This was originally called "Quest for the West" but I used that title for the travel log entries.
It’s hard to believe that almost four years have passed since I began my “Quest for the West”. It was in the chilly spring of April 2013 that I set out in my 2003 Pontiac Montana with only the Pacific Ocean as my goal. You can look back recently into my blog to see my stops that I made as I traveled through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. My blog entries don’t mention my completion of my goal because of a four month “layover” at a resort in the summer.
I would like to write today about the reasons I made this trip out here and explore what my future options might be. Let me begin by making it clear that I am currently looking for work here in Alberta since being laid off from my full-time management job back in February. If I found another job here that would support me I would be more than eager to consider it. This isn’t about where I am “actually factually” ending up, just a journey into where I am “spiritually”. If someone reading this has a job I would be suited for here in Alberta please feel free to email me.
Now, why did I come out here to Alberta?
To answer that question, we will first go back to 2013 to explore the “practical” reasons that I came out here. I had been working up north in 2012 until the building I was working in, along with four others, burned to the ground and I got laid off permanently. I have since inquired about whether they plan to open the store again and they do not which is too bad as it was a part of the community. I went onto unemployment which paid me very well because my job up north made me a lot of income.
I was lucky, many people are not, and whenever I could I tried to save that money away just in case. I lived in a couple places near Kincardine and looked all over the area for work in my field. Unfortunately, we were deep into the recession by that point and jobs were impossible to find without a vehicle. I had lost mine when my business went bankrupt and I didn’t have the funds to replace it or pay the insane insurance rates. And because of those limitations, in a small remote community (job wise) I went for 10 months without finding a job. I was about ready to lose my benefits when I made a life altering decision.
I say that now “life altering” but at the time it just felt like another decision. I had already been married, divorced, moved to a foreign country, worked in the far north and lived on my own. It wasn’t a really life altering experience since my life had already been filled with experiences that altered it several times. To me, as significant as it was, it just felt like something I had to do.
I was unemployed, I had about $2,000 in savings I think after I bought a van and insured it and I needed to leave. My mom was dying of cancer at the time but it wasn’t that I was trying to escape. She had been diagnosed two years before and now it was winning. I remember telling my mom about my plans “I can be a stock clerk in Owen Sound or Calgary” I told her and it was true. I didn’t have to continue living in Ontario until every dime I had was gone. I had always wanted to see Canada and this was, perhaps, the only opportunity I would have to do it. I didn’t make the decision lightly. I had thought about it and planned it for a couple weeks at least. It wasn’t like I hadn’t been far away before. I was unemployed after my store went under and I took the job in Nunavut. That adventure involved packing up my life and moving to a remote region where the nights could hit minus seventy with the wind chill in October and the only way in or out was by plane or summer freighter.
I planned, I scraped together what money I could and packed my life into my van. I still had about half a dozen boxes in storage but they could remain there until I got settled somewhere. I left for “the Pacific Ocean or Alberta or bust” on April 15, 2013. I saw my mom just a couple days before and at that time I was told that she wouldn’t be leaving the hospital. She lost a two-year battle to cancer on May 4, 2013. I think there are a lot of reasons why I started my quest for the west and none of them were to escape from the reality of my mom passing. I won’t go into any more detail about my relationship with my mother right now because that’s not what this blog is about.
To be continued…
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