This September marks the seventh anniversary of my move to from Calgary to B.C., and on July 28, I finally became a citizen of this lovely province.
I left for Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops in September 2008, and I haven’t looked back since.
Life at TRU was incredible. I obtained a degree, completed four years of college baseball and developed life-long friendships.
Once I started university, I rarely visited Calgary. I would spend a week at Christmas and a week at the start and end of summer back home.
This past August long weekend, my parents camped for a week at the North Thompson Provincial Park campground. I joined them for four days of rafting, swimming, canoeing, fishing and had plenty of time to catch up while tuning them at some cribbage.
My parents miss me a lot back in Calgary. They are empty nesters now after my sister graduated from the University of Victoria and remained on the Island.
Around the campsite one night, my mom recalled a quote I said the day she dropped me off at the New Residence building.
“Relax, mom. It’s not like I’m never going to move back to Calgary,” I said.
I was trying to reassure her as she was crying because her oldest child was about to start university.
Well, I guess I was wrong. It was never my intention to stay out here, it just kind of happened.
As the years passed, and I grew further and further away from Calgary, I had a hard time staying connected with people from high school. Other than a best friend and my family, there wasn’t too much to pull me back to Cow Town.
I was having too much fun at college. The fun police should have arrested me multiple times.
It was a completely different experience living on your own at 17. I loved the freedom and my new location.
Growing up in Calgary, the big city feel was wearing on me. There was too much traffic and the crowds were irritating.
I spent the summer of 2010 in Melville, Sask. playing for the Millionaires in a town of 4,500 people. That was too small; the beer store closed at 8 p.m. I needed something in the middle.
Kamloops was a perfect size at 85,000 people.
Kamloops has a lot in common with Vernon and they are both great places to live.
There is just enough trouble to be found on the weekends with their small downtown scenes, they are great sports towns and they have plenty of rivers and lakes for summer hangouts.
Working for the time being in Vernon, life on the lake is where it’s at. I walk down to Kin Beach every day after work to cool off and relax.
You just can’t beat a summer in the Interior. I love waking up, driving to work at 8 a.m. with the top down and it’s 22 degrees outside.
July was one of the busiest months I’ve had outside of the office. I went camping, skydiving, white water rafting, fishing, boating, hiking and off-roading. There are too many summer activities and not enough weekends.
Not only do the summers rock, but the winters don’t suck.
Believe it or not, I found the winter to be too short this year. I wanted a longer ski season!
I’m not a big future planner, but I like where I am at now. Sure the job situation could be better in Alberta, but I’m going to try and make something happen out here.
The only thing missing from my life is a permanent job in the Interior. I got the rest of my life to work, something will turn up. I am not too worried about it.
I’m glad I’ve decided to live the post-university-mid-20s phase out here in beautiful B.C.
Who knows, maybe one day my parents and that one stubborn best friend in Calgary will move out here and enjoy the greatest province in Canada.