Lynn Tetarenko takes the road less travelled

Twists and turns on a life journey

  • Jun. 21, 2019 6:00 a.m.

– Story by Erin McPhee Photography by Don Denton

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Lynn Tetarenko knew she had to challenge herself.

Looking back on her exciting life to date, both personally and professionally, she took stock of the physical and emotional hurdles she overcame, the highs and lows she experienced, her love for adventure, and her willingness to take risks as well as make choices that have set her life in entirely new directions.

Considering her unconventional journey, she decided it was time to take a moment and go back to where it all began.

Lynn recently travelled to Mérida, Mexico, celebrating the 30-year anniversary of her first visit, a year-long Rotary International high school exchange. She was intent on returning to the place where her wanderlust began. Only 18 at the time and unable to speak the language, Lynn was firmly pushed outside her comfort zone.

During her recent two-week visit, to once again study Spanish, and again as a solo traveller, Lynn reflected on how that early experience was very much the catalyst for all the things she has felt brave enough to undertake since.

For example, Lynn left behind a promising career in finance to work in sponsorship and marketing for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. She and her husband, Kevin, spent a week climbing to the summit of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro to honour the memory of her father, raising more than $30,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society of BC. She has travelled, mainly on her own, to more than 30 countries, everywhere from Egypt to Iceland. And, she spent four years working abroad in London.

Currently assistant vice-president of wealth management at Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, the steps the 48-year-old Happy Valley resident has taken to get there have by no means been linear. But she wouldn’t have had it any other way. In fact, it’s the sort of advice she enthusiastically imparts.

“If you’re closed off, you could miss so much living and so many experiences that are going to make you who you are five years, 50 years from now,” she says.

Born in Powell River, the youngest of three girls, Lynn spent the bulk of her childhood in Port Alberni.

“I just sort of found my way. We were a very, very tight-knit family and there was just always that sense of support,” she says.

After her year in Mexico, Lynn spent 11 years in Victoria, a place she visited often as a child, since her grandparents lived in Oak Bay. She studied finance and business administration at Camosun College, and took a job in wealth management.

After eight years in the workforce, she experienced an early midlife crisis of sorts. Deciding she wasn’t interested in pursuing such a straightforward path for the next 25 years, she decided to get an ancestry visa and move to the United Kingdom by herself.

“I literally sold my house and put everything into storage and left my job — where I had been put on a career fast-track — and moved to London,” she says.

While she found a great job at a large bank and her plan was to stay long term, four years in, the course of her life changed once again.

“Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so that’s when I returned to Canada,” she says.

Lynn settled in Vancouver, frequently visiting the island and spending time with her parents. Rather than continue on in the finance world, she decided to embark on a new career and took a job with the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“That was one of my big left turns in career because I decided I wanted to do something other than finance,” she says.

Lynn spent the next five years with Vancouver 2010, which she describes as “possibly the best five years of my life.”

“It really was amazing. I was blessed enough to go to both the opening and the closing ceremonies. Sitting there and seeing what all of us had created collectively, it wasn’t about what one person did here or there, it was that team approach. It was the relationships that were built. And I think almost as soon as the closing ceremonies started, I was in tears,” she adds.

Sadly, Lynn’s father passed away just after the Games ended, in June 2010. She spent the next eight weeks at their family’s long-held Sproat Lake property, supporting her mother, who last year succumbed to dementia as well.

“It was during those eight weeks that I met my husband,” she says. “Our parents knew each other. We had property in the same area. Thirty-one years after being up there, our paths crossed literally on the beach.”

Prior to meeting Kevin, Lynn had been planning to return to the UK, interviewing for the London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games

“And then I met my husband,” she laughs. “And I thought, you know, I think this is something worth hitting pause on my Olympic career.”

Lynn and Kevin married soon after and will be celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary this year.

The couple spent seven years in Chemainus, where Lynn happily re-entered the finance world, joining the team at Island Savings.

“It inspires me seeing how much they care and the level of skill and expertise they bring every day to help people understand their financial picture, and [enabling them] to make educated choices to improve their lives,” she says of her co-workers.

A year ago, Lynn and Kevin relocated to the West Shore. They’re gearing up for a fun summer at their recreational property on Sproat Lake, glamping in their RV — equipped with an espresso machine and wine fridge — and hosting friends and family for camping weekends.

Lynn has surprised herself many times over with her life choices, and the path she has ultimately taken is not one she could have foreseen.

“It hasn’t felt like I’ve zig-zagged,” she says. “It’s just felt like it’s been right. I’ve made choices sometimes that have scared me, sometimes that have been unknown, and I try and encourage people to do the same.”

BusinessLifestyletravel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Klahoose First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Cortes Island community has had one positive test, one other potential case

An aerial view of Zeballos. (Photo/A. Janisse)
Zeballos closes public service areas ahead of second wave

Library, landfill and village office closed until further notice, says mayor

Greenways Land Trust Executive Director Cynthia Bendickson points out one particular area of concern within the Baikie Island Nature Reserve that hasn’t benefitted from replanting efforts due to soil compaction and pollution from its days as a log sort. File Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Greenways Land Trust gets $275K for restoration work on Baikie Island

Two-year project will start with the development of a 10-year plan for the area

Campbell River city council recently held a roundtable meeting with leaders from the aquaculture and forestry industries to discuss how they can be part of a post-COVID economic recovery in the region.
Campbell River city council holds roundtable on aquaculture, forestry

Will go forward with quarterly meetings involving industry leaders to address issues in the sectors

The Carihi Fly Fishing Club is touted as an example of incorporating the outdoors into the education curriculum in SD72. Photo submitted.
SD72 schools and educators embrace outdoor education and learning outdoors

The Campbell River School District has embraced the movement to incorporate nature… Continue reading

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Most Read