It was 9:00am on a beautiful Saturday spring morning in Prince George, BC and the Herman family had just piled into their car with quite the to do list. A grocery haul at Superstore, a fact-finding mission at The Home Depot, and a park play for their 1-year-old daughter Isidora (Izzy). Clinton and Carmen, who had recently moved up to PG from Vancouver, knew this day could take a lot out of them. Negotiating traffic, moving their way through hordes of people at the big box stores, all while keeping their cool in front of their toddler was going to be a big task. They took a deep breath and began their mission.
11:30am on that same day in the Northern Capital: Our hero’s sat on a bench watching their daughter play at Duchess Park. They were astonished at how quick and stress free it was to get through their checklist in the fraction of the time they had budgeted for. They weren’t in Metro Vancouver anymore…they were in Prince George.
I often tell this story to folks when they ask me about my experience as a big city kid moving up north. ‘’The Squeeze’’ is not present here. 8 minute commutes. No shopping cart demolition derbies at Costco. And lots of space.
I grew up as a drama nerd in Kitsilano in the heart of Vancouver and would spend my summers camping and playing in the Squamish backcountry. In 2011 I graduated from the Broadcast Radio program at BCIT. After applying to work at radio stations all over the nation, a country music station in Prince George agreed to take on this novice broadcaster. During this time, I met my now wife at the University of Northern BC’s pub The Thirsty Moose.
She followed me and my career all over Western Canada. Back to Vancouver, to Winnipeg and then back to Vancouver’s 102.7 THE PEAK.
In 2019 we welcomed our daughter Isidora into the world while living in a 2-bedroom Co-Op in South Vancouver’s new River District. Apartment living was beginning to wear on us. Not enough space to keep our camping gear, couldn’t have many friends over whenever we wanted, and we could hear our neighbour’s sneeze. Of course, this means they could hear our every move as well.
2021 in a semi-post pandemic world, we started kicking tires on Metro Vancouver real estate. Just as we were starting to look at houses while managing childcare costs, diapers, groceries, high rents and everything else that millennial parents deal with, my bosses presented me with the opportunity to ditch ‘’The Squeeze ‘’.
The proposition was a morning show slot and a pay raise in a city with a lower cost of living. A return to the city where my broadcasting career began 10 years earlier. River Mornings with Vilma & Clinton on 101.3 The River would launch in May of 2021. By June of that year, Carmen and I bought a 2,200 sqft, 4 bedroom home with a mortgage cheaper than our $2200/month rent. The 1970’s home has a yard with room for a fire pit and decent sized garden…Oh and it has TWO sheds! So much room for our camping gear.
It’s now been 2 years since we’ve moved up to Prince George and honestly, sometimes I feel sorry for our friends and family scraping by in the lower mainland.
Young people are given opportunities to fast track their careers and have a good life outside of work at the same time. There’s no competition for camping spots. No line ups at our world class cross-country ski club. No cramming into a tiny apartment or being forced to socialize at overpriced bars and restaurants. No hours commuting to and from the office taking away from family time.
Come join us in Squeeze Free PG.
~Clinton Herman @ClintonOnAir