Live The Dream In Vancouver, Canada

December 16, 2008

Davina Haisell moved to from Ontario, to Vancouver in British Columbia, to live the dream. After a few years, she launched a specialist diet consultancy business. Then she realised that she was far more interested in helping people improve their lives, as opposed to focusing on diet.

So Davina trained to become a professional life coach and now she’s living the dream in Vancouver and running Crimson Compass, her life coaching business, from home.

Cath: How long have you been living the dream in Vancouver and what made you move there?

Davina: I’ve lived in Vancouver for 8.5 years. I took a holiday here and after the first day I knew I wanted to live here. The mountains, the fresh air, the ocean being practically at your doorstep, and the warmer temperatures certainly helped me decide.

Cath: Once you decided you wanted to live in Vancouver, you went through an interesting process to achieve your goal. Can you describe it?

Davina: I knew in my heart, after visiting Vancouver that this was where I wanted to live. It “felt” right somehow. I journalled every day, using the Morning Pages from Julia Cameron’s - The Artists Way. I wrote about the people I would meet, how I would feel living there and the job I would have.

Basically I wrote my dream down and it manifested within 9 months. I was supported in many ways, through interesting “coincidences”. It was an amazing experience and one I reflect on with gratitude.

Cath: How long does it take to drive back to where you used to live?

Davina: A person can drive from Vancouver to Toronto in 3 days, but a more comfortable trip would take 5 days.

Live The Dream In Vancouver - Slideshow

Cath: What are some of your favourite things to do in the Vancouver area?

Davina: I like visiting the art shops on Granville Island and walking around the Stanley Park Seawall. When I worked downtown I liked to take a walk through Stanley Park on my lunch hour. I also enjoy just sitting outside having a coffee at a café, admiring the view. There is no shortage of restaurants to try out either.

Quite often during the summer I will take a short 20-minute ferry ride over to Bowen Island and go hiking. Every summer in Vancouver a Shakespeare Festival called Bard On The Beach runs from May until September. The stage and tents are set up near the beach. It is a real treat to take in a live show.

Cath: What’s your least favourite thing about living in Vancouver?

Davina: I’d have to say the weather in November and December. The daylight hours are short and dull, and that is when we get the most rainfall.

Cath: Housing costs in Vancouver seem high. Are there more reasonable places to live in the surrounding areas and which ones are the nicest?

Davina: Costs do seem to be higher. I don’t notice too much of a difference because I rent and those costs seem comparable to Toronto.

As far as I know, housing may be a bit more reasonable in places like Port Moody, Chilliwack, Port Coquitlam, Mission and Mapleridge, but you’re looking at about an hour’s drive to downtown Vancouver.

Other options would be places such as Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton; known as the Okanagan. These cities are about 4-5 hours drive from Vancouver and their climate is much different. The summers are hotter and drier and the winters are colder with snow, rather than rain.

Housing can be more affordable on some of the Gulf Islands such as Pender and Saturna, but again you would have to depend on the ferries to get to the mainland. You can find out more about the Gulf Islands at Gulf Islands Guide.

Cath: What is it like running a business in Vancouver? Do you get most of your clients online, or do you also get folk who live nearby?

Davina: It’s difficult for me to answer that because I’m just starting out. It depends on the business and the marketing efforts, but I honestly believe both methods could work equally well. I know someone who opened up a specialty rain gear store and she has been successful :).

Cath: Have you been to Vancouver Island? Is it nice? Is that a good place to live, or are some parts of it too far from the mainland?

Davina: I’ve been to Vancouver Island a few times. It is nice to visit but not my favourite spot. Most people like it though. It takes about 90 minutes on the ferry to reach the Island, and depending on where you live in Vancouver it can take up to 4 hours when you factor in the commute to the ferry terminal and from the ferry terminal to your destination on the Island.

Victoria draws more retired folk and the rest of the Island, from my understanding has a pretty slow pace of life. The cities are spaced farther apart and there seems to be less to do than on the mainland. It is a beautiful spot though, especially the west coast near Tofino. You can learn more at Tourism BC.

Cath: Is the public transport system good? Do they have cycle paths, or do most people drive?

Davina: I think the transit system is good, but then again, I hear a lot of complaints too. It is less convenient to take transit in North Vancouver as the buses run less frequently.

