RV Living: I Bought A Trailer

The insurance lady handled back the papers to me: “Congratulations! You are officially the owner of a trailer.” I looked at her, a most satisfied smile spreading from my face to my whole body. She had no idea what this meant to me.

After living predominantly in the beautiful resort town of Whistler for the past 12 years, it was time for a change. This small town has done amazingly for me during all those years: incredible nature hiking trails, quiet lakes, immense snowboarding terrain, tight community, inspiring people. But things have started to develop: The town has grown into becoming one of the most popular four season resorts in the world, hosting millions of visitors every year. Not only the village, the town and the hills are busier, but the trails are crowded, the lakes populated and the secret spots no so secret anymore. I get it. This is how resorts work. If it wasn’t for tourism, this town wouldn’t be what it is today… That’s what we wanted right?

This past summer was the busiest season in Whistler’s history. Of course that’s great, for businesses and for employees to bank on some good money. But the labour shortage brought exhaustion to locals stretching crazy hours and loosing sanity. This labour shortage was, in part, a result of a lack of accommodation. With more and more outsiders buying properties, and Internet platforms such as AirBnB attracting money hungry investors, it left Whistler with barely any accommodation to rent for long-term tenants. And for the lucky ones that found a roof, they could expect to pay 70% of their income just on rent. With a labour shortage, laughable steep rent, and more tourists to cater to, a 10+ hour day, 7 days a week schedule wasn’t surprising to hear. We don’t live in this beautiful town solely to work: we are here to live an experience. How can we do so in such circumstances?

A couple months ago, I received an email from my landlord. They told me that the house was sold and I had a month and a half to move. When I was advised, I was assured I would be able to finish the 7 remaining months on my lease. But the new owners didn’t want tenants, and rather do a nightly rental business with the place. I guess when you buy a million dollar home you do whatever you want, even if it is to dump people in the houseless streets just before winter. It is the second time this year this happened to me. I am a mature and professional adult, and a clean and quiet tenant with great references. That was it: I was done with landlords. I was done with their unbelievable restrictions, greediness and paucity of compassion. I was ready to have my own place, but I wasn’t financially ready for Whistler’s outlandish real estate.

So I bought a trailer.

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Stay tuned as I live the RV life and share my experiences with you!

A Decade In Such Great Heights

500 weeks ago, I headed west aboard a Greyhound bus on the Trans Canada Highway, bringing along a poor English, a backpack, a snowboard and just a few dollars in my pockets. After spending the summer by the sea in Victoria, BC, working at a Yögen Früz to learn a second language, I migrated to the city. However, the crowdedness of the streets, the continuous autumn rain and the stressful lifestyle wasn’t for me. I travelled north of Vancouver for a day, to explore a magical town that I heard so much about. Indeed dreamy, lively and chummy, I found myself immersed in a bubble of eternal smiles where people actually…lived. I met a group of local residents, a few of them also from Quebec, and soon enough we clicked and exchanged numbers. And this is where it all started…

On October 13th, 2003, I packed my bags and headed towards Whistler. A week earlier, I have accepted an invitation to rent a room at these locals’ house. I barely knew them, had no idea where it was located, but I knew I was going to move to Whistler. I found myself sharing a room in a garage with a stranger and paying the full price of $450 a month. The basement suite was old and dated. The wooded walls were dusty, the rooms were dark and the carpet moldy… It was perfect! I was so happy to be there that nothing could stop my ecstatic joy.

At 19 years old, I have found my paradise, on my own, away from home, in the unknown. I was the happiest girl. I got a job right away cleaning luxurious homes and working on the mountain serving chilly potatoes to hungry skiers and snowboarders from all around the world. While friends at home started university, I started my own. It could not have been a better English immersion. It could not have been better life lessons. I lived in million dollar homes, I snowboarded the best terrain in the world, I met inspiring people. I became part of the movement: the young at heart, the free spirits, the gypsies of the world. I made friends that became my family, I matured up and evolved, I became fluent and I live life at the fullest.

