Jan 30

From Vancouver to Calgary: A Transitional Guide

by Downtown Calgary · 11 comments

This is a post by guest blogger Jessica Shmigelsky. She’s a social media professional who’s new in town and wanted to share her thoughts on our city so far. If you’re interested in blogging for GetDown, learn how here.

Transitioning to Calgary – Jessica Shmigelsky

Moving to a new city can be overwhelming, stressful, and confusing. There may be many questions that could pop up for an individual as their transition begins. Questions such as, “What if I don’t find a job? What if I fail? What if I don’t like the new city? What if I get lost, run out of gas and I have to sleep in a ditch in my cold and gas-less car? Why didn’t I get AMA?”

Recently, there seems to be a surprisingly large group of young folk making the big move to Calgary from Vancouver, and have all done so for different reasons. For myself who has already moved, I have been experiencing the question overload, but at the same time, I have quickly noticed how amazing this city is. Calgary has many underrated characteristics that can easily help an individual beautifully blossom in a refreshing, lively, growth-focused, and positive way.

  • Networking/Industry events – Calgary networking and industry events seem to have an overall exciting and positive essence. People literally accept you with open arms (WARNING: Being hugged by a stranger may occur…), and are willing to find ways to recommend you to whoever or wherever, in order to contribute to your growth if they can’t specifically help you at that time. A corporate, yet casual atmosphere is projected, and the value of building relationships and connections is shared among rookie and veteran Calgarians alike as opposed to just being another Twitter follower.
  • Generally Nice People – Even the drivers are more courteous! There is less relentless honking, dirty looks on the bus if you’re have a conversation with your friend or you’re taking on your cell phone, and shouting at pedestrians. The restaurant service is so far so impressive (QUICK PLUG: Check out The Unicorn! The food, drinks, and service is amazing), including service in coffee shops, retail staff, etc. For the most part, people don’t look at you like you’re crazy (unless you’re legitimately doing something crazy), or run away if you ask to pet their dog. There are fewer noses stuck up as you make your way through the Downtown core of Calgary.
  • Weather AKA the Sun – After living in a grey and gloomy rainforest of what is Vancouver (even though your hair and eyelashes curl wonderfully), the sun has a surprisingly strong and joyful effect on your body and your attitude towards life. Yes, it may be impressively cold in Calgary during the winter, but the sun easily veto’s out the “West Coast, Wet Dog” look and rapid mood swings.
  • Affordability – You don’t have to live off of peanut butter, rice and beans for months at a time because you’re living in a one bedroom apartment for $1500 a month in a 100 year old building with molding carpets and bedbugs. Beer, wine, and food is priced appropriately, and you can enjoy adult beverages past 12:30 last call. If you’re living life on the wild side, you can even pick up a bottle of wine until 2:00am!
  • Opportunity – It’s EVERYWHERE! This city is booming in more ways than one. The ability to apply for a job that you will enjoy and being able to filter out what you like, or don’t like in a job description is actually possible. You don’t need to walk on eggshells with a job, or search for three to find one.
  • Culture – The music, food, theatre, and arts culture in Calgary is addicting!

If you’re a new-comer, or an old-school Calgarian, what are some of your favorite things about the city? What have you noticed is different in comparison to the city you lived in before? If you’re interested, please comment and share your thoughts below!

This has been a post by guest blogger Jessica Shmigelsky. She’s a social media professional who’s new in town and wanted to share her thoughts on our city so far. If you’re interested in blogging for GetDown, learn how here.  

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