I had never thought of leaving Bangalore, let alone moving to the other side of the world!
Photography has always been something that has had me going. It’s my passion and something that I would chase after and hence I made the move to Vancouver in March 2015 to study for a year and Voila! 5 years later I am a Permanent Resident here and I call Vancouver home. I can’t explain it but it seemed like Vancouver was calling me. There were quite a few schools that I was considering at the time but VANARTS (Vancouver Institute of Media Arts) with its 1 year program is what stood out for me as it is a great school that teaches everything very hands on!
I absolutely love it here. Based on the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is the most beautiful city with its gorgeous landscape and definitely better than Toronto when you compare climate wise. Rains a ton but you get used to it. Like any typical Vancouverite, I still complain about the rains but love it nonetheless. We have the mountains 30 minutes drive away, the beach 10 minutes drive away, clean fresh air all around and I am so grateful for being able to move to Vancouver without as much as facing a doubt of my move.
There is so much to do here no matter the time of the year. Summers are the best with longer daylight, beach time and laying lazy on the grass all day. And if that wasn’t enough, food here is exceptional! I never thought I would consume so much sushi before coming here and now I am addicted. There are so many food joints that it’s tough to name a few, but my favorites are Ebisu, Earls, Tap n barrel, Cactus Club. Vancouver is known for its spectacular views. The cypress mountain viewpoint, English Bay beach, North Vancouver docks, Queen Elizabeth park are some places I frequently visit.
Vancouver is a really expensive city to live in, but once you get used to it (with a job, the hustle, a good social circle, etc), one is able to manage pretty well. The nightlife is not the greatest and the only reason I say that is because at this age, I no longer find it interesting, as there are lots of kids/teenagers running around in these clubs. Regardless, there are a few spots here and there around the city where you can have a really good time. For the music and to be able to dance almost all night, I love to go to Calabash and Red room!!
All said and done home is where my family is and the one thing I found the hardest was being away from my family and friends. Relationships that I have built all my life, I had to leave it behind to pursue my passion. Truth be told – it is hard, very hard to start over. Not having someone to fall back on when you have tough days is brutal. Making friends here is as hard. And don’t get me wrong, it’s just the individualistic nature of Canadians, plus keep in mind, if people have been here, they already have established their friend circle and as you get older, people get busy with adult life responsibilities like family, job, kids, etc.
I got lucky as I made a few good friends here through “soccer” (I am Canadian now, haha!) Another essential aspect of increasing your social circle is by joining clubs or groups of things you enjoy and trust me there are many platforms where you can find these.
People are friendly but there is always that lingering feeling that you are in a place complete foreign to you. Vancouver is pretty multi-cultural but unfortunately everyone tends to fall under stereotypes. There are some that are purely ignorant about your background, but then there are others who welcome you and your cultural difference with arms wide open.
Every place has its flaws. You learn to live with them, accept them and even embrace them. Being creative has helped keep my sanity. I love the city and have been enjoying my time here so much so that I may never leave!
The writer of this guest blog is someone that I bumped into in a place we both call home – Bangalore, India. Having known each other for about 10 years or so, Kaaran is easily one of the most fun loving and kind human being. The kind of face that just casts a smile on your face when he walks into the room. Having completed his under graduation from Bangalore, he moved to Vancouver to pursue his Post graduation in photography and ever since has been a freelancer, specializing in portrait photography. When not pursuing his passion, he indulges in dancing and gets a little competitive with soccer. Currently based out of Vancouver in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, he is keen on telling stories through the images he creates. Kaaran constructs and builds his portraits from start to finish. As a portrait photographer, his goal is to make anyone and everyone be aware of who they are, be comfortable in their own skin and forge a timeless piece of art together.