Moving to Merritt, Canada
“Merritt to me means the place I first experienced the snow, camping, fishing, skating, and swimming.”
For the past eight years that I have lived in Merritt, Canada, I have experienced all four seasons most years.
I grew up in a small town close to Mexico City….
Heck, only 21.2 million people living in the metropolitan area! It’s hard to believe that this number represents 20% of Mexico’s entire population. I guess we never know what is out there until we decide to leave our comfort zone. I had been abroad only once and the idea of coming to Canada was an opportunity to start all over again.
It’s never easy to leave family and friends, but life brings unexpected opportunities that you just cannot pass up. I had no idea how far Merritt was from the Vancouver International Airport. All I knew about Canada was their famous hockey and its friendly Canadians, eh! Soon I learned that hockey is more than a game to Canadians.
Canadians always seemed to have fun finding a way to communicate with me.
While working in the tourism industry back in Mexico for over 10 years, I had the opportunity to interact with people from different places and walks of life. I have to say that Canadian people always did their best to establish communication using their body language, hand gestures or sounds. When other people showed some kind of frustration due to my broken English, Canadians always seemed to have fun finding a way to communicate with me.
I have so many experiences I can tell…
But let’s go back to my first time arriving at the Vancouver Airport back in 2008. Not having great experiences from other big airports, I must say I was a little bit predisposed to think it would happen again. When the customs officer asked me the reason for travelling to Canada, it seemed that my answer caught him unguarded.
“I want to be here in Canada when my son is born.”
“I want to be here when my son is born” I said. Then he asked, “When is your son due?” “My son is due today!” I replied. At this moment his face showed some kind of skepticism. I guess my story was hard to believe, so he asked to speak to my wife. Once he saw her in a wheel chair due to the pregnancy, he stopped asking questions and sped up the process.
The rest of the process was uneventful until I stepped outside the airport. It was past midnight when we headed to the parking lot, and I could still smell the cold air. The anticipation of knowing that snow might fall soon was pleasant enough to stop for a moment. It was a cold night, but the excitement diminished the coldness. Somebody mentioned that snow was coming. I guess that was the smell I perceived.
“Welcome to Merritt, Manuel!”
Not sure how long we drove until we stopped at Tim Hortons. “What is Tim Hortons?” I asked. When we are in a new place, many times we are not 100% there, but the smell of freshly brewed coffee and fresh baked donuts brought me back to reality. I am not sure where we stopped; it seemed we had traveled for quite a while since we left the airport. The trip continued for a few hours until I was able to see some lights far in the distance. Then I heard, “Welcome to Merritt Manuel!”
My first morning in Merritt, all I saw was snow.
The following morning, looking through the window, all I saw was snow. This time I was not seeing the snow through a television; this time the only thing between the snow and myself was the window. Like a big, bright, white blanket the snow covered everything, even the big pine trees.
As a person from Mexico City, there is nothing close to describe the snow until you experience playing with it. I have been asked many times for its texture, weight or scent, but this is something you need to experience on your own. That’s my answer to my friends back in Mexico. For the past eight years that I have lived in Merritt, I have experienced all four seasons most years. Yes, sometimes one season is longer than the other, but at the end of the day, there is always something to do as a family.
Merritt is at the heart of BC’s Interior, a welcoming stop for any traveler. It’s located in the Nicola Valley about 271 kilometres from Vancouver, BC. For some people, Merritt may be a small town, but it has a big reputation for its numerous country murals, fishing spots, lakes, and music festivals.
Talking about its music festivals, these days Merritt has something to offer to different audiences such as the Bass Coast and the Rockin’ River Festivals.
Merritt to me means a great place where I started growing roots and now call HOME.
Whatever the reason that brings you here, I am sure you will make fond memories in this town called Merritt. Merritt means something different for each person; you can see that in the two recent videos produced by the City of Merritt. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to check this video out and this one too.
Merritt to me means the place I first experienced snow, camping, fishing, skating, and swimming. Volunteering on a community project and most importantly meeting my Polish wife were two of my best experiences.
In summary, Merritt to me means a great place where I started growing roots and now call HOME.
As I stumble through my future, I am looking forward to sharing with you more of my experiences in Merritt, Canada!
Latest posts by Manuel Olguin (see all)
- Living and Cowboying in the Nicola Valley - October 9, 2018
- A Nicola Valley Perspective on Youth Entrepreneurship - July 17, 2018
- Moving to Merritt, Canada - June 12, 2018