You’ve Won the Lottery (But There’s a Catch…)

You’ve won the lottery. But there’s a catch.

It’s not millions but enough say to buy yourself a home outright in a small town.

Here’s the catch: if you accept the winnings you have to move far away from your hometown and family. Not just a few suburbs away but a good six to twelve hour drive away and to a town a fraction of the size you’ve been living in. You likely won’t ever be able to move back to your hometown: once out of the explosive real estate market you would have great difficulty getting back in as home owners (and rents are very high).

You really love your hometown. Most of your family is here. It’s rated one of the most livable cities in the world and it’s beautiful. It has a lot of great things: beaches, a lovely seawall, ethnic and cultural diversity, an amazing public library, multi-modal transportation in the form of walking and bike paths, car sharing and bike sharing, really good and really inexpensive sushi. There are so many great parks for your kids and they’ve really started to enjoy the beach (and they’re all now out of the sand eating stage). You have friends here and a community. It’s not easy to leave.

Of course, the city you love isn’t perfect (no place is). The downsides are many. It’s expensive. Very expensive. Your family earns a good income but that income comes with long hours and a spouse that’s away a lot. Taking a local job would mean both parents would need to work outside the home and the hours in their industries are long. And what about the kids? You’ll never have enough money to help them get into the housing market and rents are incredibly high – what will they do here? Again, the work hours required to live here edge in on other parts of life like volunteering, family time, self-care, etc, etc. And people are leaving. Lots of people. They’re finding it too expensive or they’re lottery winners too and finally decided, hey, why am I working so much when I could just cash in and live somewhere else with a lot less financial and job stress?

Also, some of the upsides to your city are lost on you. You’re not cool (and never pretended to be). When you’re outside at nine o’clock in the evening – a rarity – you marvel at all the hip folk walking your neighbourhood visiting bars and restaurants. Sure you’re happy to get out for cheap tickets to the occasional Beck show and maybe once a year go to a cool new restaurant but it certainly isn’t part of your everyday or even occasional life. Besides, that stuff is really expensive! Nice coffees, $20 sushi for two and your Mobi membership are your splurges.

You also increasingly see that the biggest want in your life is time. One of your kids really needs a lot from you. You want to give him as much as you can while also being able to care for yourself and your other kids. That’s a hard thing for you to do with a spouse away most of the time. You want time to patiently teach your kids how to clean a bathroom or to spur of the moment go for a hike or to consistently tutor them in a literacy method that you took an intense two week course on. You want to NaNoWriMo before you turn 40 this year. Those things can’t happen (or happen consistently) with your current family dynamic of a spouse away three weeks of the month.

Do you take the money and the time or do you stay in that beautiful city that gets more expensive every day and that your children likely won’t be able to afford to live in?

We’ve been wrestling with this question for the last two years and recently decided it’s time for us to go. Packing (and culling) and preparing for the next adventure right now.

Embracing minimalism eight years ago, trying to live with less stuff and fewer wants, has lead us to another chapter and change: seeking more time for ourselves and our kids and to give to our community. More about the move, how the book I wrote this spring gave me more motivation to take this huge step, and what/where we are moving into/to in the coming weeks.

Thank you to all of you that have followed us on this ever changing journey to less stuff through all of our moves and growing our family. Your comments, advice and encouragement have been more helpful than you could possibly know. We’re often the weirdos: many years with no car, no gift birthday parties, happily living in small homes and completely out of touch with what the latest toy/clothing/gadgets are. Your stories of making the best choices for yourself – even if they defy conventional practices – have given me a community that I cherish. Thank you.

Tell me, has anyone else made a radical lifestyle change in the name of getting more time? Left a job? Moved somewhere with a lower cost of living so you could work less? Downsized home/lifestyle/stuff to reduce your costs and move closer to retirement?

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    • I’ve been reading the author for a while and think she’s consistently been GREAT at putting her kids first. What that looks like will change over time for each family. This seems like a tough call–is it better for the kids to move away from extended family?–but they have obviously thought through all the angles.

      • We’re moving from extended family and that will be hard. But… we don’t see them that much. Live in different neighborhoods/suburbs and well, everyone is so busy! We’re actually moving to a small town my brother lives in and we will be a few blocks from them, very relaxed and time plentiful lifestyle there, cousins in same school. So it’s strange to say but we will actually see more (but less variety!) of extended family with the move. And, lucky me, because my brother already lives there we will get a lot of visits from my side of the family.
        That’s the plan at least.
        Thank you for the encouragement Meg!

