Friday, June 29, 2012


When we decided that we were making the move, one of the first things that we started looking up was which jackets to buy. I have a closet full of winter jackets that have kept me warm enough here, but we both needed something that would be able to withstand the extreme conditions that we'll be facing this winter.

There are a lot of options when it comes to jackets, and two separate camps of people when it comes to what is the "better" route for protection. First, you have to decide what is best for you: either you want to go with a lighter jacket and layer underneath with good base layers, or you can get a thicker jacket and you're all set. Most of the time, the base layer method results in a less expensive jacket - but don't be fooled, you can still spend a pretty penny by the time you're done.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


We finally have a date set for our move! Something that I've been anxious to have since we made the decision to leave, because I'm the kind of person who needs to know what my schedule/timeline looks like. Even though I was told not to worry about it until July, I pushed for a contact at the moving company a couple of weeks ago - and that woman told me that I really should have called earlier because the end of June/beginning of July is the busiest moving weeks out of the whole year. (Grr! I have been trying for over a month to set this up!!)

My new work pays for 4,000 pounds as part of our relocation assistance, and we have been thinking that we were well under the limit and needed to buy more food and supplies so we don't let any of our allowance go to waste. However, according to the man who came to do an estimate of our stuff, we are putting 4,000 pounds into storage and bringing 6,000 pounds with us. Really? We own 10,000 pounds worth of stuff in the house? No! Surely there is a mistake somewhere. Aside from a couple of chairs, we aren't bringing any furniture - so I have no idea how he came up with that amount. The woman from the company who received the estimate went briefly through the list and suggested that perhaps he over-estimated but we should still sort things into a "must-go-with-us" pile, and a "nice-to-bring-with-us" pile the day the movers come, since they'll be weighing our things as they pack.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Taking Inventory

We received some disappointing news last week, and although we weren't entirely sure we'd hear good news, there was always a sense of hope that maybe the stars would shine down on us. Hearing a definitive negative response is always hard. So that's really been weighing on us both. I'm not going to lie. Last week was tough.

It also feels that time is speeding by much too quickly as we near our moving date. Whole days will pass and we look in exhaustion/bewilderment at each other and wonder where the time went. Work has been busy for both of us as we prep to make our respective departures, and we have had something to do/somewhere to be almost every night. Our weekend was also packed with seeing friends and family, which we absolutely want to soak up every single second of, but it feels like we haven't been home for anything other than sleep these days. Not that I'm complaining - there will be plenty of time to sit around just the two of us on our own when we get to Baker Lake - so I often find that if there's a gap in our schedule, I'm trying to squeeze in an extra visit here and there with whomever is available. Exhausted by bedtime, yes, but thankful for every moment we have here with our friends and family.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mental Prep

We would be remiss to talk about how we're prepping for the move without mentioning how it's affecting us internally. I thought planning a 200+ person wedding on an extremely tight budget in 9 months was stressful, but that was a walk in the park compared to this. Mainly because a wedding is something that you have a general idea of what to expect...but how do you know what to expect living thousands of miles away from your family and friends, in a community and culture that is very different from what you're used to? To say it's mentally draining would be an understatement.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Cost of Staying Connected

Note: This is going to be a long post (sorry) - and not very exciting - unless you're one of our geeky friends, in which case, you too, will be appalled at our internet "conditions" we'll be facing; but I wanted to share the research we've done on what kind of bill prices we're looking at for phone, internet, etc. So family and friends: appreciate the lengths we go to so we can stay connected to you! HA! :)

One of the things that we've been researching is how to stay connected after our move - I want to try to work it so that the minute we walk through the door of our house, we just need to plug in a phone and our computer and be connected. I've heard a few stories of it taking days/weeks to get things hooked up, and I don't want to be disconnected from our loved ones for that long - especially when they'll be anxious to know that we've arrived/settled in ok. We've been told that we absolutely must have a land line because it is much more reliable than a cell phone, and we will obviously need internet (How did the world survive without the internet? I remember tying up my parents' phone line for hours with our horribly slow dial-up....sigh, those were the days!)

Friday, June 15, 2012

What If?

I've been having a lot of fun telling people that we're moving to Nunavut, because it is so completely out of left field that people are simply gobsmacked when they find out. It's to the point where I have to start the conversation by saying "I have news! (No, no babies yet.)" Everyone assumes that since we're newly married, I'm going to announce that I'm pregnant - so it's taken what is some pretty big news on its own and amplified it by 2378327 because no one would ever expect it.

