It’s with mixed emotions that I write this column — a composition I’ve come to think of as something of a love letter to Whistler.
While it’s not a “Dear John” kind of love letter, it is a goodbye. But let’s think of it as more of a “farewell for now…”, OK?
You see, after six years in Whistler and working at The Question it’s time to move on. My Main Squeeze and I are off on an exciting adventure to teach ESL in Asia.
And suddenly, after years of watching good friends leave Whistler, the farewell party is for us.
People come and go from Whistler all the time, and there’s nothing terribly extraordinary about that. It’s a resort, after all.
But make no mistake, beloved Whistler: My time here has been wonderfully memorable and life changing. It’s not a goodbye I’m saying lightly.
So how do you begin to sum up six years of life in about 600 words? I’ll do my best to do it justice.
When I first moved here the World Ski and Snowboard Festival was in full swing, and I’ve come to think of that kick-off as setting the tone for the years to come. Not that I partied my face off for six years, but it has been a fabulous time full of awesome experiences.
As a result, one of the things living in Whistler has instilled in me is a desire to collect memorable experiences — instead of possessions — in this adventure called life. It’s amazing how much your perspective can change when you’re a 90-minute drive from the nearest mall.
The wonderful, exciting and enriching experiences are far to many to list, but some of the highlights include discovering new and awesome musical talents (Matt Andersen, anyone?) at countless Whistler Arts Council shows, finding out that food can be art at decadent Cornucopia winemaker dinners, experiencing joy in voicing beautiful harmonies with the Whistler Singers choir, the unmatched vibe in the Village during the Olympics and catching a few minutes of solitude and fresh snow on a bluebird day on the mountains. Who knew that this city girl would actually come to enjoy skiing?
Heck, there were even a few “exciting” Whistler Council meetings along the way that taught me a thing or two about the importance of civic engagement.
Of course, I’d be remiss not to thank Whistler for giving me my wonderful husband, Jeff. The wonderful memories of our courtship and early married life are inextricably tied to this place.
Yes, there were some hardships along the way too, and the frustrations that sometimes come along with being a member of the local media. Some faithful readers will recall that I’ve broached some of those issues in The Question’s opinion pages over the years.
But reflecting on the last six years, the lasting and overarching sentiment is one of gratitude.
I know I am incredibly blessed to have been given the honour and responsibility of telling some of the community’s stories. It has been a rewarding privilege.
More than any of the cultural offerings, culinary delights and recreational breakthroughs, though, it’s the people of Whistler that make this town a place I want to call home. I’ve often marveled at the truly incredible people who are drawn here, and the many ways they grab onto life with both hands and don’t let go.
It’s much more than the pursuit of powder and adventure. Whistlerites are ready and willing to help each other out, and they get passionately involved in issues that mean something to them.
Thank you to all who have let me be part of your lives, whether for a single interview, an ongoing professional relationship, a lasting friendship or something in between. I am truly grateful to have known you.
And I will miss you — but I’ll be back.
Even though I’ve lived in other places longer than here, Whistler is home and we plan to return.
Until then, keep collecting awesome memories and taking care of each other.