So IÂ¹m writing this, not to bash or put down anyone, but as a means of friendly advice and to help guide the new comers to Tofino, so you can avoid some uncomfortable situations that sometimes arise. First of all, welcome and congratulations that life has willed you to this amazing place in the rain forest.
Tofino isn’t a free for all where you can do ANYTHING you like because that’s how you have perceived it to be. It’s not the sixties.
You can’t drive your car on the beach or camp anywhere you wish.
Just like in the rest of society, one must conduct themselves in accordance to the area they are residing in. So donÂ¹t be to surprised if you get a verbal lashing if you aren’t acting accordingly, or even a fine.
Remember that next door to you there could be a family with children that are sleeping, so when you are drunken mobbing through Vinyl Village coming back from whatever gathering you were at, keep the hooting and screaming out of it. It does seem hard to ask people to be mindful of others these days, so this may be difficult for many of you.
If you go to the beach for a beach fire, don’t bring glass bottles to the beach. They ALWAYS break and then get buried in the sand around your fire pit and the next morning after you’ve passed out, a young kid will most likely be wandering around and get their foot sliced open.
Bring a garbage bag with you so you can pick up your cans and leave them by the garbage can at the trail head.
If you can’t do that, then stay off the beach because it’s getting old having to clean up after people when you are trying to build sand castles with your friends’ kids. It’s simple, really. Beach supplies for a beach fire = good friends, a fire, black garbage bag, beverages and a dude who thinks they are Neil Young.
The folks who have carved out this community (and I do mean carved out with axes and chainsaws before we even knew a thing about Tofino) that we are blessed to be living in (no matter how short or long term that maybe) deserve the respect that’s due to them. ItÂ¹s best to do a bit of research and investigating as to who these folks are, so you can avoid an uncomfortable conversation or simply thank them. Respect is not gained simply because one thinks they deserve Respect, its earned by performing many Respectful acts.
So if you are disrespectful and rude with a chip on your shoulder for no reason, than you will be afforded the same courtesy. ItÂ¹s not that people who have lived here their whole lives or lived here for a long time are mean and rude, it’s just that there have
been thousands of folks that have moved to town and acted like scum bags. So they are cautious when meeting the fresh group of seasonal employees or even folks that have been here for a few months. But heck, once you prove you are a human being, they are the most welcoming and amazingly generous people out there. So just be humble to be here and all in the universe will be golden.
Those of us who have moved here and haven’t grown up here are NOT LOCALS! Plain and simple. Even if you don’t live in a staff accommodations. WE are RESIDENTS. I’ve been here for nearly 8 years now and I moved from down Island but I will never call my self a Local because of the simple fact I didnÂ¹t grow up here.
It’s pretty neat you made it through one winter (the nicest winter in years, mind you). Good for you. Oh you have been here a month longer than someone else. Big deal. You NEVER know who you are meeting. ThereÂ¹s no need to front on the new people coming to town and get argo and say things like “#$&*(%b all these people coming to town.”
They have just as much right to be here than you do and if you have this view, than it might be time for you to move on so a more humble and respectful person can take your place.
Be stoked you are living in a vibrant rain forest. If you never leave you staff accommodation, never go to the community events in town, never branch out from the staff at your work, you can’t claim any attitude towards anyone. Get your head out of the bubble and go meet new people and enjoy the many fun community shows. You never know who you will have the pleasure of meeting.
Not everyone surfs in Tofino. So it’s not weird when you meet someone who doesn’t. There’s all sorts of folks who still spend more time on the water than you can in a full summer’s worth of shredding. These folks know more about the ocean than you could imagine, so donÂ¹t talk down to them or act like you know more.
Respect local First Nations as well. We are lucky we are allowed to be here and you can learn you a thing or two about the area from them and also about life.
If you’re a surf instructor or work in a surf shop, be thankful you get to spread what I’d assume is your love of the ocean to other folks that aren’t as privileged to live right on the ocean.
Don’t walk around like a rooster and puff your chest out. Don’t look down on people because they donÂ¹t have their own gear. Be stoked you got a job educating and inspiring people about the ocean and the need to keep it clean.
And remember the owners of these places are giving you THEIR money. They have MASSIVE bills to be paid out monthly and are relying on your good nature to help them make it through the winter lull once you are off charging the big waves of Pipeline. And for that matter that goes for anyone who is working at any service-based business. If you don’t like people or get aggravated with answering, what seems to be for the hundredth time, questions about the area than you should find other employment.
It’s really only three months out of the year. Everyone who resides here year-round has to make as much money as they can to survive the winter drought. That doesn’t mean if someone is being a jerk, you can’t inform them of it. Just be mindful how you project yourself when working for these rad business owners that are parting with their money for you to have employment. It’s not just a direct negative reflection on their business but also on the whole of Tofino.
The Tofino Ambassadors Program is a must for those who have just moved here, as you will learn about the local history of the area. Plus the more you know, the bigger the tip you will receive from your tables. And who doesn’t like making them tips! So if you find yourself stressed out mid-summer, crumble up a tiny bit of cedar tree and let the aroma relax you.
Then find some friends or go make new friends and go to the beach, jump in the ocean, make a fire and clean up when you leave! Here’s to a great, fun summer. I look forward to making some new friends form all around the world.
Marty Kukler works at Jupiter Juice Bar. He has been on the West Coast eight years..