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Is "The Journey" Really the Thing! The Challenges & Rewards of Moving to Remote Nova Scotia

“Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

~ Albert Einstein

In April 2021, my husband, Jamie, and I moved from Ontario to rural Nova Scotia. Actually, let’s call it remote Nova Scotia, that’s more accurate. Looking back on when our moving truck couldn’t make it up our driveway and when meeting new people, the first questions they would ask were, “Have you spent a winter here yet?” or “Do you have a generator?”, we should have put the pieces together and realized what winter would have in store for us.

To this date, we have experienced five nor’easters in six weeks! And wonderfully enough, 83.33% of them have fallen on the weekend. Oh yeah, you guessed it, we are set to get another THIS WEEKEND! If you’re not sure what a nor’easter is, it’s a storm or wind blowing from the northeast. I can tell you that 83.33% of our nor’easters have been both storm and wind… at least we’re averaging well.

Jamie and I are a little nomadic and have moved around a lot… from Ontario to Alberta to British Columbia back to Ontario and now Nova Scotia. We were recently told by some friends, “This has been the worst winter I’ve ever seen”. This is an interesting phrase that we have heard MANY times… specifically during the first winter we have lived in each province. Humm, we should have known based on our long history of moving to new places that our first winter would be miserable. We have joked, if there is a ski hill out there having a rough financial time, they should hire us to move there. If this ever happens, we will be sure to charge A LOT of money.

I made a comment earlier about our driveway, let me tell you a little about it… it’s steep, it has a cross back like you find in the mountains, it drops off like a cliff on one side, but it’s protected by trees in case you WERE to go over the edge, and because of those trees, it’s shaded. This driveway has become our nemesis. In the spring and fall - it can be muddy, in the summer – you get quite the exercise climbing it, and in the winter - it’s a skating rink. Many delivery trucks postpone deliveries and that can be problematic when you need furnace oil to heat the house and water. The fireplace can only do so much! We have been house bound on many occasions, sometimes for a week or more. I’ve definitely missed regular visits with my horse buddy, Artax, who doesn’t live on our property with us.

We’ve certainly learned a lot about living remotely and doing things we never would have imagined doing…

  • firewood (how many times you must handle it/move it before you actually burn it - way more than you think)

  • shovelling 5’ snow drifts from the gale force winds that try to blow your house to Newfoundland

  • pouring hot water on your truck to melt the ice so you can open the doors

  • buying way more groceries than you need in one shop because you don’t know when you will be able to shop again

  • proper care and maintenance of a gravel driveway (buying a grater and knowing how to use it properly)

  • digging trenches

  • buying a generator and the five days worth of fuel that is recommended you have on hand at any given time, in case of a power outage (where on earth do you keep five days worth of fuel)

  • buying a chainsaw but being terrified to use it, so it lurks like a monster in the shed waiting to saw off one of your fingers (Jamie WAS very excited to buy it but that excitement slowly evaporated once he heard chainsaw accident stories from local after local)

Despite the challenges and constantly preparing for another nor'easter, living remotely and being house bound does have its rewards. We’ve been getting through our inside reno jobs quickly. We learn something new everyday. We’ve been enjoying each others company, laughing lots, eating lots of delicious home cooked meals, getting to spend a lot of time curled up by the fire, cuddling our little furry monsters, Dexter the cat & Merlin the dog. When it’s not icy, we enjoy walks on our own property. The views around here are spectacular in any season - 180-degree view of the Bay of Fundy - the most amazing sunsets year-round. It can take your breath away and make you feel like you are on top of the world!

Remote Nova Scotia really has been a gift! It’s been a great reminder that we are alive, that we are strong and capable, some things that we take for granted. It's brought us back to our roots, to live, to breath, to be present, to be more connected to our surroundings and see beauty in everything. 💕

Guest Blog Writer

Erika Glenny ~ Laura’s Virtual Assistant


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