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UK or BC... Life decisions

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@motdoc, The solution is easy ... flip a coin to choose heads BC, tails UK.

If you don't like the way the coin lands ... its best of three.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Or find a coin with two heads Laughing (it's obvious what I would do, isn't it?)

One thing I would say, having been in Sweden for nearly 5 years now, is that living abroad and away from family does seem to increase the pressure to see everyone when you go "home", and this can be to the detriment of catching up with friends. Finding the balance without it becoming very stressful can be difficult.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
this might swing it a bit as well :

https://www.mcgill.ca/undergraduate-admissions/yearly-costs
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DrLawn wrote:
@motdoc, The solution is easy ... flip a coin to choose heads BC, tails UK.



Heads go to Canada, tails leave UK.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mgrolf wrote:
Or find a coin with two heads Laughing (it's obvious what I would do, isn't it?)

One thing I would say, having been in Sweden for nearly 5 years now, is that living abroad and away from family does seem to increase the pressure to see everyone when you go "home", and this can be to the detriment of catching up with friends. Finding the balance without it becoming very stressful can be difficult.

We lived in Asia for for many years and after one rather tiring trip back catching up we decided that on all return trips we would take a house big enough for friends and anyone who wanted could come and visist. Also arranged European ski trips to catch up with friends and family.
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I've spent a fair bit of time in BC. I love the place, but some opinions in this thread are very rose-tinted. Of course the skiing is fantastic, and there's many other positives too. However, there's also some negatives which anyone making a serious decision on living their with kids needs to consider. It's by no means a straightforward decision.

Quote:

Been here ten years and I find the UK very crowded, oppressively so now!!!


The whole UK rolling eyes plenty of sparsely populated places in UK. Just like there's plenty of busy places in BC.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
There seems to be a belief in this thread that grand parents will happily troop across to BC from the UK on a regular basis. I doubt it. Once upon a time I used to love flying to North America. These days I loathe it. The airport experience, including security and immigration is horrific, and jet lag hits me badly. I have friends with a son in BC; they fly there once a year. I am not saying that that should be a bar to emigrating. Just don't be too sure the grandparents will cheerfully keep buzzing across the Pond.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@boarder2020, you don't seem to have listed any of the negatives...?
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I can only think of humour (or lack of it) and distance from the ocean if you are in the Rockies.

Canada is very open arm to migrants. Bit like the UK
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/sep/04/canadian-cities-where-minorities-are-the-majority-markham-brampton
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boarder2020 wrote:
I've spent a fair bit of time in BC. I love the place, but some opinions in this thread are very rose-tinted. Of course the skiing is fantastic, and there's many other positives too. However, there's also some negatives which anyone making a serious decision on living their with kids needs to consider. It's by no means a straightforward decision.

Quote:

Been here ten years and I find the UK very crowded, oppressively so now!!!


The whole UK rolling eyes plenty of sparsely populated places in UK. Just like there's plenty of busy places in BC.


Quite right. Just drive out on ANY of the Ms out of London....loads of space, beyond the green belt. But land use is heavily controlled to keep land prices up for the landlords....allegedly Little Angel
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Quote:

There seems to be a belief in this thread that grand parents will happily troop across to BC from the UK on a regular basis. I doubt it. Once upon a time I used to love flying to North America. These days I loathe it.


This is even more true when you consider getting to Nelson is not so straightforward. It's an 8 hour drive from Vancouver or Calgary, 4 hours from Kelowna, and right now there is no public transport with greyhound pulling out of BC. Flying from London to the nearest airports (castlegar or trail) there is no convenient flights - I just booked mine for this winter and have an overnight layover in Calgary on the way out.

Quote:

you don't seem to have listed any of the negatives...?


Well everywhere has negatives. Healthcare and public transport would be two obvious downsides to BC. A lot of negatives are subjective.

The pros may well outweigh the negatives. Although people are making out it's a straightforward easy decision. There are so many things you need to consider, even more so with kids - e..g. what are the local schools like? I'm sure some of it is simply grass is greener mentality.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just to provide an alternative view (from experience):

It really depends on how close you are to your parents. And on whether they are likely to be fit enough and have the money to visit you reasonably often, not just now, but in 20 years time.

My wife and I lived in New Zealand for 6 years and our parents came out every year for long stays. It seemed fine for them and us. But we are very close to them and wanted them to be a big part of our kids' lives, so when we decided to have kids we felt we had to come back to the UK (though we agonised over the decision). If we had stayed there, I think both sets of parents would have been forced to stop visiting, due to ill health, several years ago.

