From Small Town to Big City to Small Town – Why I Returned

It’s a question people still ask.

“So, why’d you move home?”

I returned to my hometown of Arborg, Manitoba in October 2014.

It seems bizarre. After all, I fought for 13 years to get into Creative Communications at Red River College, then I was a broadcaster and figure skating journalist in Alberta for two years. I spend the summer on Winnipeg radio. Then, out of the blue, I decided to move to my hometown. It’s crazy.

But that’s what happened.

I wanted a move without a reason. A relocation that wasn’t for a job or school. I remember standing in front of the house – adorable in my eyes with its red door and veranda – completely in love.

It was a spur of the moment decision.

As usual, I had the doubters. What are you going to do for work? What about your career?

Within two weeks, I was freelancing for Interlake Publishing. At the perfect time: Christmas. Arborg’s similar to a Christmas village in the winter. It’s like we’re in a snow globe.

As much as I love the city, I love the country. The air. The open spaces. One night before shooting a hockey game, I glanced up – and the stars covered the sky like a map. I could practically smell them.
Everyone literally welcomed me home with open arms. And I thought my family was huggie. When I covered the Parade of Lights, one of my friends in the parade yelled, “Welcome back to Arborg!”

Arborg’s small – just over 1000 people. But we’re close-knit. We celebrate together, and we grieve together.

We don’t have Kumbaya nights on the Icelandic Riverbank and roast marshmallows in Snuggies. That’s where we have fireworks and socialize.

Some may never understand why I moved home. Or they might think my reasoning is foolish and selfish. They might believe I didn’t think it through. And they’re welcome to their opinion.

Because I’ll just go about my daily life. Living in a turn of the century house a stone’s throw from the riverbank. A short jaunt to the skating arena and playground – because, let’s face it, I’ll never grow up. Where I can walk late at night and jog around the high school’s asphalt track.

I used to call Arborg my hometown.

And now I proudly call it home.