Most people drive. There are a lot of cycle paths; I live on one of them. A lot of people do cycle and walk to work. When I worked downtown I could walk to work in 45 minutes.

Cath: What advice would you give people who want to live the dream in Vancouver?

Davina: As was the case with myself, most people that come to visit end up moving here. A large percentage of Vancouverites are “implants” from Ontario.

I would recommend a person come and stay for a period to see what it’s like and to explore the surrounding areas. I have friend from Alabama who comes to stay every summer from July to October. She finds places to stay by searching online. A lot of folk leave the city for business or personal reasons and look for renters, so a person can find a nice place to stay for a couple of months if they are inclined.

Cath: As a life coach, what steps would you recommend folk to take, in deciding where they would like to live?

Davina: What I would suggest if a person were trying make a decision about where to live, is to focus on what location inspires them the most. Where are they drawn to be. That is their intuition guiding them.

What is their dream and why? It should inspire them from the heart in order to have it manifest.

Knowing why a person wants something is key because it carries more weight than knowing what they want.

They should ask very clear questions of themselves: Why do they want to move? Are they escaping or moving forward? If they are escaping their problems will just follow…

I’d like to thank Davina Haisell for agreeing to this interesting and inspiring interview.
Davina is a life coach based in Vancouver and she coaches clients from all over the world.

She specializes in coaching writers and artists exploring new avenues of inspiration; entrepreneurs with intent to clarify their business vision; those curious to explore and deepen the connection with their spiritual side and retirees who are expanding their lives in new directions.

You can read more about Davina’s life coaching services here.

Davina blogs at Loving Pulse and she also offers freelance copywriting, proofreading and editing services at Writer Sense.

Facts And Resources For Moving To & Living In Vancouver & The Rest Of Canada

My Immigration Consultant - Live The Dream - Step By Step Guide To Immigrating To Canada

1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die
Canadian Immigration Made Easy: How to Immigrate into Canada (All Classes) with Employment Search Strategies for Skilled Workers
Official Canada Immigration Site
Live The Dream - Starting A Business In Vancouver
Government of Canada Official Website
Living and Working in Canada, A Survival Handbook
The American in Canada: Real-Life Tax and Financial Insights into Moving and Living in Canada
Haunted: The Incredible True Story of a Canadian Family’s Experience Living in a Haunted House
Frommer’s Vancouver & Victoria 2008: with coverage of Whistler
Vancouver City Guide
Frommer’s Vancouver & Victoria 2009
The Essential Vancouver Island Outdoor Recreation Guide
Greater Vancouver Real Estate
Vancouver Tourism Official Site
Things To Do In Vancouver
Vancouver Facts
Vancouver on Wikipedia
Stuck In Canada - Raves & Rants Of An Immigrant
British Expats Forum - Canada Immigration
The Ultimate Adventure Guide To Vancouver Island
Average House Prices - Vancouver 2007 - $795,250
Average Salaries in Vancouver: Software Engineer - $54,046; Executive Assistant - $44, 331; Financial Controller - $80, 387.
Average Cost of Living Per Household in Vancouver 2006: Average rent - 2 bed apartment - $1084; Food - $7685 per annum; Transport - $10, 586.

Live The Dream In Beautiful British Columbia

More Live The Dream Interviews

Live The Dream In Silicon Valley

Related Reading

Entrepreneur Interview With Davina Haisell of Crimson Compass
Immigrating To Canada Or Australia - Pros and Cons
Immigrating - Choosing Where To Go
Is This The Ultimate Entrepreneurial Dream?

Image Credits

Vancouver: Jon Eben Field
View Of Vancouver from Grouse Mountain: Andrea
West Coast Vancouver Island: Gerry Thomasen

Would you like to live the dream in Vancouver, or anywhere else in the world? Or are you already living the dream somewhere?

If you’d like to be interviewed for the live the dream series, please email me at cath at with “Live The Dream” in the subject heading.

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10 Ways To Immortalize Yourself

December 12, 2008

There are heaps of ways to immortalize yourself, from grave robbing, to getting your body frozen. If you’re worried that folk will forget you when you die, check out these 10 tips to immortalize yourself and live forever.

1. Immortalize Yourself The Green Way

Have a tree planted in your name. Some trees last longer than others but most tend to live longer than people, with some living as long as 5000 years. So, choose your tree wisely. A Red Alder may only live for 100 years. But a Douglas Fir could live as long as 1500 years.

