Whistler, apparently, is awesome. The mountains abound in outdoor, adventure-type activities. Ranked number one ski resort in North America; in Summer it becomes a mountain biking mecca. It also has a reputation for apres activities. One ski magazine dubbed it the spring break of ski resorts. Plane loads of powder hounds from throughout the world, but mainly Australia and Ontario, descend on the village each Winter season.
However, it was none of Whistler’s well advertised attractions which brought me here.
It was a culture shock. Plucked from London, where keeping up to date with the many and varied delights the city had to offer was a full time job I had passionately thrown myself into, this village seemed to be missing something vital. In London I had an exhausting, but exhilarating extra-curricular life. Work was something that I did in between going to art exhibitions, gigs, markets, public lectures and Euro-jaunts. Whistler is, well, a village. And a village with one eye constantly on the tourist dollars. That’s fine. It’s how the town makes its money, but it does lead to slightly bland service delivery. With the days getting drastically shorter and the cold reaching the point where my hair turned into icicles I was at a loss to understand how I was meant to keep life interesting. I was incredibly lucky to have walked straight into a wonderful group of friends, but it seemed that my social life was to consist of their lounge rooms and a monotonous diet of the same bars. Then there was the matter of work. Having eked out a career defined by challenging but rewarding roles, my level of satisfaction with life was closely linked to ticking off achievements in my work. In a job which is exactly the same from day to day I had nothing to measure myself against, no way to gauge progress.