Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Bought the farm.

So this is what we bought.

The house was built around 1935. Fortunately the electrical and plumbing have since been updated.

It sits on 25 acres of land, half of it cleared and the remaining half is wooded. Oh and there's this:
It runs through the property! We actually own some of the land on the other side. I still need to get the place properly surveyed. I simply can't wait to get out there.

We're 15 minutes from the town of New Glasgow. The surrounding area boasts a population of 30,000 people. As a contrast, I currently live in a suburb of an area that has a population of over 3 million so this should be quite a change.

The beach is about a 25 minute drive.  Am I right in believing I've found a small piece of heaven?
Melmerby Beach, NS - August 2011
I believe I am.

Oh, and check out Cabin porn if you are not yet aware of this photo blog. Good stuff. Really allows you to get your Thoreau on ;) I spent 2 solid hours at work browsing it and I still didn't manage to get through the whole thing. 


Thursday, 12 January 2012


I am so excited to be sharing all of this with all of you (even if there are only a handful of you readers out there), I almost don't know where to begin. The journey I am undertaking is in it's infancy but if I dive right in to current events, you may get lost before you even have a chance read the map and understand where I’m headed. It’s best to start with a background check on my situation and give you an idea where all of this is coming from.

Although I was never interested in astrology I believe that ‘the stars were all aligned’ when describing my decision to shift gears and venture into the unknown.  This alignment happened roughly a year ago in early 2011 and went something like this:

Star Number One: I was fed up with my job to the point of exhaustion. I had just gotten over the most difficult time I’ve had at the company and was pining for something else. A complete change in careers. I was tired of sitting behind a desk all day. Tired of the company I have been working at for 15 years. Tired of all the daily nonsense and bullshit that went along with the job. Tired of the people I worked with and of myself in my current role as a senior manager. I was uninterested and unmotivated to continue down this path for much longer.

Star Number Two: A mutual pining for a simpler way of life in a rural setting appealed heavily to my wife and myself. We wanted to move. We wanted to experience a more hands on approach to life. Escape consumerism as much as possible and to be mortgage free. Homesteading was a popular topic during evening discussions.  We were not sure just what that entailed but we knew we were of the mindset to move from our suburban home and into something further away from all the bright lights.

Star Number Three: Our daughters are the right age. A move at this point would not disrupt their ability to adjust to a new situation (kids are so resilient). Leaving old friends, making new ones, a new school, etc. A new way of life would likely be more exciting for them at this age then it would be for me and my wife. They love the outdoors. They love nature. A rural setting would likely enthrall them more then any itouch my older daughter keeps yearning for.

Star Number 4: Our financial situation was healthy. We were just over 10 years away from paying off the mortgage on the house.  No other debt. A healthy savings/emergency fund of 20K had been amassed. Since moving into our current house 6 years ago, we figured the equity had increased by 125k.  A move to a less expensive more rural house at this stage would allow us to live without a mortgage.

Star Number 5: My father is retired and my mother would likely be retiring by the end of the year. They were booth keen on coming with us to where ever it is we were going to move. They adore their grandchildren and wanted to be more involved with them if possible. They were on board to take the journey with us. This was a key point because my wife and I are very close to my parents and would not undertake a move of any distance if it meant they were being left behind.

Planet Mars: The whole idea just felt right. It felt like the right thing to do at this stage of my life. To experience more. To take a few calculated risks and try to achieve a more deliberate life then where my current road was leading me.

Alignment complete. And here we are one year later moving forward with a house already purchased for cash outside of a small town in Nova Scotia on 25 acres of land, my current house already sold and a plan to exit from my current job in 4 months time (note: plan needs work). My parents are taking the plunge with us. More on all of this in subsequent blog posts. I’d like to give you as much history on what led up to this journey as I can. I think it will help in understanding the motivation behind where I want to be by the end of this year.

I’m still grappling with the sheer magnitude of the change in front of me but it’s slowly sinking in. I really can’t wait for it all to unfold.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Getting Started.

I figure what better time to start blogging about my adventures (both past and present) then the start of a new year. And 2012 will likely be the most life changing year yet. A move to another province. A new environment, friends, new obstacles, eventually employment. What amounts to an entirely new life will unfold in the next few months.

I'm getting ahead of myself here.  Let me start with a brief introduction. I am your writer, JS. I am in my mid thirties, married to an incredible woman, have 2 wonderful daughters, an energetic Australian Sheppard and an aging cat. I currently hold a steady job as a senior manager at a manufacturing facility where I have been employed for 15 years. Yes, 15 years. I live in a suburb of Toronto in Ontario, Canada and am debt free. There, that should suffice for now.

But there's more to this blog then the usual ramblings of a middle class citizen trying to survive and eek out a living in time to retire and be too old to enjoy the fruits of my labour. There are many blogs doing a good job of this already that I visit frequently and would highly recommend. 
Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of that to find here but that's not what the core of this blog is about. Mixed in with rants, venting , financial woes, frugality advice, recipes and the occasional 'visit this website because it's cool ' tangent, this blog will serve as a journal of my adventures into the great unknown that is 2012. You see, I am about to become jobless, move to a different province and experience a vastly different way of life. 
All of this is self-induced and fueled by a desire to experience more, raise my daughters more meaningfully, escape consumerism and try to live a more simple, purposeful life.

I realize this is a lot to take on. I really do. But with my wife supporting my decision I know it can be accomplished. Perhaps with a few failures and realizations along the way.

I hope you enjoy reading these entries. Comments, questions, general rants and raves are always welcomed at