BY LINDA DZIADYK

Being born and raised in Saskatchewan, I loved the Prairies and really couldn’t see myself living anywhere else. Though I had done a bit of travelling and living in other places, it seemed I always found my way back to Saskatchewan.

For many years, I was a stay-at-home Mom with my six children and enjoyed living in the small town where we lived. Then, in 1999, I entered a new reality – that of being a single parent.

At the time, my children were 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, and 4 years of age. After being a homemaker for 17 years, I found myself looking for employment and trying to manage everything on my own.

My youngest child had been diagnosed with Arnold-Chiari Syndrome and a seizure disorder. Thus began a series of visits to the neurologist, neurosurgeon and other professionals. In April of 2001, one of the doctors asked me, “Have you ever thought of moving to Saskatoon?”

I was stunned as I answered, “No, I never have.”

Three months later, I moved my family to Saskatoon.

Moving to a bigger city had its challenges, but it also brought many opportunities. After working at a book store for two years, I decided to go to university. I became a full-time student in the fall of 2003. By September of 2005, three of my children were also attending university with me.

The convocation ceremony to receive my degree was in June of 2007. I knew I was ready for another step and another adventure. So, in July of 2007, I packed one suitcase for myself and one for my youngest son, who was 13 at the time.

We took the bus to Edmonton and then took Air North to Whitehorse.

I didn’t know anyone who lived in the Yukon, and didn’t really know what it would be like. However, it somehow felt like the right place to go. It was love at first sight when I saw Whitehorse.

I love being surrounded by the mountains, clay cliffs and all the trees.

I love seeing an eagle flying in the sky.

I love the fast-moving river and lakes nearby.

I love being in a city and yet feeling like I am in a small town.

I love that you can drive for a few minutes and feel like you are far from civilization.

And lastly, I love the statue on Main Street (the miner with a dog), which says, “This Statue Is Dedicated To All Those Who Follow Their Dreams.”

What is my dream? It was not to find gold, but rather a simpler, quieter lifestyle surrounded by nature. And that is what I found!

I am reminded of the old sayings, “All that glitters is not gold” and “Silence is golden.”

Maybe those sayings originally came from the Yukon.

I wonder …

This story will be entered into a draw for a chance at a free Logan Super Tour on Sifton Air or Moonlight Mushing with Sky High Wilderness or a boat tour of Kathleen Lake with Kruda Che. Send us your 500-word story describing your favourite Yukon place to editor@whatsupyukon.com. This contest is sponsored by Yukon Tourism and What’s Up Yukon.