In two weeks’ time I fly to Canada for the next couple of years. My resignation 10 weeks ago from my three and half year career will finally come into action, spelling an end to my time in London. I’ll be on a plane to Canada to start a new life, with probably less grime music, but more snow and bears.
I get the impression that people I tell are at the same time envious and contemptuous. Envious, because some people have pretty much gone from school to college, to uni, to career, with nothing more than a few holidays in between. The idea of not having to be at the office at 9am Monday to Friday like some unknown, alien utopia. Contemptuous, because “what about your career?” “What about the future?” As if taking a little time out of your career consigns you to a future of jobseekers allowance and appearing on Jeremy Kyle.
For me it was a pretty easy decision. Moving to Canada has been the dream ever since I heard that there are mountains a 20 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. I’ve traveled 40 minutes just to go for drinks in London before! Sitting at a desk 40 hours a week just to earn enough to cover rent, the obligatory £5 pints and twice yearly ski holidays seems like wasting life. While you can still snowboard at least.
It’s funny, it feels like I’m at a pretty pivotal point in life; not necessarily the ideal time to chip off for a seventh ski season. Stick at my career for another couple of years and I’d probably be making mad money (why does everyone on $50k+ insist that they really don’t earn very much?). Most of my mates now have pretty serious girlfriends, and if they stick with them for another couple of years, they’ll be making mini-people (Nils and Lowenna already did last week. Congrats!). So I guess I’m rejecting both of those options for now. Maybe I’ll just be stuck in a state of perpetual immaturity. Being a top level manager with a house and kids just doesn’t appeal to me at the moment. A log cabin and a husky sounds pretty good though I suppose.
Is the constant feeling of discontent symptomatic of living somewhere you don’t love, or working a job where you feel undervalued, or just not being able to find the right girlfriend? They’re surely not a great combination. Maybe it’s just the result of having had such a ridiculously good life until the age of 24: living in Devon doing hoodrat stuff with my friends in the summers, and living in ski resorts, snowboarding and doing hoodrat stuff with my friends in the winters. Since then, going to uni, and living in a city where the only thing to do is meet friends for coffee, for drinks, for food, or to go to an art gallery/museum just doesn’t seem like as much fun. What I’m really saying is being an adult just doesn’t seem like much fun. Or being an adult in London, at least. At what point does going to a market to buy some organic broccoli on Saturday sound as good as hiking up a mountain with some friends, eating a sandwich at the top and then riding down, dropping a few cliffs on the way?
Of course, I’m going to look like a real dick when I fail to get a long term visa, return back in two years’ time and say “Actually, the outdoor lifestyle is shit. It’s cold and wet, my knees hurt, and I’d much rather sit in the pub with a nice locally brewed craft beer. When is the next farmers’ market by the way?” Right now, I’m just going to assume that the grass really is greener on the other side of the big Atlantic pond. The massive, massive prawns will outweigh the kind of cultural stimulation that is available in Europe, and the opportunity to climb mountains in the evening is better than the opportunity to watch Newham Generals every couple of months at The Nest. Will this be the reality? Only time will tell.