"Well, my reason is like a lot of other peoples I came up here for love. I followed my boyfriend at the time up here. He was working in the oil sands and I was back home on the west coast working in a convenience store trying to get a communications career going. I decided to move up here because there were jobs in communications. So I packed up my car, put my cat in its carrier and I drove up January 2nd, 2013.
I didn't realize what winter was anywhere else, coming from Vancouver Island we don’t get very much snow if at all. So that was a terrible idea driving through the mountains, I had a blizzard follow me the entire way and it finally caught up to me an hour outside of Fort McMurray and it was terrifying I drove like 10 km an hour all the way into town. I didn't leave the house for 2 days after because I was so terrified.
I found a job within 2 weeks of being here which was amazing. The relationship didn't last but I decided to stay because of the community. Everyone here is so giving and welcoming. I find that you kind of make what I call, your Fort McMurray family. The majority of everyone here is from everywhere else so you can create those bonds with others, so you have that comfort and community. "
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