Breaking news: I survived a two day trip to the Arctic (aka Calgary). Oh of course I survived because the majority of my time was spent indoors discovering some top notch mental health services for children in Alberta. Plus, tagging along after amiable work colleagues and a superb working dinner at The River Café, how bad could it have been? Although it must be said—I didn’t see one single cowboy there, very disappointing indeed.

Still, there’s something off about voluntarily flying to winter …

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While gazing upon snow-covered pines and enduring frozen nose hair is joyful enough, I was more than pleased to return to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. I landed in an unusually chilly Victoria, -1 Celsius. Sure, nippy, but 26 degrees warmer than where I had just been.

This trip turned out to be a pivotal moment for me. Coming back to this town felt some good (as we Newfoundlanders tend to say). Six months in and this new place is starting to take on a home-like quality. And let me tell you why. Saturday was November 24th and what was my husband doing? Playing golf. GOLF! Not shovelling or scraping ice from a windshield, no, whacking a little ball over emerald green grass. Granted, he should’ve been baking or roasting or doing whatever else goes on in that kitchen, but that’s beside the point.

On Sunday, November 25th, I took a stroll through one of my favourite Victoria neighbourhoods …

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EmilyCarr2

EmilyCarr1

Never before have I lived in this level of lush so late in the year. It’s enough to convert a diehard East Coaster into a kale eating, sandal and sock wearing tree hugger.

So I say to the Great Canadian Winter: It’s not you, it’s me. I just can’t do it anymore. While some may find beauty in your blow and bluster, I’m moving on to greener pastures. I know the rainy winter to come is the price that must be paid, so I’m trading my snowshoes for rubber boots, but I’ll probably need ongoing advice from a local on how to fully blend in. Ah, I got it. In late October, I saw a guy wearing nothing but his denim cutoffs and shades, smoking a fragrant spliff and playing banjo outside his tent on the beach: Dude, call me.

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