MARTA sánchez blasco moved from Catalonia to Vancouver in 2000.
Why did you leave Catalonia?
I left Catalonia in 2000, although I started applying for my visa two and a half years earlier. I needed a change in my life. I always wanted to live abroad but I had a family business to take care of at home. Seven years after we closed our business, and while I was working for another company, I moved to Canada.
Why did you choose Vancouver?
For many reasons. The weather is fantastic! Many people will laugh at me when I say that, because many complain about the rain. It rains a lot; it could rain for four months non-stop, but I love water. Everything can grow here and temperatures are mild. I hate Barcelona's summer heat. Nature here is very abrupt and I adore the cohabitation with animals. I live in Coquitlam, a neighbourhood of Vancouver (it is like living in Collserola). There is a green belt around the Coquitlam river right by my place where I enjoy hiking and biking. I've had racoons, skunks, squirrels, all types of birds and even bears in my back yard. It's amazing! In summer time, although I do not ski, you can enjoy skiing in the morning and laying on the beach in the afternoon.
Are you happy with the job opportunities there?
I've been very lucky, and Vancouver offers a large range of opportunities for those ready to work hard. When I first got here, the first week I was already enrolled in an excellent two-and-a-half month long job seekers course (paid for by the government) to update my CV and learn the local interview formalities, which are very different from in Europe. I started working for a tour operator company two weeks after I completed the course. In Canada, people move a lot between jobs. I work now as a facilities manager for a non-for-profit organisation. I enjoy the balance between the technical and the human side of my job.
What do you think is the best thing about living in Vancouver?
Vancouver is an enchanting city. While I am living in a a very technological and advanced first world metropolis, I can enjoy a simple life very close to nature, with healthy organic food, growing vegetables in my back yard and surrounded by animals.