Small Town v Big City

So, if you have been reading my blog, its no news to you that I have moved to a small mountain town in The Rockies, Canada from London, England.

The nearest big town is 90 minutes away and the next city is 3 hours by road. Public transport, pffftt that’s nonexistent here. Travelling to the city
for the day with a 6 hour round trip is pretty standard, while if I was too leave London for this length of time I would feel I would need to stay the
night as its ‘so far’ Now I drive 90 minutes just to go to the grocery store.

Now what do we classify as a small town? Well my small town of Invermere houses around 4000 people. They consider 300 people turning up for a
governmental vote a good turn out.

The traffic is one very big difference I have encountered since owning my car. In London travelling to work by car is a very big no no, if you are stuck in a jam for 10 minutes, it is considered a good journey. Here in Invermere, if there are more than 5 cars in a queue, you question where all this traffic came from! The size of the cars here are ginormous! Trucks and 4x4s are the go-to car. I am made fun of owning a ‘tiny’ Toyota Yaris Hatchback. Something back home I would consider a large car.

I am not sure if this is a small-town thing or Canadian thing; I know the Amber light back in Europe means slow down and stop. Here we all put the pedal to the floor and speed up, when it turns red, we eventually slow down.

Being in London meant that you had access to everything pretty much 24/7. Banks were even open Sundays and some until later in the evening. However, trying to do any kind of chore was hassle. Whether it was the Post Office (minimum 20-minute queue), Doctors (minimum 45-minute delay), Grocery store (bash your trolley into minimum 5 people’s ankles). I quite enjoy that living in Invermere I can go to the post office and be in and out in 5 minutes. The only time I had to wait a while was Christmas. The grocery store is never a hassle and is only ‘busy’ in the Summer Months. The self-service however is a universal nightmare in any town or city just FYI.

Everything does shut at 5pm however, which can be a pain. I mean the grocery store does stay open until 10, but you can only get groceries at the grocery store unlike the city stores. Our downtown shuts down at 5pm, and if you happen to drive through it you will not see one single person or car parked. If you do, you assume they are a tourist and lost, followed by some tumbleweed.

One thing I do relish in is the fact I have a garden. In London I would have a windowsill or if you were lucky a tiny tiny terrace with room for one plant pot. This year I have been able to grow tomatoes, egg plants, lettuce, raspberries, plus a surplus of sunflowers and other plants. It has been the
year I have discovered my green thumb. Luckily for me I have a landlord that has let me take over the porch with this new discovery.

The length of time it takes for any mail to get to Invermere is a bit of joke. I pay for Amazon Prime, and it still takes at least 4 days. When I left London, I was starting to get stuff delivered the same day! I think it takes the same amount of time to mail something to the UK from Invermere as it does to the next province.

When I lived in London, I swore I would never leave, but life happens and here I am in the middle of nowhere. I love London for its amazing history, I
call it the city of contrast. As there is no where else you will find a 1000-year-old building next to a brand-new skyscraper shaped like a gherkin. But living in the mountains is an experience I never knew was possible. I never realised how important they were to me until they went out of view for a few months because of the forest fires. Seeing the mountains daily is many of us ‘Valley People’ keeps us going, they keep me grounded.

The true test of how much I miss the city will be when I visit the UK in October, then we will see how fast, or slow, I will be returning to the
mountains.

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