Tom (2/3)

„Yukon = freedom“

But it’s not easy to immigrate to Canada. Well, the immigration process itself is quite simple. If you are eligible, you send an application and you get the approval. Before that you have to do an English test, a medical examination, pay fees. Step by step you come closer to your goal although it can take one to three years.

Meanwhile you just live your life: Work, travel, party, do sports, fight battles with your ex-wife, get upset about a lot and are happy about other stuff. Life goes on.

If the immigration process takes a long time it doesn’t have to be that bad. You have so many opportunities to use the time while you are waiting. You can, for example, build up a good credit history that you can use afterwards. I bought a car, a kayak, skis, snow shoes, furniture and I observed the real estate market for later, and I have built up and deepened contacts. Everything takes its time.

Why did I go back to Vancouver after my first summer? I had cabin fever! Whitehorse is small, only 27.000 inhabitants. They are spread all over town and also in the suburbs. If you only spend your time in Downtown, it is really not a big city. And without a car I had no chance to get out of town.

Whitehorse is not the Yukon and the Yukon is not Whitehorse. As soon as you leave Whitehorse you can see the Yukon’s true face. You immediately feel ‘freedom’. True freedom.

Because you are alone on the empty highways. Nature and distances are wide and far. Sometimes you are even alone on Campgrounds – even during the peak season. You feel free because you also realize the span of your own time when you are sitting at a bonfire. And finally you see lakes and rivers and you ask yourself what’s behind the next mountain? And you realize that there is even more intact nature.

The Wild West is still there, just not in California but in the Yukon, in the Northwest Territories and in Alaska, in the North of Canada and the USA. You can feel it when you are here. But I couldn’t have realized all that without a car. So I got cabin fever and I had to leave.

In my first year in Canada and in the Yukon I haven’t understood why people wanted to live in the wilderness, off the grid, fa away from any civilization. Maybe without electricity and landline, no cell phone and internet for sure. The toilet – an outhouse. The water pipe – just a bucket. Instead of turning on the heater you chop wood.

In my second year I already have made one step further. You get used to the slow pace of life, the silence, the smell of clean air and the green color of lakes and rivers coming from glacier lakes. I understood the assets and I surely imagined living in a cabin outside of Whitehorse – but still close to town.

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