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Old Oct 5th 2017, 6:53 am   #1
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Default 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

Hey all!

I'd love your insights and advice on a move I am most likely making next year in mid 2018.

I'm currently applying for both WHV and PR visa (!) to get myself to Vancouver. I'm also networking my socks off with conversations via Skype with people in the tech start-up ecosystem, which is where I'm likely to go. I currently work in a social impact start up in the UK, London, which I truly love BUT the cost of living in London is just so high, the salaries so low, and the quality of life so miserable, that I want to make the move.

I've lived in London over 20 years now essentially, with a few sporadic expat trips (I moved to Spain when I was 24 for a year, the UAE when I was 25, Italy when I was 21, and then two separate towns in the UK for my Undergrad and Masters degrees). I really don't mind moving and settling down in a new location - doesn't phase me at all, in fact, I like the adventure.

I have a fair amount of friends and contacts in Vancouver and just got back from a summer there, which inevitably sent me falling in love with the place.

In all my job hunting conversations, people are super positive about the move and attest to my conviction that it's a more liberal and progressive start-up space, and more aligned with my values - so I should fit in well there. Lots of exciting developments, too.

I *do* however have concerns, which I would love insights on:

1. Am I utterly bonkers to be leaving London at my age (28) when I am single for the tiny town that is Vancouver? Yes I am outdoorsy, and yes I am very West-Coast mentality but I am petrified I'll land there and realise the dating pool is tiny, that it's as cliquey as I've heard, and that I'll feel alienated, be perpetually single, and miserable. London at least is such a mixed scene - though admittedly I've been back from Dubai for a few years now, and still haven't met my tribe or anyone I want to date, so I suppose London isn't the silver bullet either.

2. Cost of living - I presume it will be roughly same as UK with salaries on par etc.

3. Work scene - yes the tech scene is growing and it's doing well, but it is still ranked 15th globally whereas London is 3rd. I realise I'll be entering a slower, younger market. Given I want a bit more work / life balance than one gets in London, and I want more outdoorsy / nature culture, and essentially more 'rest', this seems fine for me. BUT I would love more thoughts.

My gut instinct tells me I will be happy there but then my rational mind kicks in and starts questioning why I am making a move 'down' from the hustle and bustle of booming London to a smaller, quieter place, when I am single and in my late 20s. It feels right but intellectually seems irrational.

Would love your thoughts!

(Bottom line is, I want to find a job I enjoy, with good work life balance, and meet some good, wholesome friends, and a partner. That's it. No desire to be CEO of a bank or world domination).
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 12:18 pm   #2
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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Originally Posted by LondonToVancouverGirl View Post
I currently work in a social impact start up in the UK, London, which I truly love BUT the cost of living in London is just so high, the salaries so low, and the quality of life so miserable, that I want to make the move.
To Vancouver? Those are exactly the complaints everyone makes about Vancouver.

Granted I'm a hater but I was amused to recently hear Vancouver described, by someone who likes living there, as follows:

"There are lots of parks and there are people in the parks but they're not hanging out in groups having a picnic with a bottle of wine or anything like that. It's not a social scene. They're all separate, they have plugs in their ears and they're contorting themselves, some have mirrors, all look at their own bodies a lot".

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Old Oct 5th 2017, 1:59 pm   #3
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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BUT the cost of living in London is just so high, the salaries so low, and the quality of life so miserable, that I want to make the move.
if your concern is cost of living, particularly housing cost in relation to income, Vancouver isn't for you. Montreal would probably be the largest Canadian city. Vancouver is awesome, and it costs a small fortune to live there.
Quote:

1. Am I utterly bonkers to be leaving London at my age (28) when I am single for the tiny town that is Vancouver?
..., I... OK, we need some kind of scale here. It was weird enough a few weeks back when someone described Kamloops as 'a small country town', now Vancouver is 'a tiny town'? When did 2.5m people become 'tiny'?! I know some people like overcrowded megalopolii like London or Toronto, but they're not the defining scale of the word 'city'!

There are more people in Vancouver than you could possibly date in a lifetime.
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2. Cost of living - I presume it will be roughly same as UK with salaries on par etc.
Cost of housing is pretty similar to London, depending where you're going. Food generally costs more, utilities cost less.

Quote:

My gut instinct tells me I will be happy there but then my rational mind kicks in and starts questioning why I am making a move 'down' from the hustle and bustle of booming London to a smaller, quieter place, when I am single and in my late 20s. It feels right but intellectually seems irrational.
I moved down to the crowding and cost of London when I was in my mid 20s,then upgraded to BC lifestyle in late 20s,but sounds like we value different things
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 2:08 pm   #4
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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BUT the cost of living in London is just so high, the salaries so low, and the quality of life so miserable, that I want to make the move.
The same complaints are made of Vancouver everyday, in fact because it is smaller than London (less ability to move to the burbs) I would say property prices and rents are even more unaffordable. Vancouver often ranks in the top 5 for most expensive cities to live in the world (London is not usually in the top 10).


Mass transit is certainly worse than London (if you arn't on one of the three skytrain lines) expect to be using buses.

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Originally Posted by LondonToVancouverGirl View Post
Am I utterly bonkers to be leaving London at my age (28) when I am single for the tiny town that is Vancouver?
I really wouldn't call Vancouver tiny. Smaller than London yes but not tiny.


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Originally Posted by LondonToVancouverGirl View Post
I am very West-Coast mentality 2.
Sorry I hear this all the time and have no idea what it actually means.

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Originally Posted by LondonToVancouverGirl View Post
Cost of living - I presume it will be roughly same as UK with salaries on par etc.
Cost of living yes but salaries possibly not. Vancouver is known across Canada for having some of the lowest salaries of the major cities. Will depend on what you do.


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Originally Posted by LondonToVancouverGirl View Post
Work scene - yes the tech scene is growing and it's doing well, but it is still ranked 15th globally whereas London is 3rd. I realise I'll be entering a slower, younger market.
Vancouver has to compete against both Seattle and San Fran on the west coast and my struggle to ever get there. You may find rather than rest you are caught in a system constantly trying to catch up to the others whilst always falling short.


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My gut instinct tells me I will be happy there but then my rational mind kicks in and starts questioning why I am making a move 'down' from the hustle and bustle of booming London to a smaller, quieter place, when I am single and in my late 20s. It feels right but intellectually seems irrational.
If your feeling is positive I would go with it, if you have doubts purse the IEC temp work permit route opposed to PR. That way if you don't like it you can go home without having invested too much.

Vancouver is a great city with a lot to offer and is beautiful in terms of natural scenery. But, it does have its problems and a growing sense of divide between the haves and have not's its quietly bubbling away under the surface right now. Vancouver is beginning to feel like a Disney land and for me it has lost the shine I saw when I was a tourist (probably from living he opposed to anything the city has or hasn't done). Its starting to become a little to pompous and self absorbed for me but I can always escape to the mountains and the sea.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 2:40 pm   #5
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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I am very West-Coast mentality 2.

Sorry I hear this all the time and have no idea what it actually means.

Doesn't it mean that the person in question spurns straight cigarettes but smokes a lot of joints? I think of Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High as defining the West-Coast mentality.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 2:44 pm   #6
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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Doesn't it mean that the person in question spurns straight cigarettes but smokes a lot of joints? I think of Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High as defining the West-Coast mentality.
I believe there was a sketch about this on 22 minutes on Tuesday. The own West Coast thing the presenter found was a guy playing the flute on the beach in his home made cloths.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 2:54 pm   #7
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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I believe there was a sketch about this on 22 minutes on Tuesday. The own West Coast thing the presenter found was a guy playing the flute on the beach in his home made cloths.
Heh! I expect that holds for outside Vancouver but I'm lead to believe that Vancouver itself is full of people in spandex with multi-thousand dollar bicycles racked on the back of their McLarens. It'll be an 'orrible spectacle as the population ages, no one should have to see a 40 year old in exercise clothing.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 3:26 pm   #8
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

As others have said, the cost of housing here is pretty eye watering now. It is still considerably cheaper than living in central London, but you'll find salaries are generally much lower. I work in the tech sector and I hear many complaints about how inferior the pay is here compared to Seattle and San Francisco.

I was 25 when I came to Vancouver, had never been to Canada before, and fell in love with both the country and Vancouver and have absolutely no regrets. I would say that in order to make a move here beneficial you need to want the lifestyle as you are likely to be financially on a par or worse off here. I certainly live in Vancouver not because of the tech sector or the city itself, but because of it's natural surroundings and the outdoor activities right on my doorstep.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 4:49 pm   #9
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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...I'm lead to believe that Vancouver itself is full of people in spandex...
<pictures Oink>

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Old Oct 5th 2017, 4:56 pm   #10
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

No idea on London costs, Vancouver, just booked into a hotel and parking is $62 a night!
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 10:30 pm   #11
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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No idea on London costs, Vancouver, just booked into a hotel and parking is $62 a night!
Can you park and sleep in the car?
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 10:49 pm   #12
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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Would love your thoughts!

Before you get too depressed with the replies you are receiving, post the same question on the the Vancouver subreddit

If you look on the lower right hand side you will see lots of filters for housing, communities, moving to Vancouver etc.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 11:49 pm   #13
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

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No idea on London costs, Vancouver, just booked into a hotel and parking is $62 a night!
You must be doing it wrong - I've never paid more than $30.

Either that or you're staying in a pricey hotel to start with!!
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 12:06 am   #14
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

Picking up on your wish for a good work life balance, the Uk offers fair better vacation time and pay then Canada. Unless you work for a company that offer good benefits you will not receive any paid sickness leave and health care, dentist, opticians etc are very expensive. Entertainment eating out, drinking, sporting activities are all expensive although there are lots of things you can enjoy for free, it takes time to settle and build a circle of friends and on the occasions when you are finding things tough you will miss your family and close circle of friends. The first 3-5 years will be tough its not a walk in the park moving to a new country. Having said all of that we are very happy here and have a good quality of life (Alberta not BC) I will always miss family members but technology really helps.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 1:34 am   #15
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Default Re: 28 yo female moving from London UK to Vancouver...help!

Sorry to jump in but what is the rental vacancy rate in Vancouver atm? Good or terrible?
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