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What your friends and family really think about your life in Whistler


By Lisa Powell Holdaway

I moved to Whistler in search of a better life. I wanted to wake up every day, excited to be alive. I wanted to be a part of a place with a strong sense of community. And I wanted to ski!

Through the ups and downs over the years, I have always loved living here. For some time, I tried to convince my friends and family to move out here too. Whistler was so beautiful, and although sometimes it wasn't easy the lifestyle made up for the challenges. But very few people took my suggestions seriously, as if life here was not sustainable, or expecting that I'd probably move back home in a few months.

My friends and family didn't get what I was trying to do by moving to Whistler. I was looking for the lifestyle I had always dreamt of - a life where it was more important to be happy with your everyday rather than move up unhappily in your career; a life where fulfilment was found in being outside enjoying nature, not hamster wheeling on cardio equipment in a gym. My friends and family had varying views on my life in Whistler. Some just couldn't grasp why I would want to live here. Some were jealous and some could never understand why I would take the jobs I did just to make enough money to stay here.

Mike from Peterborough told me that, "People come and go every year, but there are some of us who stay here for the long run - despite what people think of our lives, fighting through dead seasons, bad snow years, sad economies - and find joy in being a local in such an amazing place."

After moving here, I found what I was looking for; a rewarding life full of recreation, friendship and a sense of community.

I can't understand your life!

My first job here in Whistler was at a grocery store. I actually heard my dad grimace over the phone when I told him with jubilance that I had found a job and would be staying longer than I had expected. He said nothing, but I could tell my newfound "career" stung a bit as he had helped afford the thousands of dollars I needed while working towards my degree. I'm sure he hoped that it was just a phase and I would soon be home interviewing for jobs in my field. After a few months I took a job in a restaurant which gave me a seasons' pass. This led me to stay for another season, further raising my family's concern for my career that was waiting in the wings.