My wife spent several weeks at her mum's last year, nursing her after a stroke and that was hard enough with her living a few hours away, but it would have been awful if we were still in NZ. Then after seeming to recover, her mum had another, final, stroke a few months ago. If we had been in NZ, my wife would have dashed to the airport, paid whatever it cost to get the next flight home, then arrived to find that her mum died 6 hours after the stroke whilst she was still in mid-air.

That sort of thing is the trade off for the wonderful life in BC. Only you can decide how much weight to give it in your decision.

FWIW, we are glad we came back, but then I think it is natural to look for confirmation that you made the right choice. We have Brit friends who stayed in NZ and are now having major problems with being so far from elderly relatives in the UK, though I think they would say they are still glad they stayed (even though their kids say things like "fush and chups").
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@koru, great post.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
koru wrote:

but then I think it is natural to look for confirmation that you made the right choice. We have Brit friends who stayed in NZ and are now having major problems with being so far from elderly relatives in the UK, though I think they would say they are still glad they stayed (even though their kids say things like "fush and chups").

There’s no “right” choice.

Only choices that lead to different set of outcomes which maybe better in some ways and not as good in others.

Hence, there’s no WRONG choices either.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
koru wrote:


(even though their kids say things like "fush and chups").


Dintust for dentist is my favorite.....
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
achilles wrote:
There seems to be a belief in this thread that grand parents will happily troop across to BC from the UK on a regular basis. I doubt it. Once upon a time I used to love flying to North America. These days I loathe it. The airport experience, including security and immigration is horrific, and jet lag hits me badly. I have friends with a son in BC; they fly there once a year. I am not saying that that should be a bar to emigrating. Just don't be too sure the grandparents will cheerfully keep buzzing across the Pond.


I think you may have missed me say exactly that. I do actually live here, and my parents do not fly here anymore.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
galpinos wrote:
koru wrote:


(even though their kids say things like "fush and chups").


Dintust for dentist is my favorite.....


Sounds like very very posh Aussies.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
[quote="boarder2020"]
Quote:


This is even more true when you consider getting to Nelson is not so straightforward. It's an 8 hour drive from Vancouver or Calgary, 4 hours from Kelowna, and right now there is no public transport with greyhound pulling out of BC. Flying from London to the nearest airports (castlegar or trail) there is no convenient flights - I just booked mine for this winter and have an overnight layover in Calgary on the way out.



I hope you didn't mean your flight to Castelgar in the Winter - maybe a longer layover than you expected! Madeye-Smiley
Castlegar airport is strategically placed in the Columbia river valley with a mountain at both ends of the runway so a somewhat tricky approach and hence lots of flights in and out cancelled in the winter. Trail I assume is similar (but even smaller airport). Spokane is a bit of drive over the boarder but likely much more reliable.

We did briefly consider Nelson as a place to live, but ultimately probably too remote for what we do. For a doctor and teacher that might be quite different.
For us North Van is fairly optimal - yes it is _really_ expensive, but imho it has the ideal balance of proximity to a proper city with being on the edge of wilderness (there are probably about 3 or 4 houses between my house and the N Pole Happy)

On healthcare (and this will likely be something you probably know more than me about!), it is a mix in BC. There is no private health care (mostly, sort-of) so you can't rely on BUPA for things like getting an knee fixed or MRI - though you can pay for both of these, they otherwise can take a long time. There is only private dental but it will to some extent be paid for by your extended health. There is currently no national pharmacare (equivalent to prescriptions) for some completely odd reasons; again you have to rely on extended health benefits from your employer. That said I've had some emergency and specialized long term treatments which have been excellent. This varies widely, but I can get to see my family doctor (and the same one) very easily and conveniently with none of the crazy rush to book on the same day as in the UK, and if your doctor is away or it's out of hours there are well organised drop-in clinics that anyone can go to.

On public transport. Again I think that comes down to where you live. Not really any passenger trains, but I think that is down to vast geography and the fact that train tracks are primarily to move goods (Canadian sized trains still amaze me!). Of course in the city, there is perfectly decent public transport as you'd expect.

