I’ve always been restless, never able to sit still since I was a child. I thought if I kept moving, something might happen, something wonderful that would change everything. I still have that urge and that idea that if I just go somewhere new that it will make everything better just because I’ve had the chance to be in a new place and have new experiences. If I don’t settle down, if I don’t let anything hold me in one place, nothing can bring me down.
That’s what brought me to the middle of nowhere. I was restless in the city, I needed to get out of this place where the bad economy, the constant construction going on outside my apartment, the crowds of mostly non friendly people and the competitiveness of trying to be seen and heard and just get by and pay the bills was overwhelming me. So I moved to the middle of nowhere up north in the subarctic of Quebec & Labrador. It’s not the most northern community but it’s stuck right in the middle of mountains and lakes in a wind tunnel with no other communities nearby for 100’s of km and no road access.
I used to be a city girl … and now I drive a skidoo to work, wear a parka 8 months of the year, have learned to hunt and fish, to drive a pickup and a skidoo and get them unstuck, to hold my own in a room filled with 100 tradesmen / miners and I’m the only woman, to take care of myself in extreme cold temperatures and deal with all the sort of unexpected situations one finds oneself in the remote subarctic. And I’ve learned that I can do those things, I’m tougher, and more flexible and adaptable than I ever imagined, that I actually enjoy things like hunting, etc that I would have never imagined myself doing. And yet I’m still essentially a Montreal girl, brewing my morning latte barista style, keeping my quirky sense of style mixed in with my practical need to stay warm, cooking my own Thai food when I can find the ingredients or bring them up in my suitcase, wanting to dance and dress up and go out at night.
I went from the big city life with plenty to do to a place with less than 2000 permanent residents, 1 grocery store, pretty much no other stores, where there doesn’t seem to be much to do, where skidoos are one of the main ways of transport. It’s made me crazy at times, it’s challenged me a lot. But it taught me a lot and I found out there is if you look for it, a lot to do and it’s one of the most friendly places. I’ve found I made so many friends with people from all over, funny how a small place like this is the best place to meet people from all over.