Vancouver City Lights

This is Vancouver. We've been here a week, now.

I don't know what I was expecting. I didn't really think anything at all; just that we were going to a place brighter, maybe more hopeful than Ireland. And it is bright - it glows with life and technology and happiness, a hundred cultures fused into one and somehow living in peace.

I don't feel homesick. I'm trying to feel sad at what I've left behind, but this is the 21st century - moving across the world doesn't mean the same thing as it did a hundred years ago, when my ancestors held the 'American wake' to mourn the emigrants they'd never see again. All the people I love are only a digital breath away, and everything else that can't be sent down a wire in bytes - laughter, small gestures and stories, tears, the touch of a hand - that, I've carried with me, for now.

Still a stranger in a strange land, I guess, but Vancouver feels like a land of dreams, of possibilities. We gave up our whole lives, our friends, our families - everything, to make it here and have a shot at something better, and there are millions of people here who did the same. We're not outsiders in this kind of city; we've been welcomed like family, and shown kindness that we'll probably never be able to repay.

That's what throws me, really. Vancouver has been kinder to us than I could ever have hoped for. This is the place, it seems to say - this is where you can make your fortune, among the endless city lights.