How did you two end up here? Why would you want to leave beautiful, warm Australia for this? Why would you want to live somewhere so cold? But why? Well, you'll see why!
In 2016, we planned a 5-week trip to the USA, Canada and Mexico. We started in New York and then headed onto New Orleans, San Diego, Tijuana, San Francisco, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto but in between this we had planned a 4 day trip up to Whitehorse, Yukon to try and see the Northern Lights. We knew that it was very unlikely that we would see them, but travelling that far north would be an experience in itself.
We were so worried about everything to do with this part of the trip. Would we get frostbite? Would they have flushing toilets? Where we going to survive the weather? Would we actually get picked up from the airport? Or would we be stranded in this tiny airport in the middle of nowhere?
We shouldn’t of had any doubts because everything went great and it was probably the best trip of our lives! We stayed at Inn on The Lake which is outside of Whitehorse, so perfect for northern lights viewing as there isn't any light pollution. We didn’t die, we didn’t get frostbite, we didn’t get stranded at the airport AND we saw the northern lights 2 out of 3 nights!
We were very, very lucky.
Fast forward to 3 months later when I was working an 8.30 – 5pm office job in Toowoomba, the same place I had been working on and off since I was 17. Scott was working as a plumber and was doing cyclone recovery work in Airlie Beach, which was busy and intense most of the time.
We were living apart, hating our jobs, hating our lifestyle, just generally not enjoying life like we should. The one thing that was keeping us going is that we were earning great money and had enough to buy our third house, with the other 2 being rented out.
We were in a lot of debt but if we stuck at paying off the houses and working hard, we were setting ourselves up for life.
One day, Scott mentioned that he wouldn’t mind living back in Canada again, (we did about 1 year in Toronto when we were 22). This just stuck in my mind and once he puts an idea like that in my head, I can't let go of it!
After a crappy day at work, I had had enough and emailed the owner of Inn on The Lake to see if it was at all possible that he would give us both a job for the winter season. He emailed me back within a day, and my heart skipped a beat when he pretty much said get a visa and come over!
...he pretty much said get a visa and come over!
We applied for a visa straight away but we had already been granted a 2 year working holiday visa in Canada in 2013, so we were unsure if we would be approved for another. After about 4 months, we were approved for another visa so that meant it was sorted, we were going! We packed up our whole life over the next few months and left in October 2017 for a huge adventure. We even had to leave our ginger fur babies behind with my sister, which was a big decision for us to make!
We didn't realise how huge of an adventure we were about to embark on.
Inn On The Lake provided us with accommodation and meals in the lodge so we didn’t have to worry about essentials like that at first. I just remember how exciting those first few days were, so unknown and we were so keen to explore and learn about living in this northern climate. The day we first arrived in Yukon it was -22C/-7.6F, this was a shock to the system coming from the Australian temperatures.
Initially, we were only planning to spend one winter season in the Yukon and then the next spring & summer months in another part of Canada. We really thought that we would be sick of the cold but it didn't scare us away and it actually made us have a completely different view of winter. The extremely cold days were exciting and almost exhilarating in a way!
Living in the Yukon has really changed the way we think, live and has changed our actions in life.
Living & working where we are hasn't been the best financial decision but when you have a super flexible job and actually enjoy life everyday, money doesn't matter! We never thought that we would be able to afford to live overseas, working entry level jobs again with our commitments in Australia but we have managed to pull it off. We have sold 2 of our houses since living here which has given us the freedom to travel, explore more and see how unique the world is!
We are looking at life in a completely different way.
Life is about working to live and not living to work. Sometimes we wonder if we are doing the right thing, are we ruining our future by not earning to our full potential while we are young and capable? Who knows if we are doing the "right" thing but it feels right to us.
If you need help applying for a Canadian Visa, Yukon travel info or just want to chat about potentially moving overseas like us, drop us an email or message on socials.
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