The potential for creating the life you want, free of the needless complications, stresses and anxieties of the conventional rat-race often associated with more urban environs – a life-work balance – is becoming increasingly available here in the Kootenays.
One Rossland resident is embodying that balance to the utmost, having left his big city, big prestige position in Vancouver after sixteen years living what is most folks’ definition of success. Last year, Sean Smillie, a freelance writer for the video game industry, chose to give it up for over half the year in favour of living, working and playing out of his truck simply enjoying the best in outdoors the province has to offer.
“My typical work day went something like this. I’d have my morning coffee at 6 am, and then I’d take advantage of whatever mountain or body of water I was on to ride my bike, surf or paddle. By 9:30 am I was back at the truck, spending the mornings writing game fiction and the afternoons catching up with clients by phone or e-mail.”
The lightbulb moment came after surviving a motorcycle crash, that left Sean broken and reflecting seriously on his life. Working as a writer/producer/game designer for such companies as Electronic Arts, Walt Disney and Ubisoft and, while grateful for so many opportunities to do satisfying, challenging work that he loved, after the trauma of the accident he knew he was in need of a change. As with so many looking to leave the city and the demands inherent to urban life such as the corporate grind, interminable traffic and the increasing cost of living, Sean ultimately knew the change he needed would mean leaving Vancouver.
After months of healing while taking the ultimate in road-trips the build back; chasing passionate outdoor pursuits like surfing, skiing and mountain climbing; Sean chose Rossland among the rich variety of beautiful smaller cities and towns he visited around the province to settle down.
Having turned down the job offer of a lifetime at the end of his travels, he is more than happy to continue to pursue his love of writing and enjoys freelance creative work through his creative agency, Planet Fiction Studios. He also teaches (online) a UBC video game writing program that he developed and is launching into a new endeavour: a driving school in the West Kootenays, www.beepbeepbc.com. It it he looks forward to the opportunity to meet new people everyday, while taking advantage of the flexibility the business affords him to continue to enjoy the outdoors. The flexibility will also allow him to get started writing another novel.
“Plus the commute through the mountains each day is nothing short of amazing.”
Sean’s is a fabulous example of taking back the reins of one’s life – finding the balance between living and working given the ‘one kick at the can’ nature of it all! The Kootenays and the Lower Columbia is a region begging you to do it here. Beautiful, scenic and chock full of the most pristine and world-class outdoor recreation anywhere, where lifestyle can meet rewarding professional opportunity while still satisfying the increasing need we have for balance.
Read more about Sean’s journey HERE.
Tough day at the office. I do actually work writing for video games, creative strategies, marketing, copy writing, screenplays, etc. Quite a bit in reality. I just do it early mornings and nights and play during the day. Chairlifts, deep in the trees and my truck make for surprisingly good locations for emails and phone meetings. #kootenays #mountains #tailgateoffice #rossland #winter #winterishere #powder #freshies #skiing #snowboarding #RED #redmtn #REDresort #redmountain #redmountainresort #ski #skiing #SNOW #snowboarding #outside #snowboard #ski #outside #bestwinterEVER #videogames #film #writing #workforhire #workhard
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