Saturday, 2 February 2019

Big Changes: We're Moving

     I have some news that has been weighing on us for some time. 4 1/2 years ago we moved out here to Kitimat, British Columbia for a change of pace, a new job for me, and the fishing. Chad and I had both been living in big cities for the past couple years and were feeling jaded by the state of humanity in our day-to-day interactions with the general public. I know that lots of people love the anonymity of a big city, but there is something about living in a place with 2 million other people that ends up feeling like the loneliest place on earth for me. We needed a break, some space from large populations, and a chance to be closer to outdoor recreation. I had studied northern rural communities in my masters program so it just made sense that we aim for somewhere in northern Canada. I applied everywhere, from Goosebay, Labrador to Mayo in the Yukon Territory (5 hours north of Whitehorse).

     The first two years were nothing short of really tough. Small communities (Kitimat's population is around 8,000-10,000) are amazing, but it can be tough to meet people who already have their families, friends, and niche community. We hung out with just each other for an entire two years. Our relationship grew and we spent more time outdoors and in the mountains than we thought possible. Chad caught the salmon he had dreamed of, started school to become a paramedic, joined search and rescue, and got into some serious alpine. We eventually made the best group of friends of our life to date and through these connections saw more of the northwestern BC wilderness as well as getting out onto the ocean for halibut, crab, bigger salmon, and ling cod. Chad got to do some diving in the pacific ocean with friends as well, catching crab by hand. We had some serious ups and downs, and made memories that are going to be so hard to move away from.

     And here we are 4 1/2 years later married, with a baby, and another one on the way packing up all of our worldly possessions (mostly baby things) and heading back to Ontario. It's amazing how having kids changes your focus and priorities. We want and need to be closer to family. It's also time for Chad to pursue his work in timberframing. So we've reluctantly started our good byes with friends, made plans with family back in Ontario for our arrival, and started packing.

Here's our plan for moving back across the country in case anyone else is in a similar circumstance and is just starting to figure it out.

    After looking at freight or shipping costs for moving, and considering the work Chad will be doing in Ontario, we decided it made the best sense to buy an 8' x 16' cargo trailer. Not cheap, but the cost would've been similar to higher movers and pay for storage on the other end until we find a house that suits us. At least we get a cargo trailer out of the deal at the end of it and no storage fees in Ontario.

     It feels so huge, but I'm starting to see now that it makes sense. We will then drive from Kitimat to Edmonton making overnight stops in Smithers, Prince George, Jasper, and finally Edmonton where we will stay and visit with family living there for a weekend. We won't be driving more than 3 hours a day with Eli since that's about as much car patience as he can hold onto.  My mom and Chad's dad are flying out to Edmonton to meet us. My mom will fly back to Ontario with Eli and I. Chad and his dad will drive across the Prairies and through Ontario to meet us in southern Ontario. We will stay with my parents for a while until the dust settles and we find a house. Then we will move again, but definitely not as far.

     Packing up and moving is not easy with a baby or so I've heard, but Eli has been such a trooper. Hanging out in his car seat in the shop below where we live while we sort and pack up all our belongings. I expect that the week or so of hotel rooms will be tough on the little guy, but he's pretty well travelled for his age, and thus the least of my worries at the moment. I keep telling myself that Eli and hotel rooms is future Katie's worries. I'll definitely do a post a little later on actually moving with a baby and what worked best for us.

     And this move isn't all sad. We are excited to be close to family again, to see them at holidays, for Eli to get all the cuddles in with family. It'll also be nice to have family resources closer than 2 flights and approximately 12 hours of travelling time door to door. Also, as much as BC is stunning and so rich in recreation (especially where we live), I love Ontario dearly and am looking forward to the recreation there. Even if it doesn't include mountains and ocean. I'm a lakes girl at heart anyways.

If you have any tips for a cross country move, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. We'll take all the help we can get.

- Katie


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