On education. As I mentioned earlier, I don't think it is as academically focused, and you can decide if that is a good thing or not, but seems to have good outcomes. Kids do get to do lots of interesting things that they wouldn't in the UK, such as spending time at an outdoor school learning about traditional First Nations living. In the summer, they get to do lots of wide and varied camps (a feature of long summer vacation, and being in a city that offers the scope), though this isn't all that cheap
Taking them out of school to go skiing doesn't seem to be frowned upon - in fact the schools have skiing and mountain biking teams round here! Happy


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 6-09-18 15:54; edited 5 times in total
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In addition to some of the views above, the "you have to live your own life" philosophy works the other way too. We did give some consideration to our families before moving out to Austria (we don't have kids, otherwise there may have been more consternation from my mother!), but during the planning stages it became apparent that we weren't the only ones moving. At around the same time, my partner's parents emigrated to New Zealand, joining their daughter but leaving behind the grandchildren! I don't think they would want or expect us to take care of them, if it comes to that. They can visit us whenever they want (we haven't seen them in over a year now), but I can't currently stretch to a flight to NZ, so I'm not sure when we will see them.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I am surprised how no one at all suggests staying in the UK.
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Honestly no. Maybe societal expectations, differ and the jobs are there. One way or another Canada seems much more equal.
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jarjer wrote:
I am surprised how no one at all suggests staying in the UK.


For us it was a very close thing. We had our family in the UK, a young child (daycare is cheaper here, but good daycare is hard to find) and I had a very good job in the UK; not quite such a good job market here. But in the end on balance we decided it was a better place for bringing up the family.
It is stressful moving countries, even when the company I work for smoothed things over a lot, and even when you think that culturally and language wise the countries are similar. Took a long time to really get settled.
If we had edged the other way and stayed, would things have been worse?... I don't know, they would certainly have been different. On balance I'm glad we did it.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

I hope you didn't mean your flight to Castelgar in the Winter - maybe a longer layover than you expected!


I know it's not ideal, but what are the other options? I'm there 2 months so hire car is not an option (too expensive and wouldn't be used at all other than getting to and from the airport). There is no public transport from Calgary or Vancouver (or anywhere long distance now greyhound pulled out). If only BC had decent public transport wink thankfully I have plenty of time so a few days delay wouldn't be the end of the world, but demonstrates the lousy transport system.

Quote:

outdoor school learning about traditional First Nations living


I was pretty shocked my first time in BC about how much the first Nations are generally hated ("a bunch of unemployed alcoholics taking our tax money"). It wasn't just one or two times I heard that kind of stuff.
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jarjer wrote:
I am surprised how no one at all suggests staying in the UK.

For me there would be some very difficult things about moving... family and friends.. plus culturally. Whilst it is easy to be down about the UK, it does have a lot going forward it. I know a lot of foreigners that are from all over. And most of them love living here most of the time.

But unlike many, including me, the OP has had a good trial having spent 18 months there and seemed to love it. And given their professions, the age of the kids, etc. it doesn't seem to be full of risks/holes from that point of view. And the people who I know (not many I will grant you) who are from Canada or have emigrated there seem to really rate it.
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boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

I hope you didn't mean your flight to Castelgar in the Winter - maybe a longer layover than you expected!


I know it's not ideal, but what are the other options? I'm there 2 months so hire car is not an option (too expensive and wouldn't be used at all other than getting to and from the airport). There is no public transport from Calgary or Vancouver (or anywhere long distance now greyhound pulled out). If only BC had decent public transport wink thankfully I have plenty of time so a few days delay wouldn't be the end of the world, but demonstrates the lousy transport system.

Quote:

outdoor school learning about traditional First Nations living


I was pretty shocked my first time in BC about how much the first Nations are generally hated ("a bunch of unemployed alcoholics taking our tax money"). It wasn't just one or two times I heard that kind of stuff.


I wonder how widespread the opinion you have is? Based on a small subset from small parts perhaps?. It's kind of hard to argue that First Nations didn't get the rough end of the stick for the last few hundred years.
Culturally it is good that the kids learn about the traditions (and all do in BC as it is part of the curriculum), and doing things such as actually putting traditional fishing and cooking techniques into practice certainly helps them learn.

