Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why we stay

I'm trying to organize my first real curling bonspiel this weekend. I've helped with plenty of others, but this one is mostly me and one other person. It's good for me, getting practice organizing a big event. Still, the number of last minute changes and other things that are driving me insane. Trying to keep everyone happy and make sure they have a good time is proving to be a fool's quest, I suspect. Still, I hope things go well. For most people this is their last event of the season. Be nice to send them off on a high note.

Anyway, this post isn't just about curling. I actually had two posts in the comment section over the past few days that I wanted to address. The first came from an anonymous poster in the thread about the cost of groceries. And the question was: "So. Long time lurker, now looking for the reason you live there...."

I'm sure I've touched on this in the Moving to Iqaluit FAQ, but it's probably worth mentioning again. Seriously, you don't notice the cost of groceries up here after a month. There's that exquisite first time you walk into NorthMart or Arctic Ventures and nearly have a stroke. After that, you honestly don't notice. At least we haven't. Look, you have to eat, your options are limited. Food mail is a hit or miss notion at the best of times. And yes, you can stock up on food when you travel out and bring it back with you, but that only gets you so far.

You have to buy it, so deal and move on.

I can talk about the financial positives of living up here. That if you're married, and don't have kids, and you're not an idiot with your money you can live a great life. Certainly living here as opposed to being in St. John's has meant better opportunities for us. We would have never gotten to Australia, Italy, California and the Caribbean if not for our time in Nunavut. We might have bought a house in Newfoundland, but I think it would have been a much greater struggle.

But that's all very practical and almost...soulless. This is closer to the real reason we stay.

These were all taken within minutes from our house. I wake up in the morning, pull back the blinds in the living room and most days there is a brilliant sun lighting up the bay and hills. It's a brilliant white I've never managed to capture accurately on my digital camera.

It just zens me out like few places do. This has been a pretty stressful last six months or more for us. There have been more than a few rocky days. However, any day I feel that way, or Cathy does, all it takes is a few minutes in the living room, with the daylight streaming in and the view to look at and we chill out.

I think that's why we stay. We've been to a lot of cool places. But Iqaluit relaxes us. It's not for everybody, obviously. People can burn out quickly because of the isolation, the cold, the daylight or whatever. However, we've been here five years. If we didn't love the place, if it didn't appeal to some part of us, we would have been gone.

So there you go. Long winded, but it's why we stay.

Next up, why I'm so cautious talking about Iqaluit on the blog.

last Five
1. Icky thump - The White Stripes
2. Goodbye is all we have (live) - Allison Krauss and Union Station
3. Strange weather (live) - Tom Waits
4. Goodnight Saigon - Billy Joel*
5. Bandages - Hot Hot Heat


Megan said...

Why is it OK to ask people why they stay in the north, but not OK to ask people why they live in Toronto or Calgary or Boston?

Nancy Crozier said...

The first photograph alone is worth a thousand words. I sat here and said to myself, "Of course."

Way Way Up said...

Funny that when I lived on the north coast of Baffin Island I was always asked "why the heck would you want to live in a place like that?" and now that I live an house out of Fort McMurray, I have yet to be asked why I would want to live here, even though Arctic Bay had 2 stores and a nursing station and Janvier is essentially just a collection of houses bordering a reserve.

The Perfect Storm said...

"but not OK to ask people why they live in Toronto or Calgary or Boston?"

How so?

Personally it's where the work is that I do.

I'd love to live in Iqaluit (actually tried winning a bid that was part of the reason for stumbling onto norther blogs in the first place). Problem is, the most available work is in the GTA. Ergo, that is why I live in the area.

On a separate note: here is something that deserves at least one blog entry:

Why are bloggers male?


Northern Chirp said...

Well put, Townie. I loved Iqaluit and have missed it since moving back south in September. And I keep asking myself now, "why do I live in Toronto now anyway?" There are challenges about living in the north (especially in the eastern arctic) but that is more than offset by the many great things about living there ....