4 steps to creating your dream life without leaving Canada

Feb 6 2020, 5:27 pm

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you made a change for the better?

What if you moved somewhere with a wealth of job opportunities? If you had your own home instead of living in an expensive rental apartment? If the weather was a little better so you could go out and explore your city more?

Here’s the thing: this doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. You can experience all of this and so much more when you move to Prince George, British Columbia. A city that feels more like a community, it’s home to over 74,000 people who are passionate about helping each other out and living their best Pacific Northwest lifestyle.

It’s the kind of place you might move for a job but stay for the people. This happens all the time — two-year plans transition to five years, 10, or even longer. And it comes as no surprise because Prince George is unlike anywhere else in Canada. With that in mind, here are four steps to creating your dream life in this city.

Outline your values to balance priorities

@yvonnooo, Move Up Prince George/Facebook

Before you think about moving outside of your comfort zone (and maybe your city), it’s important to outline your values. Do you want a job in a downtown core or can you work remotely? Are you thinking of raising a family in the next few years or prefer to tackle it solo?

For example, if things like nature and craft breweries are important to you (like almost all Calgarians) you’ll want to relocate somewhere with direct access to nature… and craft brewpubs. Prince George has all of this and so much more: imagine being able to go fishing, camping, hunting, or ice skating just minutes from downtown, and having access to some of the most epic snowmobile trails in Canada. It’s full of hidden gems (like the Ancient Forest — the world’s only inland temperate rainforest, located just a 1.5-hour drive from the city!) just waiting to be discovered.

Trench Brewing and Distilling/Move Up Prince George

Year-round, there’s something to do in this city, and the people are pretty awesome too. Prince George is known as The Volunteer City due to the incredible volunteer turn-out to help people displaced by wildfires, Operation Red Nose, and the 4,500 people who volunteered for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Plus, the city is home to local heroes like Colin Breadner (he started a community group that gives back in the most impactful way).

Consider all career options

Calgary is filled with creatives, tradespeople, and tech experts. However, this means higher competition for jobs. If you’re a recent graduate and you’re waiting tables because you can’t find a full-time job with your degree, it’s time to look to Prince George.

Employment opportunities? They’re plentiful. This BC city has economic growth in industries from retail trade to construction, health care and social assistance, to manufacturing. The median household income for couple families sits at $106,530 in Prince George.

Have you got a side hustle you want to turn into a full-time career, yet struggle to find an apartment with a spare room to store stock or have an office? This is common in Calgary. But if you take a look at your career right now and consider moving to a city with more opportunities, it could really pay off in the long run.

Think of where you can live better for less

Uprooting your life is a big decision, but moving to another province shouldn’t be as scary as the idea of moving across the world. The thing is, there are plenty of amazing places to live in Western Canada that aren’t ridiculously expensive. Prince George is case in point.

For starters, it’s situated within close proximity to nature, and the weather is on par with Calgary, except Prince George is generally a bit warmer in the winter — and the city doesn’t get snow in the summer (sorry). In terms of rainfall, well, it rains considerably less in Prince George than more southerly BC cities (looking at you, Vancouver).

When it comes to getting around, traffic doesn’t dictate your life in Prince George. Everything you need is within a 15-minute drive from the downtown core. Transit fares (and gas) are also lower, so it doesn’t cost as much to commute to work.

What about the cost of living? Renting is significantly more affordable in Prince George than Calgary — an average of $921 per month for a two-bedroom apartment vs. $1,305 in YYC. Think of all the money you could save after a six-month period with reduced rent and a higher wage. And if you’re thinking about buying a home, you can get a nicer, newer property for less than the prices in Calgary — and where property values are rising, not falling.

In short, moving to Prince George allows you to continue doing what you love, but on a greater scale, with money left over to afford big toys!

Start a rainy day fund

Couple at Ritual Coffee Bar/Move Up Prince George

No matter what your three-year plan looks like, starting a rainy day fund can give you peace of mind. Moving costs money, as does pursuing your passion for winter sports, and embarking on adventures during the summer. But setting a percentage of your salary aside now means you’ll still be able to do the things you love — and build a rainy day fund for relocating in the future.

Cutting out your morning coffee shop run, biking instead of taking transit, and selling your pre-loved clothing are excellent ways to get your savings started. Putting funds aside now could lead you to a happier, more prosperous lifestyle in Prince George.

Change, no matter how big or small, isn’t always easy — but it can be ultimately worthwhile. If you’re unhappy with things in Calgary, why not reevaluate your #2020goals?

Discover more information about creating your dream life in central BC at moveupprincegeorge.ca. Who knows, moving may be the best decision you ever make!

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