  • It’s a really tough decision, especially to move away from family. We faced something similar, did we get a huge mortgage to stay in the inner ish city suburbs or move a lot further out. At the time it was an agonising decision and it took us years to figure it out. In the end we moved further out, down the coast, it’s been the best thing we ever did and I am so grateful not to be living with that huge mortgage over our heads.

  • We took a sizeable paycut and moved, when our children were young, from a hip/expensive/academically and socially on overdrive/ lovely, thriving suburb of a big city to a small, economically modest, mostly rural town, which was part of a small, reasonably good school district and near a rather small city on the other side of the country. It was one of the best things we ever did for our family.

    Our children are grown now and living wisely and well. We still go back to visit family in the expensive suburb. We would never be able, financially, to live there now. And we don’t regret that in the least. The move was totally the right thing for us and for our children.

  • We did something similar, though it was driven by an excellent job in academia for my spouse. Except that we moved across the country (I grew up outside Toronto, and as an adult settled in Ottawa, and 6 years ago moved to Saskatoon). While I really, really, really miss Ottawa (proximity to other cities, livability, fantastic museums, not so far from southern Ontario family), I don’t regret moving here (well, sometimes I do, especially in February and March). I’m not sure we could ever go back to southern Ontario, even with great jobs–the housing market is ridiculous even outside Toronto and the commute would be rotten to the core). We miss family, but this little city is amazing for raising children. Your gut is not often wrong :). I cannot wait to hear of your next adventures.

    • Wilma – We are taking on ‘real Canadian’ winters with this move. Scary to this coastal raised softie. But, more sunshine, right?
      Lovely to hear that you are enjoying the change and have good things to say about Saskatoon :)

  • I think you’ve made a wonderful choice. I’ve made similar big decisions throughout my life and never regretted it.

    I opted out of the corporate world because I wasn’t willing to face 50-60 hours of misery per week “playing the game” and working for something that went against everything I believe in. Faced with ever rising rents in my early twenties, I bought a house in a Latino neighborhood where I was basically the only single, young, white, English speaking woman for miles around. And when the little non-profit music school where I worked became so “successful” that it was starting to suck the life force out of me, I quit my job and started making a “living” on the internet – which I could do because my expenses were so low.

    Ultimately, time is our most valuable currency, and IMHO, it’s the only one that really matters.

  • oh man, this is a conversation we’ve been having at our house too! I still can’t decide if it would be “worth it” to leave my family and community…..it’s SO tough. I really value the close connection my children have with their grandmothers, and how we have deep roots here. But, it comes at a cost, as you know. We live outside your beautiful city, and the cost is shockingly high out here in the suburbs too! Anyways, I look forward to hearing more about this big move! Maybe it will help me decide?? All the best to you and your family! I always enjoy hearing what you’re up to.

    • Appreciate your comment, Katie. It is such a frequent conversation here: stay or go. We looked at suburbs but really found the prices so high it wouldn’t change much for us (except needing a car!). It is tough to leave family here but… we don’t see the family here as much as we would like (live in different neighborhood/suburbs, everyone works a lot and is busy). We’re actually moving to a town my brother lives in and I think we will see them more in a week than we did see all of the other family combined over a month here (helps that we are moving a few blocks from him, my kids will go to same school as his). Plus it means my side of the family will come and visit us twice as much! Good luck with your decision.

  • We made a similar decision when purchasing our first family home (minus the lottery win). My husband is a sailor so we weren’t tied to this town (a somewhat soul-less Scottish new town which is basically a big suburb) – we could have settled in the Highlands, nearer Edinburgh, or in any historical town/city with character. However, we had four kids under six and decided our simple priorities were a decent nursery/school and nice parks within walking distance.
    The reality is that we don’t go to the ballet every month, or museums every weekend. I don’t need the “big shops” to keep up with fashion.
    We treated our family to a city break this summer in Glasgow. We loved it but… kids noticed how dirty the city was and that it smelt funny.
    Did we love the conveyor belt in the sushi bar – yes! But did my husband nearly faint at the bill – yes!
    Compact living can become its own kind of busy-ness, same as city-living. I’m not saying all kids need their own space but SOME do. My eldest needs to go sit in his room and just switch off from people sometimes (he has SLI – communication is really hard work for him!) That would be difficult to do in a compact space in a busy city.
    I’ve blathered on, sorry, but your blog always raises such interesting points!
    Karen
    (Scotland)

