Hello again! Thanks for coming back!
You may have noticed on my About page that I do not live on Salt Spring right now. So why am I writing about “life on the rock” when I don’t live on the rock? How can I be an island girl if I’m not on the island? Well, let me tell you.
I was born and raised on Salt Spring Island. My parents moved to the island a few years before I was born, and they had me and my brother in the very same house they live in today. I grew up there, went to school there, had my first jobs there, and I very strongly identify as an Islander. When I graduated high school and went to university, I didn’t go far. I went to VIU in Nanaimo. It’s just a 20-minute ferry ride and a 45-minute drive from my parent’s house. VIU stands for Vancouver Island University. Vancouver Island is much much larger than Salt Spring but still has an island-y feel. And being so close to home, I came back to the island frequently. I spent all my summer breaks working on Salt Spring, I came home on many weekends and I came home for Christmas and all my breaks.
Now that I have finished university and have moved out for good, I live in Vancouver. This is a bit farther than Nanaimo, but still not too far. For those who aren’t familiar with the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is the biggest city in BC, on the mainland. Now, it takes about 5 hours for me to get back home. I still try to go home as much as I can, for birthdays and holidays and long weekends. I still feel a very strong pull back to the island.
So, why the heck don’t I live there? For all the great things about Salt Spring, there are a few drawbacks.
First, there are virtually no rentals available on the island. The few rentals that are available, are typically only available in the offseason. People who own property on Salt Spring often use it as a summer home and rent it for the winter season. Which means, if you want to live there, you have to buy a house. That would be fine, except I am 23 and I don’t have the money to buy a house right now. Real estate on Salt Spring is quite pricey, and most young people simply can’t afford the high prices.
Second, there are few jobs for young professionals. I have been out of university for 1 year and I am trying to build my career. Salt Spring is not the place to do that. Being a tourist town, there are plenty of great summer jobs for students, but very few opportunities for people just starting out and making a name for themselves. Maybe in a few years once I have established my career I’ll be able to move back there. Perhaps even open my own small business!
So that’s why I don’t live on Salt Spring now. Simply, because I can’t. Part of the reason I want to write this blog is to help me feel connected to Salt Spring, even while I am not living there. Of course, there are other things that connect to the island still, like my family and friends who are still there, but this is just one more way to keep in touch.
And here’s a picture of my dog, because I love him: