I’m approaching the three month mark of living in Whistler and having somewhere to call home. I was unsure how I would feel about no longer traveling with no new places to explore every day, a new culture to experience and an abundance of food to test. Instead I find myself with a 15 minute commute to one of the best ski mountains in the world and the small village I work, eat and party at; a strong party culture which never wavers no matter what day of the week; and a restaurant scene that I cannot afford. Thankfully my new lifestyle feels right. Those nine months might have been the best months of my life but I feel like I was ready to finish up, and Whistler now feels like home to me which I feel so grateful for.
Somehow it doesn’t feel like real life here. I work a fairly relaxed job in a grocery store, something I’m not used to at all but have settled in to well. I live in a house with 11 others, but share my main living space with only three, one living within my bedroom which I thought would be an issue but has turned out to be one of my favourite aspects of living here. In our free time we head up the mountain and while climate change played its part and delayed the real start of the ski season, it’s finally become the ski experience that people know and love. I’ve struggled on my Australian skis, unable to push myself through the powder and ending up on the ground more often than I would hope, but a new pair brings me hope and will theoretically improve my season here. I’ve started back on my snowboard again, uncomfortable with the fact that I’m starting from the bottom and back on the easy runs but proud of my efforts and excited at the prospect of something new.
I’ll admit that I’m enjoying the party scene and have to say I’ve had some rough days after, particularly on days I’m meant to work. There’s something about serving customers at a cash register with a throbbing headache that should deter me from making the same mistake again, but Whistler has a way of drawing you in. I knew what to expect and I’m keen to act my own age after having lived a full time work lifestyle for so long, skipping my young, irresponsible years in the process.
The snow is something else. Every time I notice it I’m drawn outside or just to the window – depending on my attire at the time – and it always fills me with joy. To the rare few from Canada and a few from Europe, I look like a rookie Australian seeing snow for the first time and they simply can’t understand my exaggerated enjoyment. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it, seasoned Whistlerite or not. Nothing beats waking up to my view with a new foot full of powder covering the balcony, banisters, the iconic BC trees across the street or the mountain in the distance. Changing something that was so green and making it a beautiful white postcard.
Whistler is certainly home for the next year or so, but a trip to Australia may be on the cards for 2020 for some long overdue catch ups.