I landed on Vancouver Island on January 1st and everything is good so far!
I posted a few polls on Instagram asking what everyone wanted to learn about. My role as Marketing Director at Coulson Group, what’s it like hunting for real estate in Port Alberni, the city itself and what healthy habits are my non-negotiables as I go through a huge life change. I got lots of votes for each category so here goes nothing.
My Role as Marketing Director for Coulson Group
So Coulson Group owns several divisions. Internally you’ll hear them say we have business lines in Fire & Ice.
The company was started by Cliff Coulson. After serving in World War 2, Cliff returned to his roots in British Columbia, Canada where he began working in the Forest Industry in 1934. After working various jobs in the industry, Cliff founded Coulson Forest Products Ltd. In 1960. Under the leadership of Cliff’s son, Wayne Coulson, what was once a small logging company has evolved into a conglomerate of companies working in a variety of industries including aviation, manufacturing, logging, gaming and environmentally friendly cleaning technology.
The company is now spearheaded by Wayne’s sons Britton & Foster. They split the divisions, with Britt taking care of our global aerial firefighting division and Foster spearheading Coulson Ice Blast and other projects.
As Marketing Director I’ve been hired to lead the marketing efforts of the group of companies. As I learn about each division and what is needed by each time I’ll be prioritizing projects and ensuring we have the right resources in place to support all business lines.
Life in Port Alberni
Port Alberni is smack dab in the middle of Vancouver Island. Surrounded by forests, lakes, ocean, and mountains. You have to drive through Port Alberni to get to Tofino but if you blink while driving through you may very well just miss it.
The population is estimated at around 20,000. And while its a much smaller town than I’m used to living in, I made the decision to move based on the abundance of outdoor living adventure opportunities that surround us and the job of coure.
The largest employers (according to the city’s website) are Vancouver Island Health Authority, Western Forest Products, School District 70, Catalyst Paper, Wal-Mart, Coulson Group and the City of Port Alberni.
I’ve already been welcomed to the island by staff at the City of Port Alberni. Who has even offered to organize a welcome party when my husband arrives out here so we can meet other people. The city seems pretty quiet in the winter, like any Canadian city. While we’ve had a few days of snow it melts pretty quickly here with the rain. I’m trying to get used to the damp cold that is West Coast winters. I’m in hibernation mode a little as I also try and limit the number of things I’m doing for my stress but I’m excited about nicer weather and to start hiking and meeting other Port Albernians (I think that’s what you call us).
In my awkward/cool way I’ve already messaged a few people on Instagram that post outdoor, hiking shots so I’m excited to meet them in the future!
Hunting for Real Estate
At first, there seemed to be a ton of new real estate. When I came out to interview in November I hired a real estate agent and started looking at properties. I’ve definitely seen over 10 properties by now but we just haven’t been able to find our dream home.
I’m renting an Airbnb out on Sproat Lake, the views are drop-dead gorgeous. However, the hosts live in the upstairs and smoke so the smell has been wafting into the guest unit pretty badly. I’m hoping to find a more permanent home ASAP.
We know we may need to compromise on one aspect of a new home. But so far either the backyard has been too small for the pups, I’m not a fan of the master bathroom, there will be no parking for our RV (Mike has bought a school bus and is converting it into an RV – another story for another time) or we’re surrounded by houses instead of nature.
We’re potentially looking to do a new build as an option but finding a place to live in the short-term is serving to be a challenge.
Hopefully, I’ll have updates soon!
Life Change Healthy Habits
No matter how unstressful life on the Island can be, the fact that I moved across the country, am looking for a new place to live and started a job is just inherently stressful on the body. So here are the healthy habits that are my non-negotiables right now as I transition through this time.
- Morning meditation
- Warm water with a drop of lemon essential oil
- Pack a healthy lunch & snacks
- Set up diffuser in my work office
- Take daily supplements
I’m so excited for what this year will bring!