I certainly didn't mean to put down what you're doing and it sounds like things are working out.
the only thing I can add is that you might be surprised of the demand for educated folk like yourself in small communities if you do decide to get out of vancouver - here in the kootenays, we have a local college that pumps out carpenters, foresters, electricians, welders, machinists, hairdressers and basketweavers (arts school..) etc every year in great numbers. There is alot of competition for jobs in these sectors and as such wages are usually low, job stability not so great.
but the closest school turning out more specialized professionals such as yourself is far away and while there aren't as many jobs in these sectors, there is much less competition. Everyone here is a carpenter, but I only know one engineer…
If you do decide to make a move to a small town somewhere else, the job search procedure is quite a bit different than in big cities so you likely won't find job postings online, but looking through the phone book and calling some consultants in your field of work might reap surprising rewards.
I've met a few professionals over the past few years who relocated from big cities (edmonton, calgary and vancouver) and had a job lined up before they arrived. When I expressed some surprise and asked how they managed to have a job already lined up in an often tough job market, they said all they did was phone and ask a few consultants in their line of work. The three individuals I'm thinking of had to take a pay cut compared to what they were making in the city but all were much happier, and relatively speaking their money went further.
I don't know anyone here who makes $100k a year here, although I'm sure they exist
The medical field Doctor/Nursing/physio are good paying steady local jobs
school teacher is great even if you don't get a contract there is a lot of TOC and form talking to young people I know it seems to be easyier to get on up here than Van or the island and there are lots of boomers retiring so the jobs will be coming up
BC government jobs are only 35hrs (or was it 37?)a week, pretty steady, very cush lots of room to advance
consulting engineer type stuff seems to be here one day [HTML_REMOVED] gone the next as small branch offices of big companies get bought up/amalgamated/closed
If one member of the family has the steady job its pretty easy for the other one to do sporadic work and still have good lives
Businesses are not always big enough to hire you full time but they can give you part time so if you have 2 or 3 part time jobs its the same as one full time job and if you lose one you have others to fall back on till you find another filler
A really good way to find a job in the past has been to move here and netwerk by playing ultimate, smoking dope and volunteering for folk fest
ya everyone is a carpenter eh?