Tonight will mark the third so long, farewell event I have been to in Iqaluit. I’m hosting a potluck for my roommate who is leaving at the end of April and another friend who is headed back to the South after her northern sojourn.
Iqaluit is a great place to be, for work and for life. People come here for the experience. To save money. To have a job with responsibilities that they wouldn’t dream of back home. And then, they go. Back to families and houses and cars and dogs and coffee drive-thrus on the way to work.
I’ve been told that most people either leave after one year, or they stay for five years plus. In between however, they leave every few months for some perspective, cheaper toilet paper and fresh produce (amongst other things). Add duty travel to the mix, as people fly throughout the territory to visit communities and throughout the country to meet with colleagues and experts and provide insight into life in Nunavut, and its easy to see how its difficult to keep track.
As such, Iqaluit is a bit of a revolving door: someone is always leaving, and someone is always coming. You are only ever the new kid on the block for a couple weeks before someone else arrives and is fully embraced into the circle friends. There’s a tension between feeling like you’ve always been here and feeling like you’ve only just arrived.
The more goodbyes I attend, the more I realize that I too will be leaving one day…a day that is probably going to come much, much faster than I would like. So, here’s to enjoying the only-in-Iqaluit moments, the friendships, the potlucks, the Toonik Tyme festivities, the Northern lights, and everything else that goes with life in Iqaluit!