VAN and Vball
our trip to BC continues. The weekend over, we returned (slowly) to Vancouver with our reclaimed wood posts in tow. Sounds like there are a few more waiting on me back in whistler with the management company in charge of the reno, but i'm not sure where I would store them for a few weeks until i can make another trip north to retrieve them. Its not that the wood is worth a tremendous amount of money, just that the idea of it landing in the landfill kills me, especially knowing what fun i could have trying to turn it into something beautiful!
It's great to be back in VAN city and it's amazing how familiar it all feels after being gone for more years than we even lived here. We're still spending all our time reconnecting with friends, hitting all our favorites for meals and drinks and enjoying every second. There is so much we miss about this city and it's great to not be limited to a weekend trip. Truly one of the best parts of our new lives is the ability to decide when to travel and basically have open ended plans on how long to stay or when to return home. Now if we can just bring up the financial side of the time vs money balance to match it...
Easily most of our time in VAN has been spent on the beach playing volleyball. It's the only thing we missed as much as our friends and we've basically decided that it's our method for getting fit this summer. On weekdays we pack up a cooler and the net everyday around 3 and head down to Kits beach to reserve a spot and wait for our friends to wrap up their days. By the time we arrive the beach is already packed with nets and games...it's astounding how integrated volleyball is to the culture here. How extremely fit everyone is and how focus on playing trumps almost everything else.
If we get lucky and stumble upon a few more people looking to play than we start playing immediately. Either way, by the time we pack up the net and watch sunset we have somewhere between 3 and 6 hours of play in us and are completely spent. Staggering back up the hill at the end of a long day is a struggle to say the least and we crash at the end of each day as soon as our head hits the pillow.
Over the weekend we joined some other friends for a tournament that ramped that activity level even higher. We came up just short of the championship, but not bad all things considered. So much fun, but neither of us knew if we would be able to walk the next day.
It's clear that the level of exercise and movement we get while in VAN is on the far opposite end of the spectrum from what we convince ourselves to do in PDX. Something to work on for us, but a difficult conversation since here we aren't choosing to workout...we are merely doing what we love. That fits into our wheelhouse so well, but i cant exactly packup the beach and volleyball culture and move it to portland.
Our friends here (i'm also having to admit to myself) that i cant pack up and move with us when we return. Nor can i convince them to move (anytime soon). They have a great thing going here, and if i can bring myself to admit it despite how ridiculous is sounds...i have a bit of jealousy for them. I know its crazy, and I seem to recall a very similar "grass is greener" feeling after a visit to portland years ago. I love our decisions, our lives and our paths and i wouldn't trade them for anything. But... being here immersed into their lifestyle, playing volleyball every day and sitting on that back porch sipping drinks well past sunset every night. I can't help but recognize and applaud what a good thing they have going.
When they start to talk about investing in summer homes or a place in whistler for the winter...that dreamer in me cant help but want to join in despite knowing we are a long, long way (if ever) from being able to go in on that type of venture. There is something about the culture we lived and get to relive when here that is somehow different. Far more expensive certainly...but also a bit more free.
Maybe it's that almost everyone in this group of friends absolutely loves their job, maybe its that each couple are DINKS (an acronym we learned about here) and have the added freedom and flexibility that come with it, maybe it's the connection with the outdoors and volleyball, or maybe its just Canada.
We loved being able to claim VAN and canada as our own when we lived here. The city and its people, the canadian mentality all fit us so well. If i said that i hadn't been doing some late night reading on how to get/invent a half-time residency with no job, no money and no plan i'd be lying. Great -I haven't even figured out how to make the money we need to be productive in one country and now i have to figure out how to do it in two...
One thing is fairly clear however. If this whole pursuit of joblessness turns out to be an epic fail and we find ourselves having to/choosing to return to work for several years- there's a very, very good chance we try to work those years north of the border.