But when you move to a new city, these feelings, these ups and downs, become very apparent. You can pick them easily out of a crowd.
When we moved to Vancouver in March, the bustling avenues of Kitsilano, with their yoga studios and artisan coffee and boutiques, had me head over heels within a week. What a floozy I am. This is somewhere I can picture myself, I thought, breathing a sigh of relief after three months of non-stop travelling. This is the place.
Then, when our air BnB rental ran out, we moved to Granville Street. Right into the heart of the optimistically named "entertainment district". I came down with a horrible flu and spent about four straight days in our hostel room, sweating even more than I should have been as the weather had snapped into an oppressive and hostile heat. I fell out of love with the city, just like that. I started to see its flaws and its not-so desirable aspects with fresh, cynical eyes. I tired of the drab architecture and the grey streets, the skyscrapers visible even on the beaches, the ridiculous price of... everything (I mean, ammi right?!) In short, I'd emerged out of the honeymoon phase.
We embarked on our four-month trip around BC and I didn't think much about my love/hate relationship with Vancity (probably too busy milking goats). But it was in our plans to come back here, as we knew it would be the place we'd be most likely to find work. We still held a special place in our heart for Kits, and that was enough to see us sign a one-year lease for a (albeit, pretty perfect) apartment here in lower Kits a week ago.
We're now adjusting to our lives here, expanding and relaxing to fit the space. As our apartment becomes more and more decorated, we too become adorned with jobs, hobbies, people. Vancouver is becoming "home" again.
As part of Phil's new job, he sometimes starts as early as 6am in the morning. He left me mole-eyed and rumpled in bed one morning, and the changing light from outside the window caught my eye. The sky was a vivid violet, mixing itself into a variety of shades and moods as I watched. Pulling on an old pair of joggers and grabbing my camera, I was on the beach by 6:05.
Apart from one runner, I was alone on the beach. If you've ever been to Kits Beach in the summer, you'll appreciate how much of an unexpected sight this was. Like Michael Buble rapping or something. Quiet. Serene. Waiting, for the rest of the world to wake up.
The sun was rising behind the proud buildings of downtown, and it cast the sea, mountains and omnipresent tankers in a pale pink glow, like everything was bathed in candy floss. Gulls soared overhead, moving languidly as if they knew they could, and ducks bobbed on the surface of the water. I waded out to sea, relishing the cool sensation on my legs.
Ok, Vancouver, I thought to myself. You're winning me over again.
The world became a warm orange to herald the arrival of the day, and I knew that soon the beach would once again be flooded with sunbathers, topless men throwing balls around, groups of kids drinking beer covertly out of thermos's.
Just when I thought the sunset was over, those precious last few moments of dawn exploded jubilantly in one final hurrah. A splash of yellow, like a burst yolk, emerged over downtown and turned the sea a powder blue.
I watched, quietly. Vancouver, I forgive you for your silly house prices. For your traffic and for your rain. For your grey architecture and all of your stark "city-ness". Because when you look out at the sunrise like that, you realise that when it comes down to it, Vancouver isn't a city at all. It's just the place where the land reaches out a hand to meet the sea, as it always has done. We're just lucky enough to call it home.