  • We’ve done it and it’s worth it…if you take your philosophy of minimalism and work consistently you’re never locked out of anywhere….people like to say you will be – but I don’t believe that to be true having seen others do it..it’s all about give and take…not wanting all the shiny stuff or keeping up with the joneses….just be yourself…and manage your priorities….enjoy life …ps there is an Aussie bloke called the barefoot investor who I’ve found helpful (no affiliation just an avid reader)

  • Never.
    8 years ago I moved from Stuttgart to Kassel and I still miss my friends there.
    Housing in Kassel is about 1/3 of housing in Stuttgart, but it is a whole different life.
    And I wasn’t able to work the last 7 years because my son is autist and I can’t bring hin to kindergarten the whole day, so I would need someone who takes care of him. But here is no one who would sit my boy 5 days a week. Now he is in school and I have 7 hours a day. Still not enough to work full-time.

    And who knows where my children want to live when they are adults?
    They are not doomed to stay in the town their parents live.
    When they want to move out they still can go to the small town where the rent is cheap.
    But changing the hometown in childhood so the children might not have to change their hometown as adults doesn’t seem logic to me.

    • Anita – I really appreciate your honest response. Yes, I can see all the points you’ve made. True children are not doomed to live in the towns they grew up in. Did you look at moving back to Stuttgart?

  • Any major decision when you have dependants is a tough call. You can only go with your instinct and trust that the universe has your back (which it does). Good luck with the move and much love to all – Jo

  • Interesting timing for me we are just about to take the leep to sell our house in a small town inorder to buy some land in a small village inorder to possibly build an off grid dwelling for us and a place of retreat for others. We have no way of knowing if we will get permission to build till we buy the land. If we seek permission prior to buying the price will go up beyond what we can afford. We cannot afford the land without selling our house. Our house is an affordable home which we will probably never get the opportunity to buy again. Your post has encouraged me. One difference is that it is only 3 miles away from where we currently live so schools, friends and family will still be there, just possibly not a roof over our heads. It’s a leap of faith and another.adventure. I wish you well in your move

  • You’ll probably find, no longer being house poor, and having more time, you’re able to see more of everything and not just one (albeit awesome) city. I always told my hubby, I’d rather live in our tiny dust bowl than the exciting city if it means I can see everything the world has to offer.
    Congratulations on your new chapter! Can’t wait to read what surprises unfold for you!

    • It has crossed my mind that if things go well we could do more travel with the kids – more funds freed up to save for bigger trips (I’ve always wanted to go to Australia with the kids when they are older). Actually, even with this move we will be able to do more province wide travel now that my husband has moved to a remote job that doesn’t with very limited travel required (maybe a few times a year for a few days).
      Thanks, Mikala :)

  • Just under 2 years ago someone approached us and offered to pay a hefty sum of money for our little home. This allowed us to put a nice down payment on our dream home…or so we thought. Turns out the big house in one of the top neighborhoods in our city was not a dream. Money felt tight, my relationship with my husband suffered as I worried. We continued to travel even though we shouldn’t have. We looked pretty impressive on the outside…even heard that from friends. So when I could no longer do it, along with the tough decision came the shame of feeling like we had failed. The same of admitting we’d made a mistake and overstepped. That this house and lifestyle were not possible for us. We had to choose one or the other. Travel or Home. Our house went on the market in June and we just finished moving (the 2nd time in 2 years). We are in a rental and looking for something more reasonable that better suits our lifestyle. I’ve reduced possessions by selling things and had at least 20 trips to Goodwill. I’m proud of this tough decision and haven’t regretted it for a second. I feel big changes coming for us and right now I’m just hoping for the best in this new season of life for our little family.

    • It is a wise person who can look around and realize, “Hey, I overstretched and have found it is totally not worth it. Let’s move to a house/place that works better for us long-term.” There’s no shame in that. It only took 2 years to reach that conclusion — something others need 10 or 20 years to realize, as they keep slogging through work and life. People have different priorities.

      Best wishes in your progress, Diana.

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you. We all need to hear more stories like this. How smart you are to realize that the big house in the best neighbourhood wasn’t worth it – and to take action to change things. Good luck Diana.

  • Yes! We could have easily stayed where we both loved and made more, but would have sacrificed time and a slower pace of living. We chose somewhere neither of us thought we’d live and have been here for nearly 10 years. No debt, flexible schedule and time and SLOW have been the rewards. A bonus is that we’ve carved out a little community here that we adore. It was scary but it paid off.