Whenever I tell people that we're moving to Nunavut, it's generally been met with a "Nunavut?!? You're not really going to Nunavut??" Surprisingly though, as it's never been on either mine nor Jeff's radar in any sense, most people seem to have some sort of six degrees of separation to Nunavut - either they've known someone who's been, or someone who's there, or they've wanted to go. After the customary questions of why we're going, what we're going to be doing, etc. it inevitably turns into the "What if" game.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Feeding the North

I don't typically talk about politics or anything that may be seen as me getting on my soapbox, but if you follow the news, you may have noticed that there has been a lot of buzz about the high cost of food/living for Nunavut residents these days.

I knew from other blogs I've found and our quick trip to the store in Baker Lake, that the prices for items were going to be high. We've been told time and time again, that we should be bringing as much as we can in non-perishable food items and household goods, because spending the money now will save us thousands of dollars later.

However, a woman in Nunavut wanted to bring attention to the issue of high prices/low incomes, and started a Facebook group called Feeding My Family and it's been picked up by media worldwide. It's mind-boggling to think that prices can be so inexplicably different between provinces.

Monday, June 11, 2012


It's a warm and overcast Monday morning here in the GTA, after our first really warm weekend this summer. We finally cracked and turned the A/C on and have finally given up on sleeping with the windows open. I will say that the mugginess and heat will be things I certainly will not miss when we move.

We had a busy weekend, selling one of our couches (of all the things I have for sale, we've sold 2 couches - they seem to be hot commodities!) to a nice woman and her cute baby. The couch didn't go quietly though, and managed to damage our lovely wooden banister, a few walls and a toe before driving off. Good riddance, Couch of Mass Destruction - you may have lured us in with comfort, but you are a dream-killer!

Speaking of selling things, I also handed over my car to her new owner, and I'm happy to see that she's gone to a good home. The girl who bought my car was super nice and gave us a thank you card with a gift in it as well - what an unexpected but sweet surprise! Although I was sad to see my car go, it was one of the biggest items that we needed to sell before we left and I was happy that I was able to sell her quickly and for a price that I was happy with. Unfortunately, it means that poor Jeff has to drive me around in his car everywhere, but really - who doesn't want to spend more time with their wife, right? If it's any consolation to him, dropping me off at work 2 hours early is no walk in the park for me either! ;)

Saturday, June 9, 2012


With being so overwhelmed and having a lot to do over the next couple of weeks, I thought I should write everything down in lists - maybe if you're looking to make a move (big or small) these might trigger you to add things to your list too! Our lists may be a little different because the new house will be fully furnished, and our current house is going to be rented out so all our utilities, etc. aren't being cancelled...

I'll keep adding things as I think of them, but it's a good start I think. (Please comment and add things if you think I'm forgetting them)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Making it Official

My announcement at work came out yesterday (one that I wrote, mind you) - I tried to slip "princess of awesome" into it, but I didn't want to seem egotistical. :) There's really no turning back now that it's out there for the "world" to see. After the announcement was sent I was flooded with emails and phone calls from people - even those I didn't expect to say anything - and everyone had the nicest things to say. It made me get a little teary-eyed, actually. So often you get into a comfortable zone when you're at a place for a while, and you don't realise how appreciated you are until something like this happens. I felt very validated in my career and the work I've done over the past 5 years. It was a good/emotional day. I kept telling everyone to hold the goodbyes in though, because I'm still here for another 6 weeks or so and I didn't want to start all-out crying just yet!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

No Turning Back

Up until now it hasn't really sunk in that we're going. I mean, we talk about it and plan it - but it hasn't felt real. Until yesterday that is. Yesterday, I gave notice at work and officially resigned. True, I gave them 6 weeks notice, but it feels like the end of a huge chapter in my life. Being at my company for 5+ years, it's become part of who I am...and there's a sadness over closing that chapter and starting a new one.

I stressed about telling my team and hyperventilated every time I started thinking about it, so it was obviously not a decision I took lightly. In the end, they were really supportive of me and happy that I have the opportunity. I feel like a huge weight's been lifted off my shoulders because I've been worrying so long about it.

On the flip side, it makes it feel SO real. I've been putting off packing or buying anything for the move because sub-consciously I wasn't ready to face the reality of what we're about to do. After I told them I was leaving, I emotionally shopped and impulsively (not really, I've been tracking the prices and it was on for a ridiculously awesome sale) bought an elliptical. I figure I will need something to keep me active on the days that it's too cold or snowy to go outside, and I've always wanted an elliptical...the cherry on top was that it was 70% off and poor Jeff found himself lugging the box home.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

...and Out

If I thought the Winnipeg airport was small, the few airports after that were even smaller. The Baker Lake airport was a counter and a couple seats...and that was pretty much it. You get on/off the plane outside and have to walk into the airport from the runway.