I would complain if my taxes were used setting up public transport to regularly shuttle people from Vancouver to Rossland since hardly anyone lives there.
It might make skiing at Red a bit easier I suppose. If you work for Teck (which is probably the other major reason to go there), I'm sure they will pay you to get there and fly you into Trail/Castlegar/Cranbrook. On the other hand did you notice that there is a shuttle from Spokane, and there used to be one from Kelowna (private ones)?
Would you set up a train network to connect up the whole of BC just in case someone wants to get somewhere? It is a really big place with a really low population density except in a few pockets .They do incidentally do this in some parts of Canada to keep remote communities going, but I'm not sure it would be classed as regular as it would be prohibitively expensive to do so

BTW if I lived in Rossland for more than a week or so, I'd definitely want a car


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Thu 6-09-18 18:41; edited 1 time in total
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I dont think anyone would argue the first Nations were persecuted in the past (and perhaps still?). I have no opinion on the current situation with the first Nations, I don't know enough about it and it's not for me to say as a foreigner. I have heard a lot of racism against them in many parts of BC, and even more in Alberta (which would suprise no one).

Quote:

there is a shuttle from Spokane


Yes, but it's a different country, and I'm not eligible for esta so not a realistic possibility.

Quote:

I would complain if my taxes were used setting up public transport


I never said they should. Of course it's not profitable, that's why greyhound pulled out. I'm just stating the fact that getting around BC without your own car is a nightmare.

Quote:

BTW if I lived in Rossland, I'd definitely want a car


Why? It's one street and there's a free shuttle to the ski hill.
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stuarth wrote:
TQA wrote:
If I was bringing up young children and I could do it in British Columbia rather than almost anywhere in the UK I would not hesitate to choose BC.


Mostly it is great. Education is probably the exception. School curriculum seems somewhat random and not as academically focused.


Well I know nothing about education in Canada but was involved in education in the UK both at the chalk face and at national level. Successive OK governments have contributed to a decline in the quality of education in the UK. Children are less literate and less numerate from day 1 to the day they leave.

There are only a few good schools in any district. The rest? well I would not send children there.

I guess I better stop before I start ranting and need a spit hood.
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boarder2020 wrote:
I dont think anyone would argue the first Nations were persecuted in the past (and perhaps still?). I have no opinion on the current situation with the first Nations, I don't know enough about it and it's not for me to say as a foreigner. I have heard a lot of racism against them in many parts of BC, and even more in Alberta (which would suprise no one).

Quote:

there is a shuttle from Spokane


Yes, but it's a different country, and I'm not eligible for esta so not a realistic possibility.

Quote:

I would complain if my taxes were used setting up public transport


I never said they should. Of course it's not profitable, that's why greyhound pulled out. I'm just stating the fact that getting around BC without your own car is a nightmare.

Quote:


BTW if I lived in Rossland, I'd definitely want a car


Why? It's one street and there's a free shuttle to the ski hill.



I'd want a car because of the reason you state (one main street at least). It is really small. Personally if I lived there, I'd want to be able to at least be able to easily get to Trail, possibly Castlegar, and most likely Nelson and Whitewater too amongst others.

You argue that public transport in BC is crap. Well maybe in the bits you've visited that is true. I'm just saying that given anywhere else in the world with similar geography and population density, you'd likely find the same. If you live in central London public transport is quite good (and it's not bad in Vancouver), but if you went to the Scottish highlands you'd likely find that the bus to get to whatever hamlet you wanted when you wanted might be lacking.
There is not an equivalent train network because of the density, and use for freight. Though hopefully sometime soon there will be a high speed rail to Seattle and Portland from Vancouver which will be really good.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Western Canada used to have respectable rail service. When I first went as a student I took the Rocky Mountaineer as a regular Via Rail service through to Banff and Fernie and other places have repurposed passenger stations.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@motdoc, go to Canada. The UK is going down the tubes.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I'm just saying that given anywhere else in the world with similar geography and population density, you'd likely find the same.


Yes, but if someone was moving to one of those places and asked about the potential downsides of living there it would be reasonable to say public transport isn't great. Of course there are justifiable reasons why the transport situation is the way it is, but it's not important for the purpose of this thread.

Quote:

Rocky Mountaineer


Still exists. Doesn't run in winter. Is aimed at the international travellers seeking luxury rather than public transport now though, not sure what it was like in the past.

Quote:

I'd want a car because of the reason you state (one main street at least). It is really small. Personally if I lived there, I'd want to be able to at least be able to easily get to Trail, possibly Castlegar, and most likely Nelson and Whitewater too amongst others.


Trail and castlegar don't exactly excite me as fun days out. Whitewater would be fun, if someone's going over I might car share, would probably just go once or twice though as £50 plus petrol is kind of steep when I can ski red for free* (season pass is of course not free, but now it's paid for I'm not paying any extra). I'm just there for 2 months to ride as much as possible and don't really care about entertainment so small town living is fine - if it was more long-term or I wanted more than just skiing I get your point.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think you said...

boarder2020 wrote:

There is no public transport from Calgary or Vancouver (or anywhere long distance now greyhound pulled out). If only BC had decent public transport wink thankfully I have plenty of time so a few days delay wouldn't be the end of the world, but demonstrates the lousy transport system.


