Not being an Islander from birth I often get asked ‘what ever possessed you to move here?
Most think that I have family or friends here that enticed me to relocate…no. Then the conclusion becomes I must of been here before on holidays or business and decided this is were I wanted to be…no. Then what was it? Curiosity! I had travelled Canada from coast to coast but had missed PEI in my journey, so it was a land yet to be discovered for me. One night listening to the nightly news I saw a report on PEI that sparked my interest and it was centered around lifestyle.
Now my Ontario friends like to think of us ‘Islanders as being somewhat behind the times…actually 30 years is often the number given and I guess there is some truth to that. We still find time to value family and friends. Our churches are still well attended. Crime rates are very low. People still enjoy talking with their neighbours. Most Islanders enjoy the wondrous natural beauty that surrounds them and share a great enthusiasm for preserving it.
But there are some misconceptions about Islanders that permeate the general Canadian culture. Most of us aren’t spending our lives on unemployment insurance. Actually some of the hardest working most dedicated souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing live right here on this little spec of land in the Atlantic Ocean. I find most value work not so much for the necessary income to survive but more as an opportunity to be creative, productive and for the social aspect that work brings. Work is not our lives but it is integral to a healthy and happy individual.
Another humorous misconception pertains to the size of our Island. Walking the length of the Island is not for the weak. It is greater in length to the distance between Ottawa and Montreal and roughly the width of Ottawa to Kingston, so please bring a vehicle!
In this day and age, Islanders are exposed to all aspects of modern culture via the medias. We have kids walking around with the crotch of their pants hanging down to their knees. We view the same news, movies and have access to the internet and music like every other place on the globe. And yes this is having an impact on our lifestyles but resistance is not futile. The Islander is an adept at integrating modern life with values from the past. Thus making PEI a most unique environment to live and work.