When we landed, I was anxious to see what Baker Lake was like, but also to meet my new boss and co-worker, who were coming to pick us up. I shouldn't have worried though, because we got into the airport and I was greeted with the warmest hug from them and I immediately started to relax. We didn't have to wait for any luggage, so we got into the truck (the extremely high truck that Jeff had to push me up into) and drove the few minutes into town.

I admit it all went by so fast that I didn't really get a good look at everything. I did note that although it was after 8pm it was still bright and sunny out - and was told that this was about as dark as it got these days because of the 24 hour light during the spring/summer. Well, I'll be darned!


Before I was officially offered the job, my new company flew the both of us up to Baker Lake to come meet the people and see where we would be staying. To say that it was a quick trip would be an understatatement - we were in and out in the blink of an eye.

Our trip started bright and early one morning where we caught a flight from Toronto to Winnipeg, which was followed by a 5 hour layover in the Winnipeg airport. I thought/hoped that it was similar to the Toronto airport and figured I'd grab some Starbucks, maybe get a massage and my nails done...boy, was I disappointed. The airport had a Starbucks, and even a Tim Horton's, but that was pretty much it. There was 4 or 5 places to eat and...nothing else to do. We contemplated leaving the aiport and going to the downtown area because we heard it was only about a 15 minute cab ride, but we didn't really feel like leaving the secure area and having to go back through security and such later. So we stuck it out mainly in the Starbucks area and played on the iPad, read some books...wrote our Pros & Cons to Moving to Nunavut was a long 5 hours to say the least.

Baker Lake?

A lot of people have asked us where exactly in Nunavut we're staying, so I thought I'd take a really quick second and tell you about our soon-to-be home.

Baker Lake is a hamlet (about 1,800 people) on the inland part of Nunavut. I believe I read somewhere that it's the Canadian Arctic's only inland community, because all the other areas are along the ocean and Baker Lake is about 20km from it. Baker Lake is also the community closest to the geographical centre of Canada...which, to be honest, I never would have guessed was so North. Clearly, I am no geography expert! We were also told that of the small population, about 20% are "Southerners" (anyone not from Nunavut is considered a Southener!), so there are plenty of people who went through the same thing we're going through right now. Solidarity, FTW!

Why did we decide to embark on this adventure? It really came about on a whim to be honest (I know, life-changing decisions shouldn't start on a whim, but hear me out). An opportunity came up that was honestly too good to be passed up, so after a lot - and I do mean a lot - of discussions with our families, we figured we were at a good point in our lives to try it out. We don't have any kids yet, we're relatively young (depends on the day though, somedays I hobble around like I'm 90 years old!) and everything was pointing towards going. So...we're going. It's been a whirldwind since we've made the decision and I flip-flop between getting really excited, to getting really depressed, to just all-out freaking out. An emotional rollercoaster for sure. I will say that I am glad that the opportunity has come at this point in my life because I don't think I could do it if I was single and making the move on my own. I'm way too much of a homebody for that.

So that's why it's happening and where we're going. Next up, I'll tell you about our lightning-fast visit over the course of a weekend. My head still spins!


Come Chill Out with Us!

Welcome to our blog! I assume that if you have made your way to our little corner of the internet, you are either a friend or family member checking up on how we're doing - or perhaps you were like us, and you're contemplating a move to Nunavut and you're looking for some "real life" stories! Either way, welcome and nice to meet you!

We are moving to Baker Lake in about 7 weeks and wanted to use this as a tool to chronicle not only our move and our journey, but to share our experiences with everyone at home. Hopefully it will ease anyone's anxiousness about life away from our family & friends, but I also hope that maybe we can help others in similar positions later on. And if anyone's coming to Baker Lake, we really are friendly people - and I will lure you in with fresh baked treats! :)

A little about us, we are originally (and still) from Southwestern Ontario, on the outer edge of the GTA. We got married a few months ago after a whirlwind romance, and are blissfully enjoying life as newlyweds. Lily (that's me) is a self-proclaimed foodie and a lover of all things pink. Jeff is a walking library with razor-sharp wit. This blog is guaranteed to be peppered with our cheesy senses of homour and sarcasm. You've been warned!