You can choose to have your tree planted in any US state, or tree planting country. And you can even give a gift certificate to family or friends, so they can have a tree planted in their name.

2. Write A Novel

Writing a great novel is a reliable way to immortalize yourself, so long as it stays in print. Don Quixote was written by Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century but it is still available from Amazon, even though Cervantes died in 1616. You can learn more about writing a novel in the Writers Bookstore.

3. Commit A Memorable Crime

They may not be remembered for honourable reasons but folk who have committed memorable crimes, are often immortalized. Burke and Hare snatched bodies from graves to sell to medical schools in Edinburgh. Then they got greedy and began strangling folk and selling their bodies.

Burke was hanged in 1829 and Hare died in 1858. But their story still lives. If you take a guided tour of Edinburgh, you’ll hear all about Burke and Hare. And Amazon sells various books and DVD’s based on the notorious crimimals.

4. Invent Something Remarkable

Inventors of remarkable things are remembered long after their deaths. Alexander Graham Bell died in 1869 but he will always be remembered as the inventor of the telephone. And although he died in 1931, Thomas Edison will never be forgotten, as the inventor of the light bulb and many other amazing objects.

5. Buy A Brick

To mark the millenium, Walt Disney World began selling leave a legacy tiles in Epcot and bricks with your name on, near the Magic Kingdom. Although the tiles and bricks have sold out now, you can bet they’ll be selling more, as soon as they need another walkway. They must have made a killing charging $225 a brick, for the last lot.

6. Get Your Body Frozen

The Cryonics Institute can inject your body to preserve it after death. They say the process causes minimal brain damage, which is useful, if medical technology enables you to be resurrected in the future. And if you’re terminally ill, for an extra charge, they can wait by your bedside and begin the process as soon as you pop your clogs.

7. Create a Family Tree And Put It Online

I began researching my ancestors last year, to start creating a family tree. And I’ve reached the point where I’m going to have to start visiting cemeteries. But you can save yourself some legwork by doing a bit of online research to begin with. The 1851 Census may be a good place to start.

8. Become A Famous Film Star

Famous film stars like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich are remembered long after their deaths. But don’t worry if you haven’t even had so much as a walk on scene, or a part in a commercial. The founder of one of Hollywood’s leading acting schools has produced The 7 Steps to Stardom - a two hour DVD which shows you how to get ahead in acting.

9. Become A Famous Entrepreneur

If you become a mega famous entrepreneur, you’ll be immortalized. Folk like Edison and Carnegie will never be forgotten and modern day entrepreneurs, like Richard Branson and Bill Gates will be remembered forever too.

10. Upload Your Mind

In the future, it may be possible to have your mind duplicated and uploaded to a manufactured device, or robot. You could even get this done before you die. Duplicating yourself would really cut down on your workload. Check out the Mind Uploading Homepage, if you’d like to learn more about this interesting way to immortalize yourself.

Would you like to immortalize yourself? Would you get your body frozen, or would you prefer to choose another way?

PS: This post was inspired by my mother - it’s her 59th birthday today. Happy Birthday Mum.

Related Reading On This Site

Three Business Ideas To Die For
Don’t Be Like The Women On The Titanic
The Everlasting Gift That Costs Nothing
Business Success Is Only A Deathbed Away

Related Reading On Other Sites

10 Reasons To Decide To Live Forever
Wikipedia - Immortality
Japanese Clone Frozen Mice
Immortality Will Be Possible By 2050

I’m Not A Bloody Fortune Teller But….

December 7, 2008

I can tell which new and aspiring business owners are going to be successful, by their attitude towards their business in the run up to Christmas. If you find yourself saying “bugger it” nobody buys my stuff at this time of year, so I’ll wind things down a bit - there’s a good chance that your little biz won’t be around this time next year.

Ok, if you’re not in retail, there may not be a huge demand for what you sell right now. But if that’s the case, you should be working flat out, so you can dazzle your customers at the beginning of January.

Christmas is just one day - so what’s the point in wasting weeks preparing for it? Will Jesus love you more, if you celebrate his birthday spending every spare hour shopping for crap and getting into a pile of debt? And is it really a good use of your time to spend hours wondering whether you should stick an onion, or stuffing up the turkey’s ass?

