In The Know: An Islander’s Life

A few weeks ago, one of my Toronto-based readers left a comment and told me that they’re making the move to Vancouver Island in early 2012. Life on Vancouver Island is a unique experience. As such, here are a few things any would-be Islander needs to know:

1. Wild Weather

While Vancouver Island doesn’t experience extremes in the way the Prairies do, any day can surprise you. Rain, hail, snow and sun – we have seen it all in the same 24-hour span.

2. Elemental Attire

With the unpredictable weather, it’s important to always be prepared. Dress in layers as your rainy day may end with a big dose of sunshine. Be sure to add an umbrella, mittens, rubber boots, sturdy flip flops and something made of Gortex to your wardrobe.

3. Take Your Time

Many Islanders have called Vancouver Island home for their whole lives because everything moves at a slower pace. It’s not a bustling metropolis and few people are ever in a hurry to get somewhere. Take care when on the roads, watch for strolling pedestrians and take things slowly. “Stop and smell the roses” has never been truer.

4. 100-Mile Diet

Spanning 460 kilometres, there’s a lot of room for growth on Vancouver Island. The Island produces everything from beer and wine to honey, bread, vegetables and fruit. It’s easy to comprise your diet of the Island’s bounty, so try our food on for size.

5. Abounding Beauty

Rugged shorelines, craggy peaks, lush forests, sculpted gardens and sandy beaches make up only a fraction of the Island’s backyard. Get out and play, explore, hike, surf, swing a golf club, hit the road and tote your camera. You’ll never run out of places to play and see, but make the most of it!

Photo: Evan Leeson on Flickr

While I’m admittedly biased, Vancouver Island is one of the most stunning places on our planet. Those that do or have called it home simply know, and some of those people have added their two cents on Twitter and Facebook. Here are a few more tips regarding Island life…

  • @brian_pat “Lucky Lager is equally delicious at room temperature, as it is frosty cold.”
  • @speciaplacesvi “On #VancouverIsland, you need not seize the moment, for the moment seizes you.”
  • @finniganh “One thing for people to know about #vancouverisland would be the #bcferries are expensive and you need a good pair of rain boots.”
  • @mythicmusings “Get ear muffs/warmers! Just moved to Nanaimo last December and it is windy and cold here – my ears were always sore!”
  • @microjanet “Never run for the ferry: if you make it, you’ll feel sweaty + stressed. If you don’t, you’ll feel sweaty, stressed + frustrated.”
  • @mojaveband “Know the road conditions – not just of where you are, but also of any mountain passes you’ve got to drive through.”
  • @1loriking “A sense of humour, and network, network, network – here on the Island it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
  • @pipnmilly “Buy a good rain jacket. Be prepared for a ‘leisurely’ time frame. Know that you’ll never want to live anywhere else.”
  • @shannonmar “Layers, raincoat, umbrella, fleece, toques, laptop for the ferry rides. Explore the island! It’s spectacular!!”
  • @MrsHutchCanada “Survival tip: always be ready for a change in the weather…:) Could be sunny in the morning then raining in the afternoon.”
  • Ryan (Facebook) “Change the insurance on your car first thing. Way cheaper on the Island. Don’t be like me and wait eight months only to discover I could have saved 30 bucks a month!”
  • Rebecca (Facebook) “When walking your dog, especially this time of year, bring something – whether it’s bear spray or a cell phone – with you. We had two days where bears were wandering around our property looking for food!”

Do you have something to add? Chime in with a comment below!

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