OPINION: Finding my place in Squamish

Squamish can be a transient place, between climbers dirtbagging in vans all season to weekend warriors clogging the Sea to Sky as they escape the city by hitting the slopes of Whistler. I get it. You’re used to seeing new faces.

I won’t be yet another new face, at least not for long. You might see me on the Stawamus Chief, but also in the pages of The Chief, as I help share the news and capture everyday life in Squamish.

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This won’t be the first mountain town I’ve lived in. After spending most of my life by the ocean on the East Coast, I set my sights on the west after graduating from the University of King’s College in Halifax. First, I spent a summer farther east working as a CBC radio reporter in Newfoundland, before the mountains called and I moved to Banff. In Canada’s first national park, I helped develop podcasts for an arts centre and later wrote for a travel magazine.

Then I visited Squamish for the first time.

Here, I was in awe of the community nestled where the ocean meets the mountains.

Clearly, this was the best of both worlds. As a friend’s dad gave me the grand tour, we hiked to boulders and spotted bald eagles, and he shared some advice: Find a place that makes you happy and the rest will fall in place.

I’ve been thinking about this wisdom ever since, as I moved to B.C. to work for newspapers in Prince Rupert and Victoria. After more than a year of island life, I’m ready to reunite with winter — at least for part of the year.

I knew I was nearing Squamish on my drive from Victoria — with all of my worldly possessions packed in my car, not quite #vanlife style — when the snow started hitting my windshield. My first purchase in town was a shovel, although my new coworkers have informed me that sometimes the rain washes it away before shovelling is complete. It’s one of the many things I have yet to learn about this community. From covering SLRD to the school board and the news as it happens, as well as exploring outside on my downtime, I can’t wait to share what I find out.

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