I’ve been a Langfordian of Langford, a Vancouverite of Vancouver, a Duncanite of Duncan, and now may I call myself a Prince Georgian? I’ve reached my one year anniversary of living in Prince George. My mom put it well when having a life chat with my daughter. “A house is just a place to put your things; a home is where your family is.” After moving here in what seemed like a whirlwind of emotions, stress, and chaos of moving with family — I can now say that I feel happy, settled, and we have found a place to call home.
A place to call home
After a year of renting, it was clear to us that once we started searching — Prince George is a buyer’s market. It’s a good time to buy if you can. House prices are gradually increasing, at an average of about 5% each year. We were able to fill all of our criteria for a home, and stay within the same lovely neighbourhood we’ve been renting in. An added bonus was that my daughter didn’t have to change schools! There are some great real estate companies in town with no lack of choices. We went with a friend through Team Powerhouse. I love that it’s an independent, locally-owned real estate brokerage, and had a great buying experience.
I survived my first winter up north. Yes, this was my steepest learning curve. My biggest advice to any newcomers to a real winter is don’t cheap out on warm winter-wear and get some good snow tires! It’s much colder than I’m used to, but I loved the sunshine throughout the winter months. I enjoyed trying to skate for the first time in over 15 years, outside! I found there to be no lack of things to do in Prince George during the winter. Curious? Read about my winter adventures and adaptation to northern living blog here!
Reflecting on my past year of living somewhere new, my biggest highlight is definitely all the new places I ventured to with my kiddos. We went on a few great camping trips this past summer, explored some of the beautiful trails and parks within city limits, and did a few day trips around Prince George. I’ve set an expectation. My kids now love asking what new thing we’re going to do, or new place we’re going to discover on any given weekend or holiday. And I love this. Keeping my kids happy, entertained, and adventuring with me, has made for a great first year exploring our new city. My happy place is outside walking among the trees and near the river.
My kids make new friends in 30 seconds. Whether it be camping, at the playground, or school. You even hear those adorable words of, “Will you be my friend?” within minutes of meeting. I feel it’s much harder for an adult to rebuild their village. In some ways, social media makes this easier, and there are several mom groups for Prince George. I regularly see people posting about looking for new friends, or moving here from out of town. The welcoming response is incredible. Countless people responding with ages of children and plans to meet up.
One of my closest friends from this past year, I met through a Prince George Moms Facebook group. It was as simple as her posting that she’d just moved to town, and didn’t know anyone. While the first encounter was like an awkward first date (but with kids to distract us), we are now great friends. I’m thankful for the friendships from the wives whose husbands work away with mine. One was sweet enough to ensure that my birthday was celebrated, despite my other half being out of town. I regularly attend Strong Start with my son, and highly recommend this program. Regardless of the age of your little humans — it’s a great way to meet other moms/caregivers and keep your little ones socialized as well. There are Strong Start centres all over Prince George, giving you options to find the one closest to you or the best fit for you and your little one(s).
While children can be a gateway to meeting new friends, there are no lack of activities in Prince George, and opportunities to meet new people, sans kids. Being self-employed and a stay at home mom, I’m more outgoing and chattier than I’ve ever been. If you’re new to town, embrace that adult awkwardness of meeting new people and putting yourself out there. This city is filled with some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met.
Roots set down
While we still have no idea how long we’ll live in Prince George for, I’m feeling more settled than I expected after a year of change, and familiarizing myself with a new city. I love this quote by Alan Watts, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”