10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Live on Vancouver Island

This nurturing, welcoming, mystical locale is highly addictive. Consider yourself warned!

Vancouver Island Shoreline ExplorationPhoto: Erica Henault
Erica’s granddaughters enjoy a rainy day of shoreline exploration.

What It’s Really Like Living on Vancouver Island

I have had the privilege of calling Vancouver Island my home for the past 30 years. Stunning ocean views and diverse forest trails are within minutes of where I live in Victoria. I feel the harmony, balance and beauty in the magnificence of nature as I take in the fresh, clean air; the ocean breeze against my skin; the goosebumps appearing on my arms as I watch a spectacular, breathtaking sunset. Vancouver Island is not something that can be captured and shared; rather it needs to be experienced. But visitors beware: this nurturing, welcoming, mystical locale is highly addictive.

Here’s why you should not live on Vancouver Island:

1. You will squander your days walking on beautiful, tranquil beaches. You will have to tolerate stunning views of the ocean as far as the eye can see.

2. You will waste precious time exploring fascinating tidal pools filled with marine plants, organisms and unique rocks. You will have to become familiar with reading tide tables so you can access these rich, colourful pools during low tide.

Otters at Island View Beach Regional ParkPhoto: Erica Henault
Otters at Island View Beach Regional Park near Victoria.

3. Living on Vancouver Island, you may have to share your sushi lunch with the otters. You will often be surprised by wildlife sharing their home with us.

4. Visiting the west coast of Vancouver Island will spoil you forever. The spectacular, breathtaking sunsets will leave you awestruck, grateful you are here to witness the beauty on our planet.

5. If this is your first time on Vancouver Island, you will not want to miss the incredible views on the Malahat Drive on Highway 1. You may want to take an alternative route home, the Pacific Marine Road, on a busy long weekend in the summer months. The extra two hours of driving will turn into a full day, sightseeing adventure. This scenic loop offers breathtaking ocean views, winding mountain passes, and enchanting old growth forests. Another entirely wasted day…in paradise.

6. You will be amazed by the vast number of shades of green appearing in nature. A rich diversity of mosses, varied ferns and many species of magnificent trees thrive in our coastal rainforests. Green will become your new favourite colour.

Vancouver Island hike on boardwalkPhoto: Erica Henault
Hiking at Witty’s Lagoon, offering wonderful trails for all ages.

7. Hiking with family and friends of all ages will consume a great deal of your leisure time. You will never run out of places to explore. Decisions, decisions.

8. People are neighbourly and approachable on Vancouver Island. Expect a friendly wave with the obligatory wave in return. You will have to constantly say “Hi.” A tiresome custom.

Living on Vancouver Island - Long Beach sunsetPhoto: Erica Henault
A breathtaking sunset at Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

9. Hundreds of beautiful, inspirational pictures will overfill your photos library every week. Unfortunately, you will have the daunting task of selecting only a few favourite ones to share.

10. Most importantly, will you be able to keep The Island our little secret? I think not! Especially when you call beautiful Vancouver Island your home.

Now that you know what it’s like living on Vancouver Island, discover 10 essential experiences along Canada’s west coast.

Originally Published in Our Canada