“To me, the natural world is the real world.”
If there’s one resident of the West Chilcotin that could truly provide insight into living on and coexisting with nature, it would be Chris Czajkowski, who has called her cabins in the woods of the Chilcotin home since arriving from Canada in 1979.
“I love this region because I can be myself. The whole west Chilcotin, I consider that my backyard.”
But what about the solitary lifestyle? Chris comments, “I love being alone, I see things far more intensely when I’m on my own.”
Chris’ second cabin was built beside an untouched and remote high-altitude lake, named Nuk Tessli, and today is a popular retreat for those looking for their own escape in the wilderness.
“Of course, one of the main things is there is not too many people. We have a lot of space.”
During her time living surrounded by nature, Chris has become a bestselling author, detailing her experiences of wilderness living, embracing self-sufficiency, and taking the time to both respect nature and notice it all around you.
“I’ve seen wildlife…and thought to myself, ‘this is just for me, I’m not sharing it with anybody.’ But I’m sharing it because I’ve written about it.”
Throughout Chris’ experiences living in the wilderness, there is still a deep connection to the local community, “To me, there’s no separation, a community is everything… it’s all part of the community.”
But in the end, it all comes back to creating a harmonious life with the natural world and slowing down enough to take in what’s right in front of your eyes, “I can’t help but observe nature…I comment about certain things to people and they haven’t seen them and they’re right in front of their face, but it’s so natural for me to observe these things without trying.”