I recently moved from the south, at the 34th parallel or what you may know as Sydney, Australia. With an average yearly temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius and a population of 4.8 million (a city population greater then all of the residents of British Columbia) I made the leap to the north. When I do things I do them big! I moved to beautiful British Columbia, Canada…no not Vancouver or Victoria as many asked me when I was moving, but to the 56th parallel, an “Energetic City” of 20,000, Fort St. John.
Explaining this move to my Sydney friends and family was difficult on many levels as none of them were aware there were any communities so far north (or what they think is far north, as we all know there are other territories and many cities further north). They could not understand why people would want to live that far north. “Isn’t it really cold?” was the frequently asked question. Yes, I would answer it does get cold in the winter, but it is also hot in the summer…obviously they haven’t heard of four seasons! I tried a different route…did you know Fort St. John has 304 days of sunshine annually – an improvement over the 236 days of sunshine in Sydney, they still ended up mumbling something about the cold and we left it at that.
After several months of explaining where I was going, what I was doing and most importantly why I was doing this, amongst packing, organizing and attending farewell breakfast, lunch and dinners I was very tired and full, but most importantly ready to go. As I sat in the airplane the notion of what was happening started to sink in. I started contemplating if I just made a horrible mistake, but then I quickly realized that this will be an interesting change, a new adventure and most importantly a white Christmas!
To get the story straight I spent the last, or maybe arguably the best of my last, 8 years in Australia. I went backpacking, fell in love and ended up tormenting my parents by living 15 hours by direct flight away from them. So, they were overjoyed when I told them I was coming home. For a couple years now my sister has been living in Fort St. John, so instead of going back to my roots of Williams Lake, I decided to move further north to be closer to her…my parents can always come visit (at least now I am only an 8 hour drive away!). So, I arrived early June found a place to live…three doors down from my sister of course, got a job and here I am, approximately 14,000km and countless hours later. I can’t wait to explore Fort St. John and the rest of the North Peace! Did I mention I love to travel and explore?! Did I also mention that I dragged my Australian husband on this crazy adventure with me…lucky guy…doesn’t know what he has gotten himself into!
BYE SYDNEY! HELLO FORT ST. JOHN!