With Welcome Week coming up and Jill’s story about how she ended up in Revelstoke (on page 12) it got me thinking about my Revelstoke story.
Revelstoke is a unique place. I have never lived in a destination city before. People move here before they have a job or even a place to live and make it work because of the recreation opportunities and then they stay for the community. It is an inspiring, supportive and welcoming place to be.
But as you may remember, I moved here for a job, I had a place to live before I got here and I am a beginner at the whole “outdoor adventure” thing.
Honestly, at first I felt like I didn’t belong. It seemed like everyone was a finely tuned athlete who hiked 40 kilometres on Monday nights and hung by their finger tips over lakes before breakfast.
And not only that, many of the new people I was meeting had these lives that I had always dreamed about but was never brave enough to pursue. They dropped everything and moved to Canada to adventure, they live out of a van and work to get by and then take off during the summer for months on end exploring.
What do I, with my two weeks of holidays a year and my 5.5 kilometer hikes and no ski or snowboard skills have in common with any of them? Why would I even move to Revelstoke?
Luckily I have figured it out, for the most part, since then, and I am going to explain so that the newcomers who feel like me (are there even any?) don’t feel so alone.
Everyone is on their own adventure. Just because I didn’t move away from my home country for three years, work as a server and live in hostels doesn’t mean I am not a wanderer at heart. Revelstoke is the fourth place I’ve lived since I moved away from home seven years ago, maybe it will be the last but it probably won’t. One day I want to drop everything and go for six months and see a little bit more of the world, but for right now I am happy wandering in my new town.
Secondly, there is still time. Everyone is a beginner at some point. I want to hike, so I will hike a little bit at a time and eventually I’ll be able to handle the 10 hour summits. Just because I can’t (and don’t want to try!) right now doesn’t mean I don’t fit in to a place like Revelstoke. That applies to skiing as well. I’ll get there eventually.
And you know what, even if I don’t, there is still a place for me here in this town. Being a part of a community is about recreation yes, but it is also about participation.
So, if you, like me, ever randomly feel like you’re not cool enough to live here, get out there and do stuff! Volunteer for everything, join a sports team, hit up the community dinners. And if you feel like you have nothing to contribute to a conversation when they are talking about their latest adventures, ask lots of questions, learn a thing or two and maybe recruit a teacher.
People often ask me how long I think I will stay in Revelstoke. For awhile it made me grumpy, I honestly don’t know! So now my answer is ‘until I get bored’. Luckily there is a lot of new things to try so I could be here for awhile.