The magic of a summer in Whistler, Canada
I arrived in Whistler with the intention of staying no longer than 6 weeks. It's now nearly 6 months later that I'm writing this and yes, I'm still here. In the past two years I've hopped from place-to-place, not staying anywhere longer than three months. Whistler has been the first place in a while that I've committed to - I've bought bulk-size laundry detergent, been bothered to decorate my room and confidently written the same address on government documents.
There's a certain magic to this place - the 'Whistler bubble' and the people it attracts - it sucks you in and makes it hard for you to leave. Whistler's a kind of 'Neverland' for adults who don't want to grow up - or who are escaping the commitment of the 'real' world and 'real' jobs, 9am-5pm work schedules or concrete jungles. But why would you want to be anywhere else?
This summer I've white water rafted the Elaho river, bob-sledded down the world's fastest bobsleigh track, floated down the glacial River of Golden Dreams in a blow up boat, camped overnight on top of Panorama Ridge surrounded by glaciers, frolicked in sunflower fields, road-tripped Vancouver Island, rock-climbed up the side of Whistler mountain, spent wine-fuelled nights dancing until 2am, spent days by the lake in the sunshine and met some of the greatest people ever.
Whistler is a town full of transient 'locals' from all over the world. The Whistler lifestyle attracts working holiday-ers, travellers, adventure enthusiasts and plenty of Ontarians. Whistlerites can be organised on a spectrum: from high-level athletes here to purse their mountain-biking or winter sport careers to those that come here just to party - I guess I fit somewhere in the middle. But everyone has something in common: we're all 'living the dream' here.
I've never met so many like-minded people in one place - there's always someone around that's up for a hike, a day at the lake or a lazy movie night. With most people originating from overseas or from across Canada, friends become more like family here fuelling a small-town, close-knit community vibe. You live, work, party, eat and sleep with the same bunch of people. You share insane experiences among the endless adventure that's at your doorstep.
It's these bonds - to people and the place of Whistler - that makes leaving and the inevitable goodbyes so hard. To me, this summer has been all about existing in the moment, making deeper connections and not stressing about the future. As the leaves start falling and the weather begins to change, the impermanence of this time is more and more obvious. I will never have these experiences again - my visa will expire in April before the snow has time to melt and the people I know here now will be replaced with a new wave of seasonal residents.
Perhaps this makes the magic of this summer even more real and special.
Some more snaps from this summer:
Garibaldi Provincial Park
Panorama Ridge Sunset
Drinks in 405
Dinner at the Fairmont Empress Victoria
View over Black Tusk, Garibaldi Provincial Park
Panorama Ridge at Sunrise
Sunflower Fields in Pemberton
River of Golden Dreams
Via Ferrata - Whistler Mountain
Read more about my adventures in Canada here.
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