If you’re still nowhere near getting started on your new business, take advantage of some of this free business advice, sales and special offers and start 2009 with a bang. Here’s some ideas for you to consider, depending on your plans and what stage you’re at right now. And don’t waste time reading them all. Just go straight to the one that applies to you.

You Don’t Want To Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

In this economy, putting all your eggs in one basket is risky. If you want to be more cautious with your family’s income, you might want to diversify a bit.

Free Resource

How To Reduce Your Risk By Building Baskets - Would you rather have 100 baskets making you $10,000 dollars per year each, or one basket making you $1 million?

Cheap Fix

Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth - I’ve referred to this book many times, over the last few years. It’s an excellent paperback book, with great ideas for creating several income streams, to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.


The Online Business School
introductory offer ends at the end of the day on Monday 8th December. And the course price goes up from $197 to $397. You’ll learn six different ways to make money online and create multiple streams of income.

But don’t enrol on this course if you’re hoping to earn a fast buck overnight. You’ll learn some sound ways to make money online but you’ll have to get off your butt and do some serious work. So, if you think this is the course for you and you’re prepared to work hard, don’t be a plonker and pay double in January. Jump off the fence now and get yourself enrolled on the Online Business School.

Can’t Motivate Yourself To Get Off Your Ass And Do Something?

Are you not particularly self motivated? Or is it just the cold and miserable weather that’s flattening your enthusiasm and making you drag your heels?

Free Resources

The Only Two Secrets To Motivating Yourself You’ll Ever Need - 1) make things enjoyable and 2) use positive public pressure. But read on for more on how to use those two things to motivate yourself for any goal.

Is Fear Stunting Your Growth? - If we don’t try new things, we don’t push beyond our comfort zone and we get stuck in a rut. It might be a comfortable rut, but it’s still a rut.

Cheap Fix

Becoming An Early Riser: Great book on motivating yourself to get your ass out of bed early and get all those things done, that you’ve been putting off.


And if you can’t motivate yourself to get off your ass and do anything, I noticed that Tim Brownson is having a Christmas sale. You get 4 whip cracking, 1 hour sessions with him for $249, instead of $349. And just to make sure you’re not one of those folk who gets offended by his British humour - he’ll give you a free, thirty minute taster session.

If You Can’t Come Up With A Good Business Idea

Are you struggling to come up with a good business idea? Maybe you just need something to inspire you, or a bit of guidance on how to find the business idea that’s right for you.

Free Resources

Inside Out Approach To Entrepreneurship: Find The Niche - If you have been doing what everyone else wants you to do, you may have forgotten what you love to do. Here’s how to find out.

27 Ways To Fuel Your Imagination & Come Up With Great Ideas
- To succeed in business, you also need to do activities that will fuel your imagination and enable you to come up with great ideas.

Cheap Fix

How to Make Millions with Your Ideas: An Entrepreneur’s Guide - This is another cheap paperback that I’ve referred to heaps over the years. If you can’t come up with at least one good idea after reading this book, there’s no hope for you.


If you want to start up a new business and you want help figuring out which type of business is right for you, check out Tom Volkar’s Authentic Business Discovery Course. The next one runs in January, so you’ll need to get your name down as it books up fast.

You Want To Start A Blog For Your Business But You Don’t Have A Clue Where To Begin

Free Resources

The Top Ten E-Commerce Blogging Tips To Skyrocket Sales - This is “must know” advice for folks in e-commerce.
The Power of Blogging For Business Without A Business: If you didn’t even launch your business yet, it may be better to start a blog first.

Cheap Fix

The 8 Week Power Blog Launch: This course will tell you exactly how to launch and build a successful blog. If you’re quite new to blogging, or you don’t have a blog yet, this will give you a head start. I’ve been blogging daily for 19 months now, but there were things in here that I didn’t even know about. And you don’t have to do it over 8 weeks - I know people who have got through the course far faster.


Remarkable Blog Consulting & Coaching:
Get expert live, one on one help with everything, from setting up your business blog, to using SEO and social media to drive traffic. Michael Martine is a great guy and he really knows what he’s talking about. Learn more and check out what his clients are saying about him.* Michael has kindly offered a 10% discount to al my readers.

You’re Not Sure What You Want To Do With Your Life At All

Free Resources

How To Figure Out What You Want In Life
- Life is incredibly complex. It is filled with infinite possibilities limited only by our creative ability and courage. Do you perhaps want a family and to buy a house? Or do you want to travel, see the world and meet all manner of different people?