I remember when we used to gather around the steps of Moguls warming up on each other’s mountain stories of the day. I remember feeding on Raman noodles and 0.99$ loafs of bread and 8-packers of Pilsner. I remember the 50cm powder days, waking up at 5am to be the first in the line-up and getting stuck all day. I remember the people that came and then left, but always returned. I remember the ones that stayed and became the wonderful family I have today.

Now, 10 years later, I look back at all those years that went by. I am so thankful for having found such a perfect bubble nestled in paradise. A place to call my home. Thanks to all of those that helped me through this journey, the ones that tagged along, the ones that inspired. Thanks to the community who made me feel like a human, with passions to follow, dreams to pursue. And thanks to the mountains, the ones that gave me fresh air to breathe, hills and trees to ride, magical snowflakes to fall from the sky. You made me feel alive.

I might not be on your ground at the moment, but I raise my Moroccan tea in your honor. Cheers to you Whistler, and thanks for the good ride.

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Note: I apologize for any mistakes, this is written on an iPhone with a poor Moroccan Internet connection.

Wrap Up 2012

Comes the end of 2012 and looking back at the days that became weeks, weeks that became months, months that made the year.

As time flies like in the blink of an eye, my goal is to always keep the calendar full and accomplished so each year is a unique chapter with its own flavor, its own story.

It is time to rememorate the highlights of the year passed and cheer one more time for a great life!

Dear 2012:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live, work and play in the Cayman Islands.

Thank you for challenging me in obtaining my Advanced Open Water Certificate and the change to dive every mornings.

Thank you for making me taste the life of the rich and famous drinking Moët & Chandon aboard luxurious yachts, every Sunday Fundays.

Thank you for the great occasion to light up a cigar in Cuba and sipped many Mojitos while meeting up with my mother for a weekend in Old Havana.

Thank you for this entertaining road trip in Puerto Rico, from East to West Coast, from historic San Juan to surf town of Rincon, to magnificent inland caves and waterfalls.

Thank you for this nice visit at a friend’s in St-Thomas and all this pampering at the Marriott.

Thank you for the amusing exploration of the island of St-John aboard our roofless Jeep.

Thank you for this return home to Whistler and all those weekend on the lake and wild camping.


Thank you for this latin adventure through Central America, starting in Belize diving the Great Blue Hole with a dozen Black Tip sharks.

Thank you for giving me the chance to explore the Maya temples of Tikal in Guatemala.

Thank you for making me fall in love with El Salvador: it’s sun, it’s surf, it’s sea. I might go back and never come back 😉

Thank you for this attempt to surf in the waves of Nicaragua‘s Pacific Coast.

Thank you for this unique home that I love returning to. My 7th heaven, my soft pillow, my paradise in a snowglobe.

What did I learn through this passed year?

Well, I learnt that even if you jump feet first into the new and the unknown, even if you are scared and unsure, at the end you’ll be doing just fine. By simply keeping your head up high with a positive attitude and an enthusiastic approach, you can achieve anything! Take risks, be scared, get out of your comfort zone and go explore the globe! It’s a brilliant and colorful world out there!

I learnt that sometimes to need to let go, sometimes you need to hold on. It’s finding what’s best for you. Never give up on your dreams. Never give up on yourself.  You can do anything. The only thing stopping you is yourself.

I learnt the importance of being surrounded by people that makes you happy, keeps you positive, inspire you. People that are mentally and physically active. People that smile everyday.

Wherever you are, it doesn’t matter what you do. But it is how you do it. Make a list, and make sure you check it. Restore your dreams, plan your projects and accomplish your goals, one at a time. It doesn’t matter how much you do, but as long as you do it. Remember that the only things that you regret are the risks you didn’t take. You only have one life. And it is yours to achieve.

So I thank you 2012 for all the discoveries of places, for the memorable adventures and for the encounters of amazing and inspiring people.

Farewell 2012 and welcome 2013!

Have a great year fellow footlooses!