I remember vividly my mum telling me I 'peaked' at 21.
I had just graduated, had a great boyfriend, was tanned, thin and I was about to go and live in Vancouver, Canada. I was on top of the world.
When people ask about Vancouver I never know what to say.
British Columbia is breathtaking. The views on the way to Whistler from downtown Vancouver, looking out of the window on the Greyhound, will always stick in my memory. As will the ice hockey- go Canucks! The rainforest walks, seafood and Timmy Ho's coffee.
But something happened whilst I was away. Maybe it was the 47 straight days of rain (I am told it was a record), the news of my Grandma's illness, losing a best friend or sleeping on a roll matt for 3 months in an apartment with no furniture and mice as flat mates. Whatever happened I came back a sadder, darker shadow of the exuberant 21 year old of the previous summer.
I came back to a reality of no perfect boyfriend, facing up to the real world and not being a student anymore. I also had to adapt to life in a new family.
My friends were great and working in retail made me realise I could do more and I decided to a masters which bought me to the North East.
Mountain biking, walking along the beach (in the rain of course) were all things I did in Vancouver but I realised I was happier doing them here.
So when people ask about Vancouver I say it was an amazing experience. I often find myself being envious of people re-telling their travelling adventures and shouting about how it was the best experience of their lives. I wonder if I am abnormal for not loving it as much as they did. Then I remember that although it was hard and I was unhappy it helped me get to where I am today.