So in case you missed it, my partner Joel and I live on a hobby farm in Mission, British Columbia, Canada, a rural town on the north bank of the Fraser River, in the province’s lower mainland. We moved to our little acreage in the Fraser Valley at the end of June 2015 after deciding a bit less than a year earlier that life in the city wasn’t quite our thing (it’s hard to fit a quad, motorbike, a couple trucks, the Katmobile < my car, two people and an English Bulldog into a 600 square foot condo). When we started our house hunt, we had no idea that:
- we’d move to the legit country
- our dream property was a hobby farm (a barn, goats, fields, a garden<what?!!) or
- that the stars would align and said dream property would pretty much just appear out of thin air one afternoon
After endless MLS searches and numerous discouraging house tours, our realtor tipped us off that a 5 acre piece of property with a duck pond, guest cottage and two goats might go on the market in a few months. Insert a couple less than covert drive bys, A LOT of discussions/daydreaming/doubts (are we really gonna buy a FARM?!!),
a few many e-mails to our realtor and a lucky-for-us decision by the previous homeowners and BAM, 6 months later, we loaded CRAMMED a 26 foot UHaul FULL of our stuff and moved from downtown Vancouver to small town Mission and we haven’t looked back.
Life lesson: Hire movers. Always. Period.
So, while we might not be just a walk away from the office, the gym, the seawall or a cup of coffee anymore (and yes, the commute sucks),
here are 9 reasons why moving from the city to the country was the best decision we ever made:
- Fresh Air: Real, clean, AIR. I may look into bottling and selling it. Seriously, the BEST. And you don’t realize it until you’ve been surrounded by not-so-fresh, sitting in the office all day long, stale city air < ew.
- Space: As I alluded to above, Joel and I don’t actually fit into a Vancouver-sized condo together. I mean technically we fit, but it’s quite possible that one of us might not come out alive if we had to stay in one together for very long. I guess it’s a priorities and personal preference thing, but for us, having room to move without being forced to do the tango, a place to store all of our stuff (ahem…26 foot UHaul) and somewhere for guests to stay when they visit, was super important.
- Freedom: Walking directly outside into the fresh air of our own backyard, hanging laundry on the clothes line, making s’mores on a campfire just outside of the kitchen and planting a garden = all things we can do on the farm. The list goes on, but you get the idea.
- Nature: As I type this, there are coyotes howling in the woods behind the house, the ducks are swimming in the pond and the goats and Merle, the cat, are sleeping in the barn. A gazillion (seriously, there are SO many) chickadees and stellar jays eat from the bird feeders in the choke cherry tree outside my office window every day and I can walk out my back door and into the forest in about 3 minutes. I never expected to love caring for the goats and ducks as much as I do or that something like the sound of the coyotes would be so comforting, but being smacked in the face with nature every day is actually pretty awesome.
- Fresh Food: We’ve been crazy lucky to be able to enjoy rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, squash, tomatoes, potatoes and a ton of blueberries from our garden despite not doing a thing with it since moving in. It’s super cool to walk outside in the morning and grab fresh food for the day’s meals. That being said, some serious garden love tops our to-do list over the coming months < current status = weeds 1, Kathryn & Joel 0, which is why it’s also very cool that there are like 1478 farm markets near our house.
- Silence: Aside from the coyotes, a few frogs and the odd burn-out care of our neighbour a few doors down, you can’t hear a peep out here. It’s bliss. Although I got used to the continuous sound of sirens and the symphony of clinking bottles and shopping carts in the alley behind the condo, like the fresh air, I didn’t really realize how amazing quiet sounds until I heard it again.
- Slower Pace: I know it’s cliche, but, it’s legit. Life is slower in the country. Even though Joel and I still have to commute to Vancouver (although I am SO LUCKY to be able to work from home a lot of the time) and we have way more chores around here than we did in the condo, we’ve slowed down. Pretty sure it’s our renewed appreciation for all of the things on this list.
- Parking: There is always parking in the country. And it’s pretty much almost always free. And both of those things are A-MAZE-ING. Finding a parking spot it the city = nightmare. Finding a parking spot in the city that doesn’t cost an entire pay cheque = your worst nightmare. Parking in the country = sunshine and lollipops. Joel and I continue to marvel at our regular parking good fortune.
- This View: We are insanely lucky to have a wicked view of the mountains and we get to see the beautiful countryside when we’re out running errands. Somehow the view from the Abbotsford/Mission bridge makes a trip to Costco less painful.