The fact you can't get a public bus/train from Vancouver or Calgary to Rossland, isn't quite the same as saying BC (as a whole) has lousy transport.
Pretty obvious really. If you live in the middle of nowhere, then public transport is limited. Pretty sure Nelson itself has a bus service of some kind, and probably between Nelson and other places around. For me I would (and did) ask Red mountain to have a word with Air Canada about no flights to Spokane, rather than trying to improve access to Castlegar or request a bus from Vancouver
As you probably know however (I believe you were in Whistler for a bit?) some public transport between places could justifiably be much improved - eg Vancouver, Squamish or Pemberton to Whistler.
Would it be nice to get a train from Vancouver to Kelowna - probably, but its far enough that you would fly. Should they have built a train to Whistler instead of the highway upgrades; maybe they should.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I'm not judging it on rossland, which I accept is more remote. This time last year I would have said transport was far from perfect but adequate. Greyhound could get you to most places. Now with no greyhound getting anywhere west of Banff (golden, revy, invermere) is impossible. It's a huge loss, to the point some Canadians were saying the government needs to step in and offer a replacement although I haven't heard anything.

Quote:

Whistler - vancouver


Plenty of cheap shuttles. Personally I've got no complaints about transport on this route. Train (with stop at airport) would be really nice though and possibly help with congestion.
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boarder2020 wrote:
I'm not judging it on rossland, which I accept is more remote. This time last year I would have said transport was far from perfect but adequate. Greyhound could get you to most places. Now with no greyhound getting anywhere west of Banff (golden, revy, invermere) is impossible. It's a huge loss, to the point some Canadians were saying the government needs to step in and offer a replacement although I haven't heard anything.

Quote:

Whistler - vancouver


Plenty of cheap shuttles. Personally I've got no complaints about transport on this route. Train (with stop at airport) would be really nice though and possibly help with congestion.


Going a bit off topic, but also somewhat impacted by lack of greyhound. You're probably right, government probably should have done something or do something to support or replace Greyhound

I'm not sure that's the case regarding Whistler. Easy enough to be a tourist and get a shuttle to and from Whistler, but based on the cars on the road and congestion on highway 99, not such an easy option for day visitors from lower mainland (ie a big chunk of Whistlers customers even if they seem to have forgotten that), or people working in Whistler but not able to live there. Or people living in Squamish and working in Vancouver...
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Quote:

or people working in Whistler but not able to live there

You make it sound like there's a shortage of affordable housing in whistler or something Madeye-Smiley Yeah, I see your point, bus from Squamish definitely would make sense. You would think there's a decent profit to be made on that route too.
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It is a general truth that people who work in ski resorts in the day to day jobs can not afford to live in or even near the resort in the USA.

The odd resort makes an effort to provide affordable housing [ Telluride ? ] but most don't.

It is not uncommon for workers to face 60 mile commutes.
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My youngest, who has been working in ski resorts for about 7 years has been in Canada for the last 2 with her boyfriend. She's going through the residency process now. My wife and I, whilst we miss her, would always support this choice. It's her life and whilst we won't be able to pop round unlike our other two girls who are both within an hour we understand the quality of life opportunities this presents.
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boarder2020 wrote:


Rocky Mountaineer


Still exists. Doesn't run in winter. Is aimed at the international travellers seeking luxury rather than public transport now though, not sure what it was like in the past.



That was my point you just showed up at the Via Rail station in the east end of Vancover near skid row and bought a ticket. It was a regular train albeit with a viewing carriage you could go in not an Orient Express style "experience" Other route went through Jasper to Edmonton and I'm assuming there was one along the highway 3 corridor to Cranbrook Fernie Lethbridge
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Gerry wrote:
@motdoc, go to Canada. The UK is going down the tubes.

I thought you said you'd put all that right. Oh, sorry, wrong thread.
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Air quality!!!!!! we were in BC a couple of weeks ago air quality scale 1-10 it was 10+ for days.
It looked like it was really foggy but it was smoke. We reckoned the exhaust gas from the car was cleaner than the air going in. The sun was a red glow most of the day there was that much smoke in the air. The air quality has improved is down to 4 now.

Remember when you go for a walk you could be lunch.
snow conditions



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