  • My family just went through this. We moved away from my husband’s family who we only saw a few times a year to closer to my family who we now see several times a week. We left a city that we loved to move to state we had never even seen! But trading a small home in an expensive area meant we could get an reasonably sized home with no mortgage. It’s only been a month, and we still miss our friends and home town, but ultimately I think it will be the best decision for us.

  • We moved across the country from Toronto to Victoria in the spring in pursuit of a lifestyle change. We cashed out on our Toronto real estate and bought a new house in Victoria for $300,000 less than what we sold for. Now my husband works five months of the year (though he’s gone for those five months) and I work three mornings a week. We loved Toronto in our twenties, but once we had our daughter, we found we were paying sky high prices for things we couldn’t take advantage of — all the great festivals, restaurants, etc. were just not happening for us anymore. We’re very happy with our move! Good luck to you :)

    • Kendal – so great that you are enjoying Victoria! I’ve enjoyed all your updates on IG (and I think I’ll be painting a lot in the next few months just like you!!). I lived in Victoria in my 20s and thought it was so boring. Hahaha. Then I had a kids and of course now I think it would be great.

  • Your post was so timely, as I am in the midst of house hunting in my target town, planning to move from one of the absolute top-rated “Best Places to Live” (they forgot to add “if you’re a multimillionaire [seriously]) to a small, quiet town that some would call an outright rural community.

    I have been wrestling with this same decision for the last few years, and finally decided that our family would benefit more from moving away from our expensive city, to a small town where we are not house-rich and cash-poor, where we could have actual land to have a big garden, where we could then afford to travel, where there are still occasionally sidewalks for walking and no need to plan every trip to the grocery store around the twice-daily 3-hour-long “rush hour”, where each of my introverted children can have his/her own room and where we are not constantly stressed by not having enough time to enjoy our family or cash to spend on things such as music lessons.

    After many months of sleepless nights wondering if it would ruin the children’s chances of success at life to move to a less metropolitan area, I finally realized that a smaller, more affordable town would still provide the interactions needed to gain the social skills and work ethic that they need to succeed as happy, healthy, independent, productive individuals. Now I just need to crack down ASAP on culling our stuff!!

    Thank you for posting!! Your post, and the replies of those who have already taken this path, have helped put my mind at ease that yes, this is absolutely the right path for our family!

    Best wishes with your move!

    • We had so many similar hurdles to making this decision. One thing that helped us was that my brother lives in the town we are moving to and his children are older than mine (his youngest is close to my oldest’s age). His children are great – independent, kind, great work ethic and doing well in school. I can see all the benefits they have from living in a small very walkable and easy lifestyle town. I know we are going to miss the amenities and opportunities of the city but I hope that the more relaxed lifestyle and the abundance of time will balance that out.
      Good luck culling your stuff! Pre-moving is a great time to do it.

  • I was raised in Ottawa and left in my early 20’s. When I see the crazy house prices there now, there is no way I could ever afford to return, and I wouldn’t want to anyway. I live in a city of 100,000 and love it. It takes me 10 minutes to drive to work :)

  • Wow, big change. I wish you all the best for a successful move. And of course I’m looking forward to reading all about it here. I do find it interesting that your predictions for when the boys are older – using the city as an extension of their home and basically coming in to sleep, didn’t stand the test of time. We live in the city and whilst we have local parks, library, coffee shops, cinemas, theatres, etc… at nearly 9 my daughter is too young to do any of it herself. What she really needs now and for the next few years, is a garden out back of the house and quiet roads through which to walk alone to friends’ houses.

    • Thank you. We aren’t moving because we wanted more space – I was quite happy here and could see a future for the boys as teenagers in our apartment. We’re moving because the financial opportunity to move to a much less expensive area and have to work less/be closer to retirement was very appealing. Our home increased in value by 40% in the last two years. So selling it and buying a modest house (about 1/3 of what we sold our apartment for) in a small town – where we have family – became very tempting. My husband has changed roles, losing some salary but not having to travel and can work from home. The cost of living in the town is lower than where we live now. This is the plan but as I know, plans are just plans :) Hopefully it works out and we like it.

  • Go for the move!! Can’t wait to hear more about it. Love to read about the adventures and changes your family makes. My family lives an airplane ride away from extended family, but having more bang for our buck and outdoor activities our kids enjoy make up for the inconveniences.

