- Countries Visited: 12
- Travel Wishlist: Everywhere but hopefully through South America
- Locked down in: Whistler, BC – Canada
“Soon after, the lockdown was swift and brutal. The once loud, bustling village became a ghost town.”
Mid-January 2020 was when I first arrived in Vancouver, Canada with absolutely no plans. It wasn’t until I went to visit a friend in Whistler that I decided I was going to put a pin in my career in media and become a ski bum.
At the time, Whistler was a busy, vibrant tourist town where a vast number of the ‘locals’ are really backpackers or people that started out that way. I was working in a bar waiting to be approved for a ‘Spirit pass’ which would FINALLY grant me access to the mountain.
March rolls around and people are starting to take this crazy new virus more seriously. However, in my mind, it’s still as far away and as insignificant to me as swine flu was. I had finally secured my Spirit pass and went straight to the Whistler Blackcomb guest services to purchase it. The very next day Vail resorts announced they were closing the mountains in the interest of public safety and to do their part in the battle against the spread of COVID-19.
Soon after, the lockdown was swift and brutal. The once loud, bustling village became a ghost town. Many of us were immediately let go from our jobs as businesses closed with no inclination on when they would be able to reopen. I tried my hardest to stay but the lack of financial security and the calls to return home proved too much and so I left on the 24th of March 2020.
Fast forward and it’s now December 2020 and I’ve decided to have another go at this. I arrived back in Vancouver on the 27th of December where I was required to quarantine for 14 days. While it was considered a mandatory quarantine, at the time, it was a self managed quarantine.
I arrived back in Whistler on the 11th of January 2021 and spent my first night back catching up with friends and trying to wrap my head around life in Whistler. There is a stark contrast to how it was when I first arrived, the village is a shadow of its former self. Luckily, bars, restaurants and other local businesses have been allowed to reopen under restrictions. Masks are now mandatory.
The Mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, have reopened under restrictions as well. I’ve spent as many days up there as I can and have loved every second of it. Well, almost every second. The times spent falling on my ass and my head are seconds I could live without…
One of the main and most alarming differences that I have personally been affected by is the lack of job opportunities. It has taken me approximately two months to secure a job that is financially viable enough for me to feel comfortable and confident in my decision to return and to stay.
The attitude amongst the locals is fairly relaxed as long as you’re complying with the rules and thankfully most people are smart and compassionate enough to do so. As most of us are young, healthy, social people we tend to be lenient regarding social restrictions but anyone in this category is knowingly a part of it.
Canada is one of the many countries currently rolling out vaccines which gives us all a bit of hope that perhaps this year will see the end of restrictions especially considering our neighbours to the south have been vaccinating their population so effectively.
I’m not one for plans but with any luck 2021 will see the return of tourism and travel. I would love to see more of North America and would also love to see South America. However, if that’s not what is in store for me this year than I must admit there are worse places to spend your time than in Whistler.