It's been almost 15 years since I've moved to Montreal with my family. Falling for this city felt easy and natural. It was love at first sight. That overwhelming and intense emotion when you find something that truly represents you as a person, a place where you belong and feel proud to call your home - that's how I felt when I first walked the streets of Montreal.
I still remember that feeling in my stomach after I got my citizenship and rushed to Tim Hortons to buy coffee for the very first time as a Canadian... I kept thinking, "This is my home." That pleasant sense of familiarity with local faces, shops and smells... you can't put it into words, you can only feel it with your soul. It's similar to when you overhear a set of familiar sounds and think to yourself, "I know this song!" That's how I feel when I find myself walking through cozy Montreal neighbourhoods. I know this city!
Montrealers have an exceptionally friendly mindset and way of living. Anyone who visits our city immediately feels comfortable here. It's a truly unique quality. I've traveled far and wide, but I never felt so relaxed and at ease anywhere else in the world. When I visit my birth country, I proudly refer to Montreal as "my home", because that's where my heart is.
Throughout the years, I've witnessed Montreal change and grow as a city and I was changing along with it. Yes, like in any other relationship, we did have our problems and struggles, especially as an immigrant, but it only made our bond stronger. Montreal gives everyone an equal opportunity to work, relax, socialize and be who you really want to be in life. It's so easy to fall in love with this city.
Montreal is so vibrant and dynamic, it always keeps me on my toes. It motivates me to be the best version of myself and fills me up with incredible amounts of energy every single day. Leave your house or office right now, step outside, take a deep breath and you will feel it - the city is full of life.
I sincerely believe that Montreal is the best place on earth. We are so privileged to be living here. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "at this point of my life, I am [a local Montrealer]: I grab my coffee at Café Olimpico on my way to work, I hike on Mount-Royal on the weekends, I date Montreal boys and I hate construction as much as a born and raised Montrealer does. So next time you want to post a comment under my article asking, 'What does this have to do with Montreal?' the answer is, 'Everything.'"