  • Good luck and God bless on your move! Moving with children is incredibly hard (as I know you already know) but if you have thought it through and know this is the right path for your family, I think you will find that once you’ve gotten through to the other side you will not be able to imagine having made any other decision. We did not necessarily move for more time, but we moved for a better quality of life. There were pros (MUCH safer neighborhood, MUCH better schools, little bit bigger house which is what was right for us, shorter commute, it was only the next city over from where we previously lived) and cons (we had to rent out our house because in our market we could not sell it, we had lived 2 blocks from my parents whom we are very close to, it was insanely scary to buy a second house and upend our whole life) — in the end, the pros so far outweighed the cons but big life changes are just terrifying no matter what you do. I hope you find your move to be all worthwhile! Love reading your blog. I’ve been reading it for years and always look forward to posts from you.

  • My mother and step-dad moved me cross-country when I was 12. The majority of my family (including my bio dad, grandparents, and two out of 3 brothers stayed behind). It was a very hard adjustment at first, so I think it definitely depends on the age of the children. Now that I’m 36 with a kid of my own, I can see what a brave and tough decision that must have been for them. It has its pros and cons. The hardest part was the flying back and forth during vacations. When I finished college and became an adult, I still felt the obligation to visit family there every chance I had. So I missed a lot of opportunities to travel other places because I was always going back to visit the family we left behind. It’s also been very difficult now that I have a child myself. My father and step-mom have only seen her 3 times because the cost of flying (not to mention the difficulty of flying with toddlers) is prohibitive. Finally, my mother left her mom behind. Now that she is ageing and experiencing dementia, it has been extremely difficult for her to care for her from 3,000 miles away. My mother had a sibling who lived close to my grandmother, but he died unexpectedly 10 years ago. All this to say that it’s difficult, but I am glad every day that I live where I live now. Just keep in mind that the decision does have consequences that will be passed on to your children and affect their futures in ways you might not foresee now.

    • Thank you for sharing, Lisa. We grew up without any family near us (they were all overseas) and of the six children in our family only three (about to be two) live in Vancouver. My siblings and I all have wanderlust and each of us have moved across or out of the country for years at a time. So I’m somewhat familiar with keeping family ties strong through long distances. You scenario sounds challenging and it’s something to think about as we make this move.

  • Congratulations!!! You have won the lottery, no ifs, ands or buts, if this move will allow you to prioritize your family. We have several monumental moves under our belt, for various reasons, most quality of life/job related. Now, we are happily settled in Minneapolis. It is the perfect sized affordable city for us and we are grateful for the job that allowed us to have one parent home full time while our son is young. I don’t believe you will ever be sorry for taking an opportunity to spend as much time as possible with your kiddos. Best wishes on the move. As an aside, our family is 10 hours by car, but that has not prevented our son from having very meaningful and deep bonds with his cousins and the family overall.

    • Thanks, Susan. And lovely to hear about family ties kept strong even with distance. I hope the same happens for us. It was definitely on our mind as we decided to move to the small town my brother lives in. Our kids will get to see the out of town family more often because they already visit my brother.

  • How exciting…and scary. I just moved 2300 miles away to have more time and better mental health. In the process, we downsized as well. The first few months were hard, but a visit back to my old hometown reminded me of why I moved. I’m starting to feel at home and enjoying my new community. I’m a better mom and wife for it. I wrote down why we made the decision and posted it where I would see it; some things didn’t go well after the move and it made me question the decision, until I reminded myself of the bigger picture.

    Best of luck, please keep us posted!

    • Woah big move! I like your idea for writing down why you moved. I think I will be doing the same as I know there will be some big adjustments to living in a small town, house living and the weather. Thank you :)

  • It’s really all about the job(s). We’ve often contemplated moving to a less expensive area, but often (not always, I know) there’s a lot of competition for good work. As you mentioned, raising a family, expensive housing and limited time make it difficult or impossible to enjoy many of the things that are considered the pros of staying in an urban (or in my case, a expensive suburb of a major metropolitan area) and it seems pointless to stay.

    However, neither my husband or I have jobs that allow us to work remotely. We have friends and family that live in small towns in our state as well as across the country, and we’ve had years of conversations about moving (usually revolving around how much “house” we could get). But the job opportunities were limited and not very secure. Also add in that living in the U.S. our health insurance is tied to our jobs (we have 2 kids, too) and it’s not a risk we feel we can take. If things didn’t work out, we wouldn’t be able to “just come back.” We are in a better position here for alternative employment should we need it.

