Editor’s note: The Chief asked on Facebook for stories of locals who made big life changes due to COVID-19. This is one story that was sent in.
I planned to move from Ottawa to Peterborough on May 1, so in November 2019, I had put all my stuff into storage except my golf clubs and a carry-on suitcase and headed south for the winter.
Mid-March, I still had six sunny weeks of golfing left in Palm Springs when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was closing the border and flights were being cancelled. I was among the two million snowbirds who freaked out and tried to fly home that week.
Every seat east to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal were gone. I found the last seat to Vancouver and then checked my timeshares and found I had one in Whistler, so booked it for two weeks.
I arrived to a deserted village and a surprised hotel manager who said they were closing the next day and wouldn’t be honouring my reservation. I called every person of authority I could think of. In the morning, she said I could stay for the two weeks. I think no one wanted a homeless person in shorts dragging golf clubs around the village.
She was great and gave me a sweater and coat from her husband, so I spent mornings wandering Lost Lake trails and the village. It was like a private resort; so beautiful I decided on the spot to stay.
I found a house share for April with a great couple from the U.K. Their ex-roommate had left her car so I bought it and could finally drive to Squamish to buy a laptop and a pair of jeans. I discovered how great Squamish was, and so found a place here on May 1. Through the amazing Squamish Facebook groups, I scrounged everything else I needed to live, and an outlet to post my dry wit. I’ve been volunteering, golfing, and working happily every day since. My new forever home, all because of the pandemic. Let go and let God, as they say.