What I Miss About the South (& A Few Things I Don’t)

Unless you’ve been under a rock, or maybe just don’t read this blog regularly, you’ll know that Ian and I have won a round trip ticket for two on First Air from Iqaluit to Ottawa.  So we’re coming down for a vacation in August to visit all our friends and family in Ontario.  It’s made me start to think a lot about the things I want to do when I get there.

It’s also made me really start to consider what exactly I’ve missed since we’ve moved up here.  Obviously I miss my family and friends, so none of you are on the list.  😉  But you’re always thought of, so don’t feel left out.  But I thought I’d give it a go, and see how matched up to other bloggers from the North I am in regards to what they miss about where they came from.

What I Miss

1)     Cheap anything – The cost of living in Iqaluit takes some getting used to.  Despite the fact that I already know a couple of small bags of groceries is going to cost me around $50, and I likely need to save half a week’s pay cheque if I need to buy toilet paper and laundry detergent, I will still never get over the fact that I remember how much things used to cost when I lived in the south.

2)     Trees – Another obvious one perhaps?  But, I don’t miss them as much as I thought I would.  Iqaluit has its own brand of beauty, even in the winter when everything is covered in ice and snow.  Still, it will be nice to see a thick stand of trees when we visit Ontario.

3)     Southern Internet – I don’t even have a problem with the speeds…honest!  Yes, it can be annoying to have to wait for uploads and downloads, but what’s more frustrating are the horrible caps in place and the outrageous pricing.  We pay more money a month for 10 GBs of data than I’d like to admit, and there aren’t many options available.

4)     Choice – Don’t get me wrong!  There’s a lot of choice up here, you just need to know where to look.  But it’s limited.  Let’s just say that when we visit Walmart…or Zehrs…or anywhere down south, we’re probably going to have a brain malfunction with all the stuff we have to choose from.  Restaurants too!  I mean, really, all I want more than anything in the world right now is Mr. Sub!

5)     Public Transit – I never thought I’d miss the bus…especially after my experiences in Kitchener.  But I do.  Sometimes it’d be nice to have the option to get across town in bad weather without having to pay $6 per cab ride.  But at least there are cabs.

6)     Recycling – We came to Iqaluit just as the recycling test project was coming to an end, so now we have to either throw all of our recyclable goods out, or stockpile some of them and carry them down with us by plane to dispose of when we get south.

7)     Darkness in the summer – Oh my lord, if I don’t get some normal sleep soon, I’m going to go completely bonkers.

What I Don’t Miss

1)     Traffic – I can’t tell you all how much I hated having to drive the 401 every day.  That highway is a nightmare.  And Kitchener Waterloo traffic at rush hour is no picnic either.  Up here, rush hour is literally about ten minutes, and it’s due to the four-way stop at Four Corners.  I can handle everything about traffic in this city.  Well, maybe not construction delays.  😉  But even they’re not so bad.

2)     Isolation – I’m living in one of the more isolated cities in Canada, but I’ve never felt more connected.  This city is incredible for bringing a person out of their shell.  Between work, volunteering and just getting out there, we’ve made a huge number of friends and acquaintances.  It’s just something that doesn’t happen so naturally down south.  You really need to work at becoming someone’s friend in the south…whereas here, it just happens.  It’s a great feeling running into everyone you know at Ventures or Northmart.

3)     The heat – I HATE southern Ontario heat.  The humidity is probably going to destroy me during our vacation.  Don’t be surprised if you see me sweating into a pile of my own goo over the course of the visit.  I’ve been getting very accustomed to the temperatures up here, and I start getting very warm even around 15 °C.

4)     The pace – Things are very laid back up here.  Life isn’t all about “go go go”.  It’s important to not only stop to smell the roses (or perhaps saxifrage), but to really smell them.  Things get done…usually on what’s known as “northern time”, but they do get done.  There’s a lot of really good productive people up here, but the pace of life is relaxed.  It’s wonderful to live in a place where people don’t expect miracles, but just reasonable responses.

5)     Blackberries.  Yeah, that’s all.

Hope to see you all in August!  🙂

15 thoughts on “What I Miss About the South (& A Few Things I Don’t)

  1. What did blackberries ever do to you? lol…ps mandarin again in August me thinks!

    • Well, not so much Blackberries…just their users. 😉 And not even all of them. Just to be fair.

      Yes…the Mandarin is definitely in our future…talk about choice!

  2. I can’t say I’ve ever moved far enough to leave darkness behind, but it is surprising the things you miss upon moving somewhere else. I’m guessing Mr. Sub will always be a treat for you. I’ve been away from where I grew up for 26 years, but there’s nothing like getting back there to my favorite places.

  3. Living in Georgia, it’s funny to hear someone refer to Ontario as “the South”! When you live where you do, though, I suppose most of the planet is south to you.
    It’s weird for me to go back to Michigan where my family is from and where I spent a good bit of my childhood. In a way I still feel more connected to northerners than I do southerners (even though I’ve lived in GA for almost 30 years). There is a way of talking and a sense of humor that the folks up north have that southerners just don’t get. It’s always the little things . . .
    And, when you said “Blackberries” my first thought was the fruit. Yeah. And now I feel like yelling “get off my lawn” like some old crazy person. Sigh.

    • I thought some of our American readers might appreciate the irony in calling it the “south”. But you’re right…everything is the south from us…except for the few places that are further north…they’re REALLY sunshiney right now. Yikes!

      Go on and yell at those kids on your lawn, by the way. No better feeling.

  4. Come on Suz….you gotta miss a day at the beach! ….and Herle’s corn (first corn scheduled to arrive this Friday!)……..ac

    • Oh my goodness yes I will! But perhaps I don’t miss them yet. Since summer technically recently started, I haven’t yet missed them. If I wasn’t coming down in August, they would have been top of mind by the end of the year. Can’t wait for Herrle’s corn!!!! And swimming in the Great Lakes again…

  5. I know this is going to sound strange but I know how you feel. I moved from Southern California to Las Vegas and it’s a completely different atmosphere altogether. I use to have some family and friends close by but life was just not fun. Everything was hustled and people were rude. Sure, the beach could be nice but it was always a stressful trip. Even though I moved from one city environment to another, its a totally different kind of feeling in Las Vegas. Things still need to be accomplished, of course, but at a more laid back pace. People stop to say hello and smile at you when you pass them. When you are invited to a function, no one cares what car you drove up in or what’s on the label of your dress. They only care that you came.

    I miss the availability of having certain people close by and the 1 hour drive to the beach. I can still have those things it just takes me longer to get there.

    • Doesn’t sound strange at all. My last move (from Niagara Falls to Kitchener in Ontario) was actually an upgrade…so we really only missed my family and friends. But I still missed running into people wherever I went…things like that. Now I go back to the Falls and never see ANYONE I know. It sucks!

  6. Glad you were talking about the mechanical kind of blackberries…I never met a fruit berry I didn’t like!

    Hope you have fun on your trip home!


    • I concur Wendy! Fruit blackberries are lovely! Can’t wait to do some berry picking up here…perhaps this weekend! If the mosquitos don’t get me first…

  7. Isn’t it funny when we move we end up missing things, but also loving some of the change. I guess it is taking the good and bad. I have a question. Nunavut sounds expensive so it might be foolish to ask. But does it has a dollar store or anything close to it?

  8. Hi! My husband and 9 month old daughter and I are moving there end of next month. Any tips on winter gear for a baby? We just dont know what to expect and were a bit anxious.

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