Catalans Abroad

Carles vendrell

Victoria (Canada)

Victoria: cold but beautiful

Why did you leave Catalonia?
When I finished my studies in administration, I decided to take a sabbatical and travel to America. I never thought I would settle down here, but 10 years later, here I am!
Why did you choose Victoria, Canada?
I always say that I didn't choose Victoria; Victoria chose me. It was love at first sight. The city, and the British Columbia area in general, is a kind of paradise.
Are you happy with the job opportunities you found in your adoptive country?
It wasn't easy at first. I spent a few months washing dishes and doing short-term jobs. But eventually I managed to open a path and now I have a very rewarding job in a very nice environment.
What do you think is the best thing about living there?
Canadian people are very welcoming. Victoria receives lots of tourists every year, so it is very open minded. It is a big city, but you have the sea, and nature is very close.
What would you most like to change?
If I had to choose one thing to change, it would be definitely the weather. The hottest day in August is 20 degrees. Sometimes I miss the Mediterranean weather a lot!
What characterises your neighbourhood?
I live in Vic West, an old neighbourhood in Greater Victoria. It was a very active industrial hub and now it's a redeveloped residential area with a strong personality.
What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time? 
When my parents come to visit us, they love to go for a walk in the Butchart Gardens, in Bentwood Bay. It used to be a limestone quarry but in the 1920s, when it was exhausted, it was turned into beautiful gardens.
Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?
I'd love to, but in 20 years. I still have a lot to do in Victoria!
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