In the year after med school graduation, I interned in Victoria. It was also my first year of marriage. It was a great, busy time consolidating all that I had learned in med school and discovering the joy and sweat of being a doctor.
But on the days I wasn’t working, we enjoyed living in Victoria. Knowing that we would only be living there for a year, we pretended to be tourists and did all the things tourists would do – all year round.
We chose a James Bay apartment a few blocks from the water, and each evening, we would have a romantic walk after dinner, sometimes to the beautifully lit Inner Harbour or along the shore and breakwater in our neighbourhood.
We loved strolling through the lobby of the venerable Empress Hotel, flying kites, walking through Beacon Hill Park, and cycling along the endless waterfront.
We had seasons passes to the museum, Sealand and Undersea Gardens, and of course, we went enough times to get our money’s worth. There was always something new to learn and discover at the museum.
Even after moving back home to Vancouver, I maintained that tourist’s perspective: enjoying the highlights of my home town with open and enthusiastic eyes, enjoying our photogenic vistas, spending hours at the Vancouver Aquarium, and cycling through our neighbourhood.
Your happiness exercise for today: Look at your town through the eyes of a tourist. If you were only here for a limited time (which we all are), make your must-see list. What haven’t you seen or done that you would if you were just a visitor? Do one of those things this week.