How To Discover Your Life Purpose In About 20 Minutes - How do you discover your real purpose in life? I’m not talking about your job, your daily responsibilities, or even your long-term goals. I mean the real reason why you’re here at all — the very reason you exist.

Start 2009 With A Bang: Create A Life List - As a 15-year-old John sat down and wrote out a list of 127 adventures he aimed to accomplish before he died. Since then he’s accomplished about 111 of those goals, which include things such as climbing the world’s tallest mountains, exploring the world’s greatest rivers, reading the complete works of Shakespeare, flying a plane, and visiting every country in the world.

Cheap Fix

Unfolding Your Dreams for Success: Discover What You Really Want To Do In Life, And Get ANY Job You Want! - Expand Your Mind And Make An Impact! Great book on knowing what you want in life and how to get it.


If you have ambitions to be a writer, artist, or entrepreneur, or you’ve just come up against a brick wall in life and you feel stuck, let Davina Haisell help you onto the right path. She’s a professional life coach and she’s currently offering special deals on one on one coaching. And you can also get a free 30 minute taster session, to ensure her service is right for you.

You Suck At Selling Yourself And Your Business

If you’re no good at selling yourself and your business, it’s not the end of the world. Well - it isn’t, so long as you learn how to do it properly. And whether you’re a business owner, a writer, or a one legged lap dancer, these resources can help.

Free Resources

Learn To Sell Yourself:
Tim Brownson’s, no shit article on why you need to learn to sell yourself, no matter how amazing your product or service is.

17 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd
- Number 6 - Make Yourself Lucky: How many times do you hear someone say, “She was just in the right place at the right time.” It’s irritating isn’t it? The truth is, if you put yourself in plenty of places, you’ll eventually wind up in the right place at the right time too - it has nothing to do with luck.

Cheap Fix

Check out my business bookstore, for some of my favourite paperback books on sales.


If you have a willingness to learn and a desire to improve, Brad Shorr can help and he really knows his stuff. You can find out what Brad can do for your and your business here. And you can read his excellent blog right here.

Image Credit: Matthew

Did Black Friday Steal All Your Visitors?

November 28, 2008

Did Black Friday steal all your visitors to your blog, or website, or your home even? This blog has been deathly quiet.

I thought the day following Thanksgiving would be busy. But nobody told me about Black Friday and we don’t have it here in the UK. So I thought, bugger it, if the rest of the Internet is dead, I’m still going to read, instead of shopping. Mind you, I did come across one great deal while I was browsing but I’ll tell you about it in a minute.

First off, I found this amazing video on Twitter, thanks to Rebecca Leigh, the smart fresh freelance writer. You really need to see it for yourself to understand it: Invest In A Girl And She Will Do The Rest.

Then I found this awesome free ebook by Joanna Young - Asking Questions For A Change: How To Ask Purposeful Questions. It’s a must read for anyone who blogs or uses social media. See, I told you browsing the Internet was better than shopping. I bet none of the stores were actually giving stuff away today.

After that, I found something that kind of pissed me off. You see, I’ve been coveting the amazing Thesis Blog Theme for ages. Don’t get me wrong, the Revolution Theme is great. It’s just, the Thesis theme seems to be able to do almost everything, aside from writing the blog posts for you.

Changing my theme right now, is really too much hassle - no matter how much I want to. But just to make me feel even worse, they’re having a one day sale on the Thesis Theme today, for Black Friday. They’re giving a 20% discount and if you’re thinking of upgrading your blog theme, you can check out the thesis live demo page here.

And if you still have a free theme and you haven’t been thinking about upgrading your blog, it’s something you should seriously consider. The number of repeat visitors I get to this blog, has soared, since Men With Pens customized the Revolution Theme for me earlier this year.

Talking of Men With Pens, James has written a great post today that will help you make more money, so you can afford that customized theme. He’s not talking about robbing banks, he’s telling you - How To Increase Your Rates For The New Year.

And if your life is shit - or even worse than shit, I know somebody who can help. She’s certainly helped me already. Davina of Loving Pulse is telling us - When Fear Closes In Take Action.

Have you been having a quiet Black Friday? Did you find something interesting to keep you occupied instead of trudging round the shops?

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