We’re selling the house and hitting the road!
But not until July 2014.
It’s been in the planning stages for two entire years already but we are finally announcing it to the world at large. And it’ll work like this:
Partner-Guy’s job allows him to bank 20% of his salary each year for 4 years. In the 5th year he’ll get paid that banked money while he takes the year off. It’s been harder than I thought to live on 80% of his salary, but knowing that he will have 12 months off with pay is a great incentive.
So the plan is for us to see Canada from coast to coast to coast. Since we live smack-dab in the middle of this enormous country, we plan to drive all the way EAST first. Rather than find new hotels or campsites each week, we’ll rent a cottage for 2-3 months in one of the Maritime provinces and use that as our home base while we travel a little throughout the region. I absolutely have to see Green Gables in Prince Edward Island and I want to eat lobster every night for a week in Newfoundland. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick I want to explore the farms and villages. I also want to explore the history of that region, including my personal history–my father arrived on a boat from The Netherlands after WW2 at Pier 21 in Halifax where there is now a museum to honour the many immigrants.
By mid-Fall we intend to start our drive West. We’ll pass through Ontario and reconnect with friends and relatives then keep driving until we hit The Rockies. I really want to spend the winter in a chalet with a mountain view and maybe we’ll even learn to ski. In spring we’ll visit the Queen Charlotte Islands and spend some time learning about the temperate rainforest and the Pacific Ocean.
And before our 12 months is up we’d like to take a plane north to Iqaluit. It is possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t imagine missing the Arctic while seeing Canada.
But here is the really, really exciting part:
We’re not coming back to Toronto! Since we’ll be touring the whole country, we expect to find a place that is a perfect fit
for our family to start a new chapter in our lives. I’m leaning toward the eastern countryside of Quebec, but I am truly open to living anywhere, as long as a few criteria are met:
- I have to be able to see the sunrise and the sunset from my front porch.
- The weather and soil has to be suitable for growing vegetables and berries.
- The house has to be big enough for at least 3 bedrooms + a learning studio + a home office.
- There must be really good Internet!
- It has to be accessible by car.
And preferably there will be lots of trees and our neighbours will not be able to see into our house from their driveway. You know what I mean!
So why are we doing this?
- Because the best way to learn the history, geography and culture of Canada is to experience it.
- Because to really understand the World, you need to understand where you come from.
- Because we really love being together as a family and having unique experiences to add to our family lore.
- Because even though I always tell my children that they can do anything they put their minds to, I am scared shitless to take this trip and so I am determined to step outside of my comfort zone.
- Because we don’t want to live in Toronto anymore but we don’t know where to go. Yet.
- Because I have spent my entire life watching other people do amazing and interesting things and thought “Wow. I could never do that” but I don’t think that way anymore.
- Because we each only get one life to live and I can’t think of any reason to stay in this tiny bungalow in this boring neighbourhood for the rest of mine.
Now tell me: What part of Canada do think we should ABSOLUTELY see on our trip? AND can we visit you?