Goodbye to Vancouver, again


in Canada, Rants, The environment, Travel

Vancouver skyline, highway, and SkyTrain tracks

My eighteen days in Vancouver were full of wonderful times with family, friends, and Emily. It was certainly worth spending the time on the bus for. As stated before, Vancouver puts Ottawa to shame as a city. It has so much more happening, not just because of the Olympics but because of the size, the location, and the fact that it is a city that has to pull for itself, whereas Ottawa exists to try to organize all the rest. Vancouver is certainly not without problems, but the degree to which it is alive and interesting more than makes up for it in my mind. I will be leaving the city with a lengthy list of appealing activities and places left undone and unvisited, for lack of time.

Given the need to mitigate climate change, I don’t know how often I will be able to visit Vancouver, going forward. While effecting political change is far more important than minimizing our personal emissions, doing the latter does seem necessary for retaining credibility while trying to do the former. That said, it certainly rankles a bit to see people flying halfway across the world for a sunny weekend, while you agonize about whether and how to go see your home city for the first time in two years. An ironic consequence of trying to behave ethically in relation to future generations is that other people raise their expectations of you, without necessarily adopting higher ones for themselves.

My thanks to everyone who helped to make this visit so special and worthwhile. This visit will certainly be a significant data point, while I am trying to solve the puzzle of where and how to spend the next few decades.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily January 12, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Thank you again for making such a big trip.

I think this trip is an interesting point of reference for your readers. You conquered the mythical cross-country bus beast. I feel like your example is important in proving that low carbon cross country travel is possible.

Milan January 12, 2010 at 10:23 pm

That was one of my objectives: “Part of the rationale for making the trip this way is to show that there really are low-carbon, cross-country options – even for those with full time jobs.”

Anyhow, you made the journey well worth it.

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