Eight years ago my husband and I spread our wings as empty nesters and made what many considered to be an irrational decision to pull up stakes in Welland, Ontario and move to Edmonton, Alberta.
One month before the move, I flew out to find a place to live in a city that at the time had a vacancy rate of less than 1%.
A colleague picked me up at the Edmonton airport and as we exited the parking lot, we looked up to see a stunningly beautiful rainbow. I took it to be an omen that our risky decision would pay dividends.
Turns out I was right as we lucked into a great house as well as a marvelous life changing experience.
What had been a short term contract became a $6 million provincial-wide initiative that in essence was about helping some 60+ communities identify their assets and priorities and then work together to implement their resulting vision and values.
The learnings, resources, and rewards resulting from helping to facilitate that kind of system-wide change have proven to be unbelievably valuable and since the project ended have resulted in new work in Nunavut, Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, and even Ontario.
Apparently there is a lot of interest in how to facilitate systemic community change so the learnings have sparked the development of a new social enterprise that is an online micro college called Campus for Communities.
My husband benefited as well, being able to expand his online kite business to new audiences, and also to learn a new trade that involved conquering the art and science of being head icemaker at an Edmonton Curling Club.
Along the way, we made new lifelong friends, strengthened and cemented our own relationship, and gained confidence in our respective skills and abilities. We also found a new and deeper appreciation for Niagara as well as the diversity and richness of Canada.
Ultimately we found that while there was much to love about Alberta, there really is no place like home and decided that since most of our work was online, it no longer mattered where we physically resided.
Ironically, as we hit the highway on the outskirts of Edmonton heading back to Ontario, we saw a rainbow. Coincidence? I think not.
It feels good to be home and especially to know that great risks can come with great rewards. Perhaps it is true that these days taking a leap can sometimes be less risky than standing still.Posted on 05-22-15
I am glad it feels good to go back. What a ride that 8 years has been.•Posted by Rose on 05/27/15 at 12:36 PM
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