I was born in Vancouver and raised in the suburb of Surrey. After graduating high school, I moved back to Vancouver to get my degree at the University of British Columbia. Education was one reason I moved to Vancouver, to live away from my parents and be in a culture centre were other reasons I was compelled to be here.
I love Vancouver for many reasons—it’s because of being here, I made a community of my closest friends, found my future wife, and grew a fascination for the outdoors. It’s in this city that I learned how to work with people with a disability, experienced the stress and elation of opening a business, and chased a dream to be an improv artist. It’s in this city I learned how to be a better listener, became aware of my privilege and grew a deeper understanding of who I am.
This year, people in my closest friend group are moving out of Vancouver to establish a new home in places like Singapore, Australia, Peru and the East Coast of North America. Given this shift in my community, I feel with great certainty that I can experience the same fulfilment and connection wherever I choose to call home. My parents are a good example of this with my mother immigrating to Canada from the Philippines and my father from Austria. How I experience a city is truly up to me.
Today, I am here in Vancouver. Tomorrow, I get to choose again.