February Update P2 – Life in YVR

When I left off last, I was telling you guys about turning 30 and introducing yet another massive change in my life: my big move to Vancouver!

As I mentioned, I coincidentally had already booked a sisters weekend out here on the 22nd of February. When I was planning it I was mainly thinking of an epic way to celebrate my birthday milestone. However it also occurred to me that the three of us had never taken a full on sisters trip together before – and there’s no time like the present so we made it happen.

Left to right – Lauren, Me, Stephanie

For me there were so many highlights of the weekend, but just being in the presence of my sisters for that amount of time is such a gift. My older sister Stephanie is a busy working mom, and my twin sister Lauren is in school as well as working to get hours in her career, so normally we are lucky if we can all just plan a dinner together.

We spent the weekend drinking coffee, eating avocado toast, and roasting each other with jokes every chance we got. We window shopped, went for a nice dinner, and nerded OUT learning about stars at the Space Center.

When Steph left on Sunday, I cried because I had the most amazing time and I knew I would be missing her. When Lauren left on Monday, I cried again for all the same reasons. The only thing really difficult about leaving Calgary (again) is that my family is there – my sisters, my mom, and my cute as a button niece.

My beautiful sisters! I love them so!

But in so many other ways I have been called to this next phase of the journey. Both personally and professionally, Vancouver offers growth for me. I’ve already connected with some really amazing people, and I really want to get out there and meet more!

Professionally I feel my options are limitless. The health and wellness industry is BOOMING here. This is a place I can utilize my knowledge and skills because they are more valuable here. Unfortunately right now, Calgary currently has the worst unemployment rate in Canada. Getting a job is very competitive – even if you are a great candidate, you may not even have your resume viewed for the role.

I know some of you right now are wondering: wait, Jen, aren’t you self-employed? Yes, for the past 6 months I have been exclusively self-employed. But I was called here for a change, and in that aspect I desperately needed one.

Athena chillin in our new bedroom

Although people tend to see self-employment and employment as one greater or less than, the truth is that it’s all grey. There are good things about being self-employed and there are not so great things – just as there is when you’re working for someone else. Being self-employed I enjoyed the freedom, the creativity, and being able to be with my dogs more.

But I struggled with the loneliness, the uncertainty, and never being able to leave work at work. So seeking employment became important to me. Nothing regarding Standing Strong Wellness will change – I will still be writing blog posts, sharing bomb recipes, and consulting clients. My freelance career is taking a back seat in favour of security and stability. That’s really what I need right now!

Checking out one of the beaches with Matthew

Will I ever be self-employed again down the road? It’s likely! I do have a new focus that I’m looking at right now for the long-term. I cant reveal anything yet! Whether that looks like a side hustle or becomes something more, we’ll see. I promise to share when the time is right!

At any rate, we’re here now and we’re settling in. What do I think of Vancouver? Let’s see here….

Tons of dope plant-forward food options

Mountains AND ocean, the best of both worlds


Milder weather

Tons of opportunity

…. yep, it’s safe to say we’re loving it here! And we ain’t seen nothing yet. We still have so much to see and explore, learn and do. As always, I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Goodies from Granville Market!

I hope you are all doing amazing, feel free to share your recent changes in the comments below!


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Welcome to Standing Strong Wellness, where we embrace how much a strong body supports a strong mind! I'm Jen Standing - Certified Nutrition Consultant, Blogger, Food Lover, and CEO behind SSW. I'm a wellness-nerd who loves sharing my knowledge with others on all things food, fitness, nutrition, and mental health - stick around for tips on all of those topics!

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