Friday, August 1, 2008

Why the Yukon.

YukonChatterBug did a posting the other day about how she ended up here in the Yukon and she asked other bloggers to give their story.

I have always loved being in the north. I grew up on farms in northern BC and never did like being in town. I was always reading novels about living in the Arctic and the Yukon and dreamed about moving farther north. I spent 6 years in University; first for a BSc in Wildlife Biology (where I was secretly in love with plants) and then a 12 month BEd program specializing in high school science. I had always thought I would work more in research, but when the BC government hacked the jobs there in my fourth year, I decided I needed a back up plan so I went for the education degree.

I married Matthew right after I was done school. He had already been out working in northern Alberta nursing for two years. I convinced him that we should move to the NWT for work. Lucky for me, I have a really easy going hubby who is employable anywhere! So north of 60 we went.

Our first year in Hay River I did a contract for adult education, guarded at a young offenders facility, and subbed. Subbing is where I learned I actually dislike kids in a school setting! But I loved the adult education work. Our second year I was hired as an instructor for Aurora College there. It was a great year and I had a lot of prospects to continue with the college there. But I got itchy feet. Matt took a 6 week course in Yellowknife about northern nursing and met the nurse in charge in Kugluktuk. Again- easy going husband with a bit of harassment allowed us to move there. So we were on to our second Territory and now north of the arctic circle.

We bought a house before we moved up there and that turned out to be one of our best investments. Matt worked at the nursing station there and I was hired as the Community Adult Educator for Nunavut Arctic College. Mainly I worked by myself as the instructor for the adult ed. program, did all admin work, and worked at finding funding for other projects. Matt and I both sat on numerous volunteer groups and boards. It was so nice to be busy and involved in the community! Our first year flew by and we learned a lot. I was pregnant our second year in Nunavut and it was rough. I was super emotional and very sick the whole time. Matt was also getting very burned out his second year. Into our third year we had Hunter and came to the conclusion we needed to move. We were both burned out from the problems in our community. If you don't have jobs on the front line up north (rcmp, teachers, nurses), I don't think you would understand what it is like. If we had had some easy peasy job where you don't see the social issues in your face everyday, I believe we would still be there.

So last winter I started thinking about where to go next. Matt said this next move would be pretty permanent, so I really needed to think of where I would be happiest. The Yukon seemed the best option. We had roads, we were closer to my family, small communities still with amenities, etc. So here we are! We chose Faro because we both knew we couldn't handle a bigger town and there is pretty much nil for a crime rate here.

People say we are lucky to live here. I don't think luck has anything to do with. We made choices in our lives that would allow us to be happy and be together as a family. I chose not to pursue a career in wildlife- or plants (I was offered a very nice career path here that I decided not to take). I have seen others do this and it seems to take at least 10 years for them to get on their feet in a solid career. For many people it takes longer. I was not ready for that. I wanted to be a mom, so I made my choice. I have a job now that allows me to be at home with my son, and Matt is working a much more relaxing job and he gets much more quality time home with Hunter. We have chosen to live in a town with less amenities than others in the Yukon- but in return we feel very safe here- and our house was super duper cheap!

Wow. That is pretty long. But that is a bit about where we have been and how we ended up here. I feel more at home in the Yukon that I ever did in the NWT or Nunavut. This is the end of our fifth year north of 60. Doubt I would ever live south again.

ps. I love being a stay at home mom- but even I get frustrated!! I have started calling Hunter by his Inuinnaqtun name of Tulugak (Raven). He has been such a pest yesterday and today. He must be part Raven under his little human skin.


Currie Clan said...

Haha Wow I havent read your guys' blog in a hugely long time! Its nice to see you are all doing well we miss you lots as ever!

Anonymous said...

Ok I didn't know you were the Yukonchatterbug. Hilarious. Another blogger just down the street!

Anonymous said...

Nope Violet, she's not the Yukonchatterbug, I am, but that's ok, you can come for the BBQ too! :) Now I bet you're really confused!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's quite the story. It's more of a bio. It's crazy what we learn about people. I don't know if I could live in a small community like Faro. Whitehorse is the smallest place I've ever lived in.

And with your plant knowledge, I wish I would've known you the first time I tried to go berry picking in the Yukon.

Thanks for sharing!

Aida said...

quite a story and say hi to tulugak!!lol

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are beautiful. Could be postcards for sure.

Shelley said...

I don't miss trees until I see pictures of them. Wow. Nice holiday!