Have you ever felt homesick for a place that you’ve never lived in? I bet you’re all thinking I’m talking Disney thanks to my Disney obsession, but no, for once I’m not! (Although I do feel the Disney Blues far more strongly than you might realise!).
In fact, I’m talking the mountains. These places are, for me, more than a “I visited here and really liked it”. These are places that I felt truly at home in; that I feel a sense of nostalgia for and of longing to go home.
And it’s not just any mountains, specifically the mountains of the three areas I’ve listed below in America and Canada. Personally I’ve always wanted to move to America, but I think Canada is slowly overtaking in that race right now thanks to the craziness that’s going on in America and the contrasting peace that is Canada right now!
Many people would love to move abroad – a survey by House Buy Fast has shown that 70% of Brits want to move abroad, and the highest voted location out of the place they would like to move is, like me, America.
I shared some of my favourite places to visit in America and Canada a few years ago, but here’s a little round up of my top 3 places I would move if I didn’t have cats and a mortgage keeping me bound to the UK:
I’ve visited British Columbia in 2004 (aged 13) and 2012 (aged 21), so it’s time for some throwback photos! We have relatives who live over there who we’ve met up, then we’ve travelled the area in an RV twice.
Our 2004 trip began in Vancouver, we visited Penticton and Kelowna where our family lives, went through Canyon Hot Springs to Glacier National Park, over to Banff, by Lake Louise, then Jasper, stopping at Mount Robson, back down via 100 Mile House, all the way to Hope, Harrison Hot Springs and into Vancouver again. It was this trip that instilled my love of Canada, its rugged mountain ranges and hidden lakes. My sister and I spent days swimming in the glacier melted lakes that were crystal clear.
Our 2012 trip began again in Vancouver where we headed immediately over to Vancouver Island via Nanaimo and over to Tofino before heading down to Victoria and into America. On the way back up, we entered Canada just out of the North Cascades, visited Osoyoos, went via Hope again and back to Vancouver.
Vancouver Island was entirely different to the Canada I had experienced nearly 10 years before – the weather was bleak and wet, but it was stunning in a different way. Being someone who thrives in the sun, this must have been a location I really loved to still want to move there with the chilly and wet weather!
Pacific North West
The middle part of our 2012 trip that started in Vancouver was through the Pacific North West – down the coast of Washington and Oregon, heading across East at Tillamook to cut below Portland then back up via Mount Rainier National Park, Mount St Helens, Seattle and the North Cascades before entering Canada again.
I’m neither a coastal person nor a city person – I’m countryside through and through, and mountains are my thing. Fortunately, the coastlines of Washington and Oregon were sufficiently rugged and mountainous enough that I fell in love with them. And Seattle is quite possibly my favourite city to date.
My other North West trip isn’t all that Pacific – I call this our Yellowstone trip of 2009, aged 18. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think I could live in this area, but I love it so much. Technically I suppose it would be called the West or the Wild West (!), but it’s under my Pacific North West heading as it’s somewhere that’s easy-ish to travel to from that area.
The 2009 trip took us from Salt Lake City in Utah, up to Bear Lake in the corner of Idaho, through the Grand Tetons (I think possibly my favourite mountain range) and Shoshone National Forest to Yellowstone National Park (my favourite place ever), out into the deserts of Wyoming via Cody and Thermopolis, dropping into Colorado, through Aspen and back into Utah through Canyonlands National Park and finally Park City.
This area is so stunning in general – you quickly swap between places that don’t even feel like they belong on earth, they’re so other worldly and beautiful, from Yellowstone’s geysers to the red sand of the desert. I say that I couldn’t live there mostly because it really is quite isolated and difficult to get back to the UK from, but if transport was easier, I’d live there in a heartbeat.
And this is the one place I almost did live! I was very close to taking a Masters degree that would have seen me spend time at a college on the East Coast – sadly I decided to go into teaching instead, my dream was so close in reach!
In 2007 (aged 16), we travelled the Blue Ridge Parkway (again in a camper) starting at Washington DC, down the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway (except those last few miles we begrudgingly couldn’t drive in a camper, argh!) through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, ending up in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, then heading over to Charleston on the coast, up via Myrtle Beach, Chesapeake Bay and back into Washington.
We dipped in and out of the mountains on this trip to visit nearby attractions such as Boone Hall and the Biltmore Estate. But we’d never seen so many trees in our lives – my dad said he went “tree blind” from watching the trees blur past as he drove and ended up having to drink lots of cold coffee to counter the effects!
In addition to this, I’ve visited New England 3 times – Vermont, New Hampshire, New York state, Massachusetts and Maine. The covered bridges, fantastic mountain ranges, National Forest areas and quaint towns always win me over here.
To be honest, the East Coast of America is probably the most likely place I’d move to if I could – it’s really only a short(ish) flight away, at least in comparison with the Pacific North West!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my throwback photos throughout this post! Would you move abroad? And if you could, where would you move?