    It looks like you have many more pros on the moving side. You have family where you are going, they have kids that have gone through the schools ahead of yours, you are not BOTH looking for jobs (meaning you work remotely, not that you don’t work.) and I am assuming, as Canadians, you are not risking your health coverage by making this change. Best of luck to you!

    • So true about the jobs. I can’t imagine picking up and moving to a town/city without work in place. Of course, if we lose our remote employment we will have to change something or move to a bigger city for work. I can’t predict the future!
      Thanks for the encouragement :)

  • I think people rarely regret leaving behind all the big ticket items. When we visited Vancouver a couple years ago all I could think about was “I could never live here!” Too big, too busy and waaaay too expensive – even though there are so many things about that place that I love. Sometimes I would love to move out of our own big city and live somewhere smaller but job-wise that isn’t feasible and we really do have it good where we are living. I often tell my husband though, when he starts getting stressed, that the kids are flexible and if we needed to move somewhere smaller and cheaper they would adjust and be happy as long as we are all together. I’m excited to read about your next adventures.

    • So true about the kids being flexible. Especially in these pre-highschool years.
      I keep reminding myself that 70% of my life is the same no matter where we live. I really found that to be true – and a comfort to think of – when we moved overseas. Sure, we won’t have the same variety of options in the small town but the day to day will be quite similar. School run, meals, library, park, etc. *There is a library in this town!
      Thanks for the encouragement :)

  • You are very very fortunate to have real estate in Vancouver to sell! No brainer to me. Grew up there and it is an insanely expensive place and has really lost its soul to the almighty dollar.

    We just left Victoria and moved upisland. Our kids are adults but we decided it was time to slow down and get out of debt. Fortunately my beloved city is only a couple of hours away. Yes I miss things and my daughter there. Nowhere is perfect.

    Are you moving to Saskatoon? That is Avery big change weather wise. But you are young and what an adventure!

    • We’ve moving to the Kootenay region. We looked at Nanaimo, Courtney/Comox too, liked them but found a lot of sprawl and still somewhat expensive! I’ve lived in Victoria before and while it wasn’t a great fit in my 20s I think it would have been great with kids (again, too expensive for us to move and also be able to work less). Good luck up island :)

      • We lived in the Kootenays for 8 years..the East Kootenays to be specific. Gorgeous area….and yes winter! I am not a winter person but kids usually love snow so a great time for them to take up skiing. Our girls loved it. And so much more affordable than Whistler!!

        Yes my beloved Victoria is changing quickly and prices are crazy. We will likely move back when we need medical facilities but we will have to rent.

        We live in Qualicum and it is very affordable and would be a wonderful place to,raise kids. ( just saying if the Kootenays don’t work out). The airport here makes travel for business so easy…… 30 minutes and you are at the Vancouver airport!

        I will follow your journey and wish you all the best!

  • OMG! This is exactly what I’m going through right now!!! My husband and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and this area is exploding! The average house now is $925K, which is about $300K more than three years ago. I guess it’s going up $100k a year.

    There’s a mass exodus here and it’s so sad, because we want to live here, but my son needs a yard and I don’t want to be stuck in traffic for an hour and a half on the way to work, and two hours on the way home. It’s just not not a sustainable way of living.

    It’s crazy because we just started making the decision that we have to leave a few months ago and now I found your post. I feel a bit better now.

    xo,
    Shelbi | Urban Girl’s Closet

  • Oh yes!! Move!!

    We left downtown Toronto 8 years ago. Bought a farm in the middle of a forest north of Napanee. You couldn’t get much different than that! Life is 100% better, slower, more fabulous, appreciative. We don’t pay $14 a pound for asparagus…..we grow it. We don’t mull over the $8 per carton of ethically-raised eggs….we have our own hens….and pigs….and ducks.

    We could never have afforded the rocketing real-estate prices. Now we have 25 acres! THIS is living.

    More and more people around us are introducing themselves from Ottawa, Toronto, Markham, Brampton. It’s wonderful to see they’ve made the leap too.

    Less income? Yes. Less money? No! We don’t spend nearly as much as we used to. Less time? Absolutely not! It seems we have so much more. Less “lifestyle”? Heck no. I’m on my laptop with a flock of turkeys next to me as I write this!! lol