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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Guided by the Inukshuk - Vancouver

The past year for me has definitely been quite the roller coaster ride, travelling without a stable home, then finally coming "home" to Toronto only to feel like I'm on an island surrounded by an ocean of sharks. I nervously bolted the island, swimming quickly and without much direction. I hadn't the slightest inkling then that I would have swam as far as the Pacific Ocean. But, 2 months later, here I am in Vancouver.
The beautiful ferry ride between Vancouver Island and the mainland
It all happened quite organically, as the universe somehow guided me to this place and time, and put me in a position to accomplish some of my goals in life. Praise this amazing universe we live in.

I had fun along the way too. I took a 4-day cycling trip in the Rockies, attended a permaculture course, volunteered at a music festival, reconnected with a dear old friend on an organic farmstay, along with many other friends along the way. A satisfying finish to my latest nomadic chapter.
Saw Mother Mother at Rifflandia, Victoria
Reconnecting with Nicolas "Teacher on the Road" from France who I met in Budapest, at Chuckleberry Farm
Then, after a complex trail of opportunities chased and lost, I landed a part time job through a friend, doing mostly physical labour involving bike racks. Funny how the world turns - my last office job involved bike racks too, but without the physical labour.
Installing "City of Vancouver" bike racks
I also landed a very unique living situation, something I have been searching for some time now - a community house. Two guys rented a whole house out in East Van, looking to fill it with people looking for community. Among our goals will be to grow our own food, live more green, share, and create music. There are several more projects and ambitions, but we're trying not to look too far ahead.

Our current challenge is to furnish the newly renovated home, and find people for the remaining bedrooms, six in all. I've been scanning the Craigslist free section and Freecycle website like it was a $100 million lottery ticket, looking for free stuff for our house. I've also been a mad shopper at Value Village and dollar stores. Through these channels, we've grabbed many tables, chairs, dressers and kitchen wares. The other day, we found a non-profit organization collecting and giving away free mattresses, and scored enough to fill the rest of the bedrooms.

The people living in the "community house" seem to understand the meaning of community, and have their own individual journeys and unique stories to tell. They embrace a creative and rebellious spirit which I resonate with. Thus far we have lived harmoniously and, for the most part, we are even clean and tidy. However, I already see signs of potential discombobulation down the road and am bracing myself, ready to call on my ability to handle diverse personalities and mediate conflicts.

Vancouver is filled with an amazing energy. The mountains gleam in the distance, a welcome distraction from the zany traffic and go-go-go of the city. I've started cycling to work 40 minutes one way. There are lots of cyclists on the well established cycling routes. Maybe I hadn't noticed this before anywhere else, but I've been seeing lots of stuff labelled "free" left in front of homes. It's sad though when it rains, because all the free stuff, such as couches and mattresses, get ruined.

I've been quite busy with the house, but I managed to go on one really beautiful hike. And I also attended Open Doors Vancouver, which held open houses and tours to some of their government and heritage buildings.
Brunswick Mountain - this gem of a hike is 30 mins drive from Vancouver
I'm looking forward to weathering the upcoming Canadian winter in one of its mildest cities. However, Vancouver winters, though rarely snows, calls for endless gray and rainy days, and will be a new challenge, one of many in my new adopted city.

I am happy so far with my new situation. I look forward to the many projects I can finally start, being settled in one place. I also look forward to merging with the conscious energy of Vancouver and making new friends while exploring my passions.
And a fresh start for my head too


  1. very happy for you bro!!! keep shining

  2. Right on, Andrew. Enjoy the next leg of your journey.