Why a city girl loves the rural lifeMarch 31, 2016
I was a city girl. I grew up in Toronto in the 80s and 90s. In Toronto, not the suburbs. I, like a lot of city kids, couldn’t imagine not living in the city. What would you do? When I went to University I chose to move to Vancouver because that was the only other city besides Toronto I could imagine living in. When I met my husband I thought he was from Vancouver. I was already smitten by the time I realized he was a small town boy. I followed him up to his cabin in D’Arcy. I don’t even know the population, maybe 100?
Twelve years later and except for a two year stint in the small city of Victoria BC we’ve always lived in small towns or even “gasp” outside of small towns. While my younger self probably won’t recognize my now self I love it and couldn’t imagine moving back to the city.
What do I love about rural life?
I love that we live in nature. There is no hour plus drive to get out of the city on the weekend. We have amazing forest hikes, beach walks and islands to paddle to all around us. Yesterday we canoed to Wallace Island. It was a short paddle, only 40 minutes and it has a 180 acre Provincial Park covering most of the island with hiking trails from point to point to point. Considering all the exploring we have done, it’s amazing to find a new place so close and so appealing.
I love that there are so many fun family events all year around. In a small place people enjoy giving back to the community and put on great events that are fun & often free. On Salt Spring we have a free family concert in February put on by the Salt Spring Arts Council for Family Day. Easter brings a great day hosted by Salt Spring Cheese. May is the Mother’s Day picnic at Stowel Lake Community Farm. July is the Lavender Festival at the Lavender Farm. September is the Fall Fair to name a few.
I love living on an acreage that gives me privacy and space to keep animals and have a garden. I know that everyone in Canada can’t live on an acre, but it is nice for us who have that privilege. We have an old and relatively small farm house, but we have a property we love. We only have one neighbour whose house it quite far from ours. Our yard is fully fenced and set back from the road to make us feel safe with the kids and the free ranging animals. We currently have ducks and goats, but we’ve also had chickens, turkey and geese over the years.
I love knowing people in my community. I admit this was one of the things that made me nervous about small towns, what does it feel like if everybody knows you? Salt Spring Island has a population of 10,000 people so it’s far from being a place where you know everybody. I love when I go to the lake in the summer, the playground, the pool, or annual community events and I know that I will see friends I know well, or acquaintances who I want to know better.
Over the years my husband has occasionally asked me if I wanted to move back to the city. The jobs are better and we’d both be further ahead in our careers in the city. There are more things to do with kids in the city. The pools are more fun, the libraries are open longer and there are skating rinks. There are things we can’t buy here, including everyday things like underwear. But I’m not ready to trade in the things I love for the conveniences I’m missing. I love the rural life.