There’s more to it than this?

I grew up in St. John’s NL, a fairly small city.

As a kid, I enjoyed a pretty good freedom in life. Eat breakfast, leave for the day, come back for supper maybe.

We built some pretty sweet cabins in the woods (had a few hauled out by the fire department for working wood stoves), we drove our bikes and quads and skidoos as far as the paths (and quiet roads) would take us, we played hockey in the middle of the road (stupid drainage bump was the out of bounds marker) and got into some wholesome trouble (like raiding vegetable gardens).

As I got older, the size of the city didn’t really bug me. I knew there was “more” out there from visits to Halifax and Toronto, but I felt comfortable. The local restaurants were good for a night out, and the downtown scene, while never a big part for me, was great. When my 2 best friends up and decided to move to Calgary, I can remember looking it up on Google because I had no idea what Calgary was all about. I looked at it on Google mapsĀ  and saw A LOT of brown. I can recall asking them if Calgary had any hills, because from over head it looked like buildings in the middle of a wheat field.


What the shit is this?

I know now that Google must’ve scanned the city the day after all the snow melted because there’s a ton of green space here, but at the time I wondered just what the hell they were doing. But they seemed to thing it was the best.

“So much to do!”

“Best place ever!”

“Come Visit!”

But as hard as it was to have my best friends gone, the thing that ultimately drew me to Calgary was the same thing that caused a lot of Newfoundlanders to leave at the time.


The job market in St. John’s was pitiful, and I was tired of managing a staff of 20-25 and making barely enough to get by. So I decided to up and leave one day. Just on a whim. Had a shitty day at work and bought a plane ticket.

And once I got here, I was blown away by this city and what it had to offer.

Camping, mountains, cool theaters, relaxing parks.

Lake Louise Sightseeing Moraine Lake_L

Sun without wind.

The peace and quiet of Newfoundland was suddenly forgotten, and replaced with concerts and hockey and “OMG! Is that a real hooker??”.

And for a few years, that was enough. I met my wife, bought a house, had some kids.

We enjoyed how busy it was all the time. A mini “city that never sleeps”. Well, more a city that parties hard until about 7pm and then rolls up the sidewalks but that’s a different story all together. There was amazing food and flashy billboards and free lunches. Stampede and after work events and and and…

And then it happened.



For the first time in my life, I started to actually think about my life.

For the first time in my life I thought, “There’s more to it than this?”


Zen Pencils – Bill Watterson

Before I continue with what happened in Hawaii, I thought I’d share this webcomic I found last year.

I’ve loved Bill Watterson for years. Calvin and Hobbes is the greatest comic ever.

The attached comic is drawn in his style, and the text is a speech he gave to his old college.

This comic touched me fundamentally, and helped change some of my outlook on my life.


Moving out of the city

So, after much deliberation, and many years of false starts, pipe dreams, and wishful thinking my wife and I have decided to finally do it. We’re leaving the city!

And for some reason that has made me quite thoughtful. And in turn I feel like I need to write those things down. I’ll go back, give some history, and hopefully put into words the feelings and thoughts that lead to a decision like this.

It may not be for everyone. Come to think of it, it might not even be for us yet. But too late for that! To the country!!

Let’s start with the facts:

I’m Derek, and my wife Kelsey and I have 2 beautiful daughters together and 1 equally beautiful little lady from a previous relationship.

We are currently living in Calgary, AB but those days are numbered.

I work in IT for a large company, and Kelsey stays home to raise the kids. She works weekends, mostly to keep her sanity.

Here’s a rather nice shot of downtown Calgary. My wife has lived here her entire life, and I’ve called it home for 8 years. The city has been good to us for the most part. Look at that spectacular view! Calgary has over 1.1 million people and the same size footprint as New York City proper (~780 sq km). The community I live in, Tuscany, has 18,000 people alone. Now let’s look at where we’re going.


Crossfield, Alberta. Population ~2,800 people. Size 12 sq km.


It’s cute though. LOOK AT THAT CUTE BANK!!!


It’s a big change, no doubt. But somehow I’m not scared. Maybe it’s because we’re not THAT far from Calgary. And I’m keeping the same job. But for as much change as there will be, I’m oddly at peace with it all. Kelsey on the other hand…

I’m out of time today. Have to get home and continue to pack. Which is a whole other post to come. I have some work to do on this site, but I’m glad to have started it. See you, which is currently only me, later.