“Homesteading” has become a bit of a buzzword of late; young professionals are leaving the city and their corporate careers in droves, opting-out of the fast-paced modern world in favour of a simpler life. Sounds like an episode of Portlandia, if you ask me. But having just quit my 9-5 job and purchased a house on a small island off the West Coast of British Columbia, I guess I am part of the pack hoping to become more self-sufficient in the face of workplace misery and economic stress. Selling my 817sf condo in Gastown (Vancouver, BC) and transferring my life to a 1/2 acre property on Gabriola Island c/w 2100sf home is the most exciting thing I have done in recent years. Sick of the materialistic attitude and elitism of people in the city, I’m retreating to a lifestyle that will allow me to have more free time to read, craft, garden and bake. How domestic! And awesome. This blog will chronicle my various DIY projects, along with my partner J, our ginger cat Pilot, weenie dog Big Suze and hairless rattie Farnsworth. It’s going to be a drastic departure from city life, and we can’t wait.
2015 Update! Funny to read the words I wrote late in 2013 and reflect on where we are now. There are many more animals, more projects on the go, and we have had many failures and successes over the past year and a half. Still haven’t regretted the move for even a single second and can’t wait to learn more skills and customize our little property further. Making big waves in the news of late is the rapidly rising cost of living in Vancouver; average home cost is now $1.27 million. Being a young professional attempting to buy into that market is near impossible, and a new hashtag has sparked activity on social media #donthaveonemillion. More than ever we are thrilled that we were able to leave and make a better life elsewhere (and at 1/4 the cost!), but still near enough that we can work and visit friends in the city in a few short hours. Advice for anyone thinking about making an escape from the city? Do it!!
2016 Update! Things have started out really well for us this year. We continue to settle into the property and make our home, and never for a second regret the move. To make ends meet I have been traveling regularly to Vancouver for work which is a nice balance between the city and rural living. To update everyone on the housing market in Vancouver, this news story has hit social media and people are getting really worked up about what is happening with real estate in British Columbia. Would you buy that property?! We moved a brief commute out of Vancouver and literally saved millions of dollars. The more people I talk to in the city and the more people that view this blog, the more I get asked about how I make it work and I can see the gears turning in their heads. People need affordability when it comes to housing; when you pay through the nose for basic living expenses your quality of life can’t possibly be at its best. I tried it, and I felt like I couldn’t stop working for even a single day because then I couldn’t cover my bills. I set a pace for myself that wasn’t even remotely sustainable. And I was not alone. When in 2013 I said I was moving to Gabriola the average reaction I received was “What are you going to do there?” but now it is almost completely across the board “I am so jealous. I want to do that too.”