Guest Blog: Julia Ellis-Hale

Tonight's blog comes from our friend Julia. Julia, a recent Calgary habitant, compares moving to Calgary to blind dates. From the initial meet and greet to beginning to become familiar, Julia takes us through her trials and tribulations of being the new girl in town. 

Please read and enjoy! 

Calgary was the blind date to end all blind dates. No introduction through a mutual friend, no checking their Facebook or Instagram for shared interests, no casual meeting or small talk.

Fortunately for me, Calgary is turning out to be one of the most successful choices in my life. Despite how terrifying the decision to move was, its newness, it’s raw and built beauty, its drive and determination, and its people continue to captivate me. From Calgary’s mountainous frame to its instant ‘homey-ness’, it has notched out a cozy spot in my heart.

Like the start of any new relationship, there was a whole lot of uncertainty, and admittedly a pretty steep learning curve. I’ve realized, just like discovering a new person, figuring out a brand new city is as thrilling as it is daunting, with a large portion of that being the fear of the unknown. That said, the unknown is usually what draws you in in the first place.


Having an ounce of familiarity on that first date is what makes the awkward encounter so much easier. For me, swimming has always been a part of my life, and being able to pack up and take that with me provided a bit of comfort. Being a member of the University of Calgary Varsity Swim Team has given me a community, and a family.

Finding your niche in a new place is all about finding your people and the team is very much my people. They have given me the freedom to explore and embrace Calgary. The city’s togetherness and resilience and its infamous frigid winters give it that bit of grit that makes it both charming and impressive. How could you not love a city like this, especially when its people are filled with kindness and compassion.


For me, living in a city has always been about more than simply being another face in a crowd. It been about being involved in something larger than myself, finding my people, and giving more than I have received. At first, I came to Calgary as a student athlete, a swimmer, but as I have fallen in love with this city, it has shown me that there’s more out there than the label I came here with. This city bleeds togetherness and community, something you just can’t help but want to be a part of. I’m thrilled to represent a company that lives and breathes this attitude, and helps me make this blind date a permanent thing.

Back to Kathleen here! If you are someone you know would like to be a guest blogger on our blog drop us a line! Chat at chaaa next week Calgary - stay local! 

Special thanks to Gabriel Fiorenzano from @travellinglenses for the photos. To see more of his work check out

If you feel like reading more have a look at my personal blog ‘That Awkward Dating Moment’ and if you’re already lurkin’ on social media follow me on Instagram @kathleensmiles_