthday, go figure.

10 years ago this day, I got off a Greyhound bus at around 7:40 am in downtown Vancouver. I’d never been to this city before. It was all new to me. I managed to hike to the Seabus (consulting a travel map), took it across the bay (quite an experience), and found the hostel I had made bookings at.

Hooked up quickly with a couple of Aussies who were going to a beach – Wreck Beach, a nudist beach in town. I was all for that (yes, on February 8). In fact, that day the temp was around 15 celsius – a veritable scorcher for February. We hung out on the beach in the morning, playing frisbee and hacky sack. No nude boxom women. That afternoon, we were taking a bus back (Wreck Beach is on the west side of the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands), and we passed UGC – University Golf Course. The aussies asked if I liked to golf. What the hell. we got off, and that afternoon I played 9 holes for $14. In February. Freaky.

So far that day, I was in a new city, and in Canada in February, I managed to suntan and play on a beach in the morning in shorts, and golf a round in the afternoon. In Canada. Where I came from, this was a fantasy pipe dream. In February in Canada, you’re lucky if you don’t have a 10 foot high snowdrift beside you while waiting for the bus.

But the day wasn’t over yet. We went back to the hostel on the North Shore of Vancouver (technically North Vancouver), and after a hearty communal dinner, I went night skiing up at Grouse Mountain. Way to freaking cool.

In one day I hung out on a beach in shorts. Golfed 9 holes. And skiied in supreme deep powder snow. Without really doing a lot of travelling either.

I knew then that this could very well be the place for me. 10 years later, to the day, I think I made the right decision.

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