‘There is a saying in Neverland, that every time you breath, a grown up dies,” Peter Pan.
You won’t find many real life grown-ups in Whistler; it’s inhabitants reject the notion of growing up and settling down, instead choosing a life of adventure and excitement. I was 25 when I moved to Whistler and I cannot begin to explain what a magical place it is. Whistler is a town where imagination is key and the locals have a childlike playfulness; it truly is a playground for adults.
1. The Activities.
Whistler has an abundance of activities. You could be snowboarding in the winter and biking in the summer. There is so much to do and many of the activities I had never tried before. It constantly throws you out of your comfort zone and gets you experiencing exciting new things. There are high-adrenaline activities like bungee jumping, or more low-key activities like hiking. Just walking through the woods makes you feel like a child again, off to explore the unknown.
2. The Whistler ‘Lost Boys’.
The people make the place what it is, in Whistler they are mainly travellers that have set up home there. Because the town is made up of largely foreigners, everyone wants to be exploring and making the most of their days off. They constantly want to go and experience something new and their playful nature means you are always guaranteed a ‘good time’. They are the adults that refuse to grow up, instead reigniting their inner child, that many of us can forget.
3. The Exploring.
You are constantly getting outside. In the winter you are on the mountain or trekking through the snow to the infamous train wreck and in the summer all you want to do is be out in the sunshine. There are hikes, lakes, white-water rafting, zip-lining; the options are endless. You walk everywhere if you can, or you buy a bike or a skateboard to get you around; no hour commute on the train here. In the winter, you could even be snowboarding to work!
4. The Adventure Lifestyle.
‘Would you like to adventure now, or have your tea first?’ The Whistler locals mainly work in hospitality, which is the main employment in the town. Their days are not structured around the regular 9-5 work schedule. This means that on a Tuesday morning you could be hiking up the mountain or on a Thursday afternoon you could be rafting down a river. Whatever your time off looks like, you are guaranteed to be trying to make the most of it, because that is what everyone is there for. You also live with a bunch of people (housing is ridiculously expensive) so you always have like-minded ‘brothers and sisters’ to go and explore with.
5. The Magical Scenery.
Whistler is a beautiful place. You live surrounded by stunning mountains, the lakes are magical, and in the winter it really is a wonderland. It is easy to see why so many travellers that visit here end up staying forever. Even though it is a small town, there is so much to explore; there is always something new to discover. Waking up and looking out to the enormous mountains, covered in snow, is a view I would never get tired of.
6. The Imagination.
‘You just think lovely wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air’. One of the things I loved so much about Whistler, is that almost every person I met had some sort of hobby or interest, or wanted to find a new one. Whistler draws in a sea of creative people. Many of my friends in Whistler were budding photographers, or movie makers. One guy I worked with shot budget horror movies! Another friend made clothes out of a spare bedroom and another started a home-made jam company from recycled food. It is a place where anything is possible, where you can experiment and your fellow Whistlerites will support you and encourage you. People are completely open minded about other’s ideas. Imagination is all you need.
I honestly don’t think I will ever find anywhere like Whistler again, I hope I do. If not I might just have to head back and rejoin the tribe of travellers that refuse to grow up. Living forever in the playground that is Whistler.