Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Trending in Victoria: The one car household

Springtime is really here! I can't believe we've survived another winter with only one car in this household. It also doesn't hurt that we have access to my parents' vehicle when needed - a big help at times.

We are a one-car household:
I think it is a common trend among young families today. Cars are so expensive, and the insurance is too! Fortunately, we live in a community where most of our amenities are within walkable distance. For instance, we have two large grocery stores, two pharmacies, our family dentist, my optometrist, banks and restaurants all within 2 km walking distance from our home. If we need to run out to the big box stores (i.e. Walmart, Costco, Superstore...) we'll plan our trips out there, or tag along with my parents if they happen to be heading that way.

Travel time (is relatively minimal) in Victoria:
There are amenities in pregnancy that I wish were more walkable. For instance, the midwife is a 15 minute car ride, the chiropractor is a 5 minute ride (on the way to the midwife), and our family physician is 15 minutes away. Did you notice a repeat pattern here? Most of our travel isn't more than 15 minutes to anywhere worth going to - with the exception of the ferry, which takes us only 20 minutes to get to! We probably spend $100 or less on gas each month.

Ten days ago, I flew (yes, FLEW) to Vancouver in 20 short minutes. Literally 10 minutes of that was spent in the air. Several friends and fellow colleagues asked me if I would ever move back to Vancouver.
My sweet ride - only 7 passengers onboard!
Had they asked me that question 2 years ago, I might have said yes.

Today? No way.

Wired for Sound?
It's pretty interesting to see how much of an 'Islander' I've become in the last four years that we've been living in beautiful Victoria, BC. I've actually grown accustomed to the slower pace of life, whereas in Vancouver, everything and everyone has to rush off to the next big event. Noise wise, I would say that the Island is peacefully quiet compared to the numerous sirens, honking horns and loud brakes of the buses in Vancouver! Truthfully, I felt a bit wired (or tense) whenever I stepped out of my hotel room. I remember having to turn down the volume on my cochlear implant simply because my brain went through an urban noise shock.

Blessing(s) in Disguise:
I realize not everyone is able to (or willing to) move to a smaller community like we did. Most have to relocate or stay in areas where there are jobs/family support available to them. In financial hindsight, this move has really been a blessing. We purchased our home before real estate really took off. We're able to bike to a lot of places (and get more fit at that too). Most importantly, our family life is more centered; and we've found an incredibly supportive Parish community to boot.
Can't wait to ride again once baby #2 arrives!
Keeping in mind the theme of being hard of hearing within this blog, I think it's important to reiterate that we like to enjoy life just like anyone else. The next thing we need to do is to start establishing a local circle of friends who have a hearing loss. We have several friends across Canada and throughout the world who are deaf or HOHs, but it would be super awesome to have those local connections. There's nothing like meeting others who know exactly what challenges you face daily, without having to explain it all. Of course, friendships with friends who don't have a hearing loss is totally welcome: after all, we live in both the hard of hearing and hearing worlds!

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