Here vs There

Here vs There
Toronto vs Ucluelet skyline. Toronto photo by Richard Kidger on Unsplash. Ucluelet photo by Sandy Lue

I’m taking a break from the beach today.

Typical of the Pacific North West, it is bleak and rainy outside. It’d be cold and wet too, if I’d not chosen to stay inside.  Being no fool, I chose instead to kick-off a new series of blog posts.  It’s about living ‘Here vs There.’

I have the luxury of living in two places. One is in Toronto, the largest city in Canada, population: six million. The other is in Ucluelet, population: 1,717.

In Toronto I am never more than ten minutes from a super store; fine arts is a choice of museums away and dinner is easy with over sixteen thousand restaurants to choose from. In Ucluelet, the nearest Walmart is two hours away, art is the view from my living room  and I can have any food I want, so long as I make it.

Transitioning from one place to the other takes planning.  Whenever I come to Ucluelet, I have to adjust my clothing and gear.

The weather is always one of  sunny, foggy, overcast or mild. Sometimes it’s all of that in one day.  In any case, there’s always the chance of rain.

I wear layers under my waterproof jacket which has a hood and  lots of zippered pockets. The pockets are necessary for storing my scarf, keys, sunglasses and bear spray. The zippers are necessary for when I catch a sun spot and have to de-layer to soak up some rays.  If you’ve ever lost your keys on a trail, you’ll know why zippers are important.

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Probably the most obvious change in gear is my hand bag.

In the city I carry a slouchy leather hand bag.  It’s big enough to carry my wallet, phone, keys, hat, gloves, aspirin, notebook with a checklist of to-do items and a pen to check off old items and add new ones.  In Ucluelet I carry a change purse with one bank card, a health card and Co-op membership.  And enough cash to pay for serendipitous finds in the local thrift shop.

Ahh, the west coast thrift shop … now there’s another difference between living here vs there.

But that’s another blog post for another time.   Stay tuned!

Ucluelet. April 2019


  1. Bear Spray? Goodness, that is scary! We only have to worry about the odd venomous snake. Ucluelet looks marvellous. If it has fog and water, I would love it. Thanks for directing me to this post.


    1. I don’t know about that Amanda. Australia has a reputation for pretty lethal fauna – snakes, spiders, crocodiles, great white sharks, jelly fish … Yikes.

      But yep, the Pacific North West has lots of fog and water and it’s quite beautiful. I know that you’re by the sea but does it get cold enough for fog too?


      1. No. We have only had one fog since we have been here, over a year now. I wondered why and you said: the cold, so that just might be the reason- the temps are quite mild here.


          1. We are really sub-tropical but there are mountainous areas in these parts, where there will be fog/mist frequently. I saw lots of fog in Scandinavia. Back in Brisbane the only time we got fog was in winter and not common.


          2. In Ucluelet I can watch the fog roll in from the sea. The temperature difference between the land ans ocean creates a push and pull effect. Its quite eerie to watch. Treacherous too, if you’re on the water. Its not something you can easily take a picture of, else I’d share it. Maybe one day you can come and see foryourself. Come in August which is also called Fogust by the locals 😉


  2. Oh this is interesting! I am keen to hear more 🙂 Quite lovely to have such contrasts. Many Finns have summer cottages, where they live a very different life than in the city. More relaxed!


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