Top 50 Vancouver Photos 2010 – 5 Years On From Living In Canada

From the Vancouver Rowing Club with CBD skyscrapers the backdrop.

Exactly five years ago I boarded a 14-hour Auckland-Vancouver flight as part of my year and a half long OE (Kiwi-speak for “overseas experience”). There’s been plenty of travel before and since the 2010-2011 OE, but that period was the only time I’ve had completely out of broadcasting since I began in radio in February 1999.

I didn’t know if I was going to Canada for a few months, a few years or forever. I’d spent the previous three months backpacking all through South East Asia, had returned briefly to New Zealand to pick up my winter coats and say goodbye to everyone and then I was off.

Ultimately Canada was neither forever nor a few years. There was one glorious summer with friends new and old (there’s a substantial Vancouver Kiwi contingent), one rapidly chilly autumn and a fair amount of soul searching as I struggled for meaningful work and battled with whether this beautiful but frequently cold land was for me.

It wasn’t and by late November I was in Australia’s tropical Whitsundays playing tennis and DJ-ing at a resort. I’d been offered a decent job doing communications for a North Vancouver ski resort, but I don’t even like skiing or snowboarding – what was I was doing there!? So it would be eight months exploring the east coast of Australia before the lure of a return to radio and the new challenge of current affairs-based talkback brought me home to New Zealand.

Looking back on that time in Vancouver there are some mixed feelings, but also a chunk of fond memories. I got to live in one of North America’s prettiest cities, I was looked after by some terrific people, I was coincidentally reunited with a childhood buddy I hadn’t seen in 20 years, I won $500 in a karaoke competition, I saw the beauty of a ski-resort in summer, I slid down natural water-slides into icy-pools below, I experienced the biggest Halloween party of my partying career, I played tennis virtually every second day (unemployment has its benefits) and all told I learned more than a thing or two about life. Namely, if you don’t like snow don’t move to snowy countries. Here are my top 50 photos from Canada 2010:

Vancouver is a major cruise-liner destination.

Kitsilano Beach.

One Tree Apartment (not its official name) – the penthouse is rumoured to be where singer Sarah McClachan lives.

The lake at Stanley Park.

The beautiful Vancouver Rowing Club.

Arguably Vancouver’s finest historic hotel,  the Fairmont.

Granville Island.

From the Burrard Street Bridge.

Lions Gate Bridge.

The view from Cypress Provincial Park.

It appears my mate Simon is throwing a rugby ball directly at my back.

With friends Simon and Caz.

Cultus Lake, 80 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Cultus Lake.

Downtown Vancouver.

A marina, downtown Vancouver.

Across the border in Seattle with one of the most recognisable towers anywhere in the world, the Space Needle.

You know you need a job when…you start building toilet paper pyramids.

Friend Caz perfectly timed this photo of me destroying a toilet paper pyramid.

Whistler ski resort in summer.

Shirts-off weather, Alta Lake, Whistler.

Whistler ski slopes clearly visible, minus the snow.

Bike-riders at the Crankworx tournament in Whistler.

Same as above.

With Kiwi buddies Macca, Simon and Paul.

30 degree air temperatures at Lynn Canyon, glacial waters.

A Lynn Canyon natural water-slide with a scary drop.

Nothing like seeing Michael Bolton live at a theme park.

I’m fairly certain I got a “Bolton! Bolton!” chant going, at least with the friends I was with.

With fellow Kiwi and former Massey High student Claire.

Thanks to friend Simon’s then girlfriend Rebecca for my incredible 29th birthday Bee Gees cake.

Halloween in Vancover where flatmate Jen dressed me as a geeky film sound guy, complete with boom mic.

Irish friends Darren and Sinead, plus boom mic.

Beautiful Vancouver girls enjoying my boom mic.

Despite being dressed as a geek, my boom mic proved to be a hit.

More boom mic mayhem.

It seemed like the hot summer became the cold autumn in an instant.

Autumn in Kitsilano.

Same as above.

Autumn at Kitsilano Beach.

North Vancouver.

One of my favourite Vancouver CBD apartments.

Vancouver CBD with North Vancouver behind.

A seaplane near Stanley Park.

Vancouver CBD on a rare sunny day in late Autumn.

Lions Gate Bridge.

Underneath the Lions Gate Bridge.

North Vancouver.

With friends Samuel and Tiffany. Samuel and I had been friends as kids in Malaysia in the 1980s.
A version of this article appeared at this time last year.


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