Living on Easy Street — riding the wave of constant change 

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As good as the schooling was, Bob and Kashi never hesitated to pull their kids from class for extra-curricular education. The family went backpacking to the most exotic locales — to Central America and Southern Mexico and Nepal and Bali and... "But the girls always had to carry their own bags," laughs Kashi. A minimalist traveller by nature, the young mom was not one to over-indulge her daughters. Being hungry and tired was part of the adventure. Whining was definitely not on the menu. As for learning: every day, every new mile, provided lessons for the girls. "And the great thing," adds Kashi, "is that the Whistler school teachers approved and supported us. In most cases they even facilitated the girls' travels."

Of course, their international travel had been preceded by local trips. "When the kids were young, we'd take them backpacking in their own backyard — to Burnt Stew Lake or over Singing Pass." She laughs again. "And because we could ride the lifts, it allowed us to access the alpine with all our gear and our kids intact."

As an active mom with an uncommon passion for the outdoors, Kashi had one cure-all for her kids. "My medicine for anything was: 'Get outside!'" she tells me.

"And that's one of the great things about growing up at Whistler: that the kids could go off on their own and explore the outdoors. When we built our house in '83, it backed onto a forest. It was a totally wild environment. When they cleared that forest to build a school I was devastated at first." She sighs. "Another piece of wild Whistler gone, I thought.... But then when I saw my kids climbing over the fence and getting to school in minutes, well, I had to re-evaluate. Turned out it was a great thing after all."

And that, she says, might be a worthy lesson for Whistlerites today. "I think that's the way we need to approach Whistler's development," she maintains. "Change is the only constant here. Nothing is forever. And we have to accept that."

But there's more. A yoga teacher for nearly two decades (a teacher of teachers in fact), Kashi has invested much of her post-childrearing years exploring ways of achieving balance and peace in one's day-to-day life. Her conclusion? We all have to learn to give a little. "What's in it for me?; what can I get out of this?; what can I take? — too often we let greed and envy take over in life," she says. "But that only leads to wanting more. And more. And more. Rather we should be asking: What can I bring? What can I contribute? What can I offer that will make this a more positive experience?"

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