I’ve heard so many stories about families who move to Prince George with plans to stay for only a couple years only to find themselves, 15 years later, with no plans to leave – this is our Move Up Prince George story.
Our story began in 2015 when my husband was offered the Foreman position at the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre. I was five months pregnant with our second child and I was spending three hours of my day commuting from Coquitlam to Vancouver for work. Daycare drop-off for our then 2-year old daughter was at 6:30 a.m. It was heart-wrenching having to drop her off so early and pick her up after everyone had already gone home for the day. The memory of the empty daycare room reminds me of why we made the choice to move.
Destination – Prince George
In May 2015 I posted a picture of a packed car with the caption “Let’s go somewhere nobody knows our names.” on my social media page – the move to Prince George was official. Our family and friends were supportive and hopeful that we would land on our feet and find our place.
I am a nervous flyer so my first hurdle was the flight up to Prince George. It was the first time I had boarded a plane from the tarmac and by the time the plane landed, the other passengers (who had heard me dry heaving over the sound of the engine) greeted me warmly as they left. They told me “Prince George is awesome, you’ll love it.”
What they didn’t say was how much we would appreciate the lifestyle that Prince George has to offer:
- Our daily commute including daycare drop off and pick up is 30 minutes which is a massive improvement from the three-hour commute from Coquitlam to Vancouver
- The extra two and half hours a day meant we had more time to put our kids into dance, swimming and other extra-curricular activities
- I found my passion for working in local government and it has driven me to go back to university and complete a degree in Public Administration
- We sold our 900 sq. ft. condo in Coquitlam and bought a 2,600 sq. ft. house. The best part was having enough funds left over to build our dream kitchen
We not only gained more time doing the things we loved – we also gained new friends through frequent experiences of kindness and enjoyable conversations with complete strangers. Our first Christmas was with other “orphans” from all over Canada who, like us, were looking for a place to raise their families.
Other awesome Prince George experiences come to mind:
- When we first moved into our house, the couple who lived across from us came over and cooked dinner for us. Our daughters now consider them grandparents
- While watching a show at Theatre NorthWest, a little girl asked her mom if she could buy a crown for my daughter as a gift because we had forgotten to bring cash with us
- A local artist, Kat Valcourt, gifted one of her original works to our family as it reminded me of the Philippines – the country where I was born
- The city gives permission to temporarily close down Cedar Street once a year to keep the neighbourhood BBQ safe
- Hearing the music from the free concerts at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park like “Pops in Park” often results in impromptu family picnics on the pristine green grass
These are some of the many reasons we love it here.
I searched for this place
to find myself
and found where I belong
my soul has rooted
and grows in leaps and bounds
my heart is wild
my feet are steady
here is where I’ll stay
the mountains call
but this small town
captured my heart in a big way