I was just taking a peek at how many views my latest blog post has received when I realized I forgot to talk about the fourth and final place that I have called 'home'. FERNIE!!! I can't believe I forgot about my most favourite place in the world. Maybe subconsciously, that was me thinking that I need to dedicate an entire blog to the tiny little British Columbia town .. so I'll just ramble on a little bit more than I would have in my previous post. (Oh, and happy Wednesday!)
I've probably mentioned this a thousand and one times but hey! What's one more time? Ever since high school, I've basically had one goal: spend a season living out west snowboarding. From January to April last year, that's what I did. I moved all by my lonesome out to this town I had never even heard of until I decided to move there. I know that doesn't sound like it makes much sense, but that's why it's exciting. I just really wanted to pick where I was going to spend my winter so I could start looking for a job (never got one, and was the ultimate ski bum) and where I would live (spent a total of two nights in the hostel before finding a house.. thank goodness, cause hostels are not my thing, I learned)
There are some people that you can just plop somewhere by themselves and they'll just make friends. This is not me. Sure, I'm outgoing and friendly, but making friends.. making that initial move, not my style. So I was lucky to live in a house that was renting out two rooms. Enter Jackson, my little Aussie brother.. except he is a thousand feet tall, so even though he is four (or five?) years younger than me... he calls me Kiddo cause I am lacking height. A friend! Someone to watch bad television shows with and go on late night Fernie adventures with (this includes shooting off fireworks). Yay, roomies!
Hmm.. how else do you make friends when you are in an unfamiliar place? Sports! That's an obvious answer, especially in a ski town where everyone is pretty physically active. Prior to my arrival in Fernie, I was in contact with a registered kinesiologist and we arranged that we would meet when I got into town and I would work for her. Well, we all know I never ended up working (didn't have my CSEP, but that's a whole other story about how people can be very inconsiderate......) but I did get invited to play 30+ women's soccer (with the exception of a few of us 20+ers). So literally, my third night in Fernie, I was playing soccer. I realize it has been a huge part of my life, but really, I never thought I would play that winter! I got to play with a great bunch of women (can you call people who are mothers anything else?) including .. get this .. one from Winnipeg who played Bisons soccer and graduated two years before I got there. Talk about a small world. In case you didn't figure it out... sometimes, one friend leads to more friends! Lots of people for me to ride with, so I was pleased.
Okay, I made friends another way. Hitchiking. Seriously! That's how I got out to the mountain every day during the week. There's a special spot where people wait to go up to the mountain, I swear it's legit. Well, one day, I'm just waiting for a ride and there is another girl waiting and we start talking and exchange phone numbers (I didn't initiate that, but Cathe, I'm sure glad you did!!!!!!) and then next thing you know we are out riding the next day together with a few others. Many of my snowboarding friends were French, so I was also super lucky that I got to practice the language ... not that I am any good at it now, two years later!! I guess saying it's a snowball effect is super cheesy and lame given the circumstances (winter in a ski town) but that's literally what happened.
Let's just wrap this into a big friendship circle .. one of my best childhood friends, Alana, was living in Calgary for the same four months I was living in Fernie. So, in those four months, we spent more time together (either in Fernie or Calgary) than we had in the past four years of university! No matter how near or far you are from your friends, making the most out of the time you are able to share together is what matters most! Interestingly enough, Jordan, the skatchy girl who inspired the first of these two blog posts lives in Calgary too... so even though we hadn't seen each other in years - when I was in Calgary, we made sure to see each other!
Fernie holds such a special place in my heart and I'm glad I was able to experience it with ew friends (and Alana) :) One of the biggest things I took away from my adventure west, was that I really wished every single person could have the same great experience that I did, in whatever they love - having a dream and making it come true on my own terms is one of the best things I have ever done. (Second best thing I have ever done is probably the mani/pedi I treated myself to two Fridays ago immediately after I was done my summer grass maintenance job).
Dream big dreams!