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Bluenose Girl

Halifax Through Rose-Tinted Glasses

In replying to a post written by a fellow Bluenoser, Little Gray Bird, who is also living away from Nova Scotia and it got me thinking about how once time passes we tend to look back on things with rose-tinted glasses, which I think is for the best as I would rather remember things for the better.  However in determining if one should move back home after time abroad this could lead one to the wrong decision.

I loved living and growing up in Dartmouth the City of Lakes (there are 23 of them), it was the smaller of 2 cities divided by the Harbour with the bigger city of  Halifax just a ferry ride away. Dartmouth and the communities surrounding Halifax have longs since been swallowed up into one big amalgamated city of just under half a million.  When I finally got a job in downtown Halifax I loved it (after many years working in the mall) I was so happy that I could (on a nice day) go for a stroll among the great old buildings and soak up the history of it all.

Halifax is a great city, it has the conveniences of a city (culture, night-life,  great restaurants, movie theatres, a variety of shopping options) with out the drawbacks (major traffic jams, noise, crowds etc). The city is vibrant due to the 6 universities keeping down the average age of the city’s inhabitants. It’s a slower way of life in Halifax, which is a good thing I learned after living in Vancouver, people have time to stop and say hi, chat, help each other, even if they don’t know one other (without being considered crazy).

I’ve now lived abroad for 6 years in one of the biggest cities in the world, London.  And I love London.  I didn’t leave Canada because I didn’t like where I lived.  I left for travel and adventure, to have Europe outside my front door and more history around me than in all of Canada.  I find myself torn between the 2 cities wishing I could spend large chunks of time in Halifax (well in the summer and fall anyway) but without giving up London.

When I’ve spent too much time out in the crowds of London I long to live somewhere that I can keep my personal space intact when out in public.  This leads me to contemplate should I ever move back to my home town how I would cope.  Each time I go back to Canada to visit I realize my views on Halifax are becoming that of an outsider. I see some of the worries and concerns as small town. I feel frustration when I see more empty building lots in the downtown as they argue what can be built there, knowing it will probably still be empty on my next visit and for 10 or more years if the next decade is anything like the last in downtown Halifax.

In London I have grown used to everything being outside my front door, easy and cheap travel to all of Europe, as well as a public transport system that can get me almost anywhere and missing a bus doesn’t mean an hour until the next one. Nor does it mean you will be sharing the ride with those you would rather not as everyone uses public transport in London, EVERYONE. Having said that I do miss being able to hope in my car and get anywhere in 20 minutes or less.

Sometimes the rose-tinted glasses are on and I think I would like to move back and sometimes the thought of leaving London makes me want to cry. Good thing I’m now a duel citizen, I can change my mind as much as I like with no visa expiry or paperwork to worry about :)

Do you view your past through rose-tinted glasses?

Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia