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Get to know Prince George from a local point of view.

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Life is better up here

For me, moving to Prince George felt like coming home – a friendly island of urban comfort in a seemingly endless natural playground.

Deciding to leave Vancouver

My decision to move to Prince George in 2012 was met with the following reactions among my friends in Vancouver:

  • A dozen questioning eyebrows
  • Two sneers
  • An eloquent talking-to that dripped with derision
  • A boisterous “are you out of your mind?” speech
  • And, finally, a eulogy for the demise of ‘Urban Joel’

I was 27 years old, a successful journalist with a decent income and I had a top-floor corner apartment with an ocean view in South Granville.

Why would I leave Vancouver? Especially for Prince George?Joel Hudson Bay Mtn

I moved to Prince George because, frankly, life is better up here.

What I’ve accomplished since leaving

In a little over two years in northern B.C. I’ve:

  • Established a well-paying and extremely rewarding career;
  • Met the love of my life (she’s a gorgeous, golden-haired lawyer by the way) and had a daughter;
  • Made a lot of new friends – some of them among the best friends I’ve ever had;
  • Become a homeowner and an active volunteer in my community; and
  • Seen and enjoyed more of British Columbia than I ever thought possible.

For me, moving to Prince George felt like coming home – a friendly island of urban comfort in a seemingly endless natural playground.

I lived in the Lower Mainland for 27 years, long enough to know that most people in this province don’t have the time or ability to experience our beautiful British Columbia.

Not so in Prince George.

Up here, the culture of our community is to work, enjoy the comforts of the city, and then go play outdoors, everywhere, all-year-round.

In the two years since I moved to the north I’ve:

  • Watched humpback whales breach the sparkling North Pacific while Coho fishing near Prince Rupert
  • Watched a late summer sunset from Tow Hill on Haida Gwaii
  • Looked down on the ancient striations of the Salmon Glacier near Stewart
  • Washed my face in the Stikine near Telegraph Creek
  • Stopped to let bison cross the Alaska Highway in the Northern Rockies
  • Walked in dinosaur tracks at Tumbler Ridge
  • Fished in lakes north of Fort St. James that have rarely known boats
  • Canoed Bowron Lake
  • Hiked the glacier gulch on Hudson Bay Mountain
  • Warmed myself next to an open fire on a frozen lake
  • Stood among the hoodoos in Farwell Canyon
  • And crossed over Heckman Pass (in summer and winter) and down into the rainforest of the Bella Coola Valley to see the ancient petroglyphs

Joel on a bridge in McBride

Prince George is my Home

Although my mailing address says Prince George, I’m a resident of northern B.C. – and the region is my home, office and playground.

These days, when my friends from Vancouver come visit, they no longer raise their eyebrows, sneer or feel compelled to deliver a speech.

And more than a few of them have asked me how to go about moving up to Prince George.

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