Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nuna-video: Part One

The Bon and Iver'd Road . .

These are some of the highlights captured on our way to Ottawa the night before our flights.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Home. Iqaluit, NU

We’re happy here.

It was more than we expected and better than we imagined. Everyone’s a critic and we got a lot of very mixed reviews but, all the negative ones were wrong. It may take a certain kind of person to live up here; we get that, and it may not be for everyone but, it’s definitely for us. Definitely.

With our first breathe of northern air, the feeling came over us that we had made the right decision. The shoreline and water beside the plane as we first set foot felt like someone was welcoming us home. By the time we checked in to the Navigator Inn (Iqaluit’s Premiere Hotel!), the weight of a thousand second guesses and a tonne of doubt had disappeared. This felt like home.

With every turn came a charming surprise. As our tour-guide and driver Keith (a native of these parts for 38 years) showed us his favourite parts as well as spots we were curious about, Steph and I kept looking at each other with increasingly growing smiles. Can you imagine the worry you have relocating to a place you’d never even seen before? But that’s what made it all the better for us. We doubled down . . . we bet against the odds . . .and we won.

The great things we had read since the early parts of June were exactly how these great Northern Bloggers describe them as. Their joy is genuine as it is intriguing. If you want a vacation, go to Hawaii . . . if you want an Adventure, get up here. It’s a different way of life and for the most part, in the best of ways. If you grew up in a relatively small town, you probably miss the days where strangers smiled and said hello, or the person next to you in a grocery aisle commented on the stock and you were able to chuckle. Most of all . . . do you remember the day where people WAVED BACK? Not only after an initial wave but, when you let someone through, by, or go ahead. This IS A COMMUNITY. It’s not like it is in Milton (where I’m from) where peoples schedules matter more than their manners and the sense of community has slowly died over the last decade. This is an inspiring place. I’ll make the prediction right now that we are here at least a year, if not more.

The Water’s Edge.
I walked in to meet my bosses for the first time and I was gob-smacked at how stunning my place of work was. Gorgeous. It felt like I had been going there already for years and I had only been there for seconds. My Managers were warm and welcoming and felt like really great people to work with. I feel even more excited to be working there come Thursday. Funny enough, we were so taken by the Waters Edge that we decided to eat lunch there this afternoon. Just when you thought a place couldn’t be any better . . . the food arrived. Steph ordered the Arctic Char & Chips . . . I attempted the Musk-Ox Burger. Both: AMAZING. Great price . . .great portions . . . great meals. Steph has warned me that she might be my most loyal regular there just for the food. I’ll have to re-read my employee policy on that one!

The Town.
Bigger than Steph thought, smaller than I imagined. It’s small enough that you can walk anywhere in under 30 minutes. The roads have recently been paved and the air is crisp and fall-like. We’ve visited all our spots of curiosity and yes, we did a little price matching at the North Mart for all our friends back home. We took an uphill stroll last night out for dinner and enjoyed the freshness of the air and the blinding yet beautiful sunset. It’s a simpler way of life up here but, it’s a nicer one. I don’t hear the 401 ringing in my ears, instead I hear children laughing and the sound of water sometimes. I’m not breathing in smog, I’m now breathing in crisp, clean, and fresh northern air. You can call it a Tundra, but you’d be better off calling it a northern oasis.
Every single person we’ve met is kind, considerate, and nice. The locals offer carvings and other forms of northern art to buy and while I walked Steph to work up the hill today, every person I passed by took the time to say “Hello”. You get a sense of real community here and although to some people back in Ontario will question my choice of words here . . . we find this place warming.


- We can’t believe how many people have cars. This is coming from two 401 junkies but, even at rush hour, the “4 Corners” is jammed.
- “Polarman” . . . he is somewhat legendary in these parts. We haven’t had the “pleasure” of meeting him yet but, it seems that everywhere we go, we just miss him!
- Sorry to stress this again but . . . THE AIR. It’s so clean.
- Nachos. $17.95 without meat. Steph will never recover from the shock!
- How easy it was to get our apartment, phone, electricity, and P.O. Box set up
- How Nice our apartment is . . . brand new paint, hardwood floor, and furniture
- The amount of pay-phones that are still around here. This is a surprise since they were dropping off the face of Ontario in the recent months.
- The Prime Minister is in town . . . but it seems his office has had a hard time spelling IQALUIT. Google it.
- Musk-Ox . . . my new favourite meat.
- How much we LOVE it here!

Don’t blink . . . every time we get a moment, we’re updating! Great Videos to come too . . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'll meet you in Iqaluit.

Today is the day.

Ottawa by nightfall . . . Iqaluit in the morning. We have lots to write about and in the forth coming days, we'll have a Whole-Whack of posts to add. But for now, the only thing we can think about is just how excited we are. It's been hard at times and great at times but as we approach the finish line, it's all been worth it.

We're looking forward to meeting some of the people that have helped us along so we can thank them in person. As of Monday we happily became part of the cycle . . . we're now helping someone else move up to Nunavut through e-mails(more on that later). What a journey this has been . . . thank you to the entire Nothern Blogging Community. You inspired us . . . helped us . . . changed us.

This time tomorrow we'll be joining the great population of Nunavut.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

There is no "try", Only "Do". . .

I sit here an amazed individual. We did it. We managed to survive this move.

Our belongings are shipped, our lists are done, and we've just enjoyed some of the most memorable time together. These past two weeks have seen a lot of ups and downs, both physically and emotionally. I've had hands around my neck followed by a hand held in mine, tears of worry that were the opening act for the tears of joy, but after all, when that vacant space is all that's left of what seemed like a neverending move, all you're left with is the warmth of a new adventure shared by two people who still hold the love that carried them this far safely and firmly in their hearts.

We've highlighted some of the more exciting moments and tried our best to capture that excitement. It's important to be realistic at times and those times can be harsh. In one of our first posts we touched on the importance of being communicative and brutally honest with one another. I'm here to remind you that that IS the glue that holds all of it together. Live by this: lean and be leaned on. Accountability and reliability are the two quintessential elements you need to survive the tolls this can take. You'll test your limits (and/or eachothers limits, depending on who you do or do not move with) and find new ones. There's a brand new challenge with each and every day. Some easy, some hard. I've never felt so prepared but, I've never felt so scared. We've each crumbled and faltered but, we're ok.

I promise you everything will be ok. It won't matter how much you plan, re-plan, call, confirm, discount shop, save, spend, list, cry, or ulcer; moving is a disaster. But I urge you to never allow stress to erase the joy you felt reading this (or any blog) and the excitement you felt when you decided to move. Because the ending is just like the start, the rest is just the middle. I couldn't see the top of the pile, or the light at the end of the tunnel at times too but, I knew it was there. All I have to do is catch a plane and that flight changes my life. This is the time to relish unafraid in the warmth and excitement I feel and have towards where I'm about to be.

I'm about to go somewhere where that not a lot of people will ever see with the love of my life in the prime of my life. . . just saying that feels incredible.