My Journey to a Cabin in the Woods

| 3/11/2011 4:21:30 PM

garden summerWelcome to City to Country – One Step at a Time. Thank you for stopping by!

Since this is my first post here, I thought I’d share a little bit about how I ended up as a ‘modern homesteader’ on a little acreage in the West Coast bush.

Growing up in a small industry town on the southwest coast of British Columbia, Canada, with a dad who loved the outdoors and friends whose parents were loggers and fishermen, you couldn’t help but be influenced by ‘the country’. We spent weekends in the mountains and on the water, mucking around alpine lakes and ocean shores, basking in silence and solace. We lunched on grilled cheese in logging camps and lounged on floats and docks where the smell of creosote mixed with the pungent funk of salty low-tide in the hot, still summer sun. We spent a lot of time outside.

Life was pretty idyllic. We didn’t have a farm, just a vegetable garden and a woodstove (which I never learned how to light!), but I had ‘homesteading’ in the blood from way, way back in my lineage. I guess you could say country living was part of me.

But as often happens in rural communities, within weeks of graduating from high school I turned my back on my small town roots and headed to the ‘big city’.  I spent the next 22 years working and building a career, making friends, attending theatre and, concerts, and enjoying all the wonders the city has to offer. But there was always that little niggling tug in the back of my mind:

“You don’t belong here.”

Sassan Filsoof
3/31/2011 10:40:35 AM

Loved reading about your life altering change. We have much in common that way. My wife and I also made the move to a more sustainable way of life, growing our own food, raising chickens etc. It is an ongoing process, we hope to continue into the future. Look forward to hearing more....

Victoria Gazeley
3/15/2011 12:54:03 AM

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, Roy - sounds like you have a lot of experience in this realm. I look forward to hearing more on my future posts - I love learning from the people who have 'done it'! Re your comments about the romantic vision of country living, I completely agree. This is why I started my blog at - to shed some light on the fact that it's not always easy, and sometimes downright maddening. But in the end, after being kept awake by squirrels, having trees fall through the roof, and the power going out for the umpteenth time (yes, I'm looking forward to having a bit more independence in the 'power' department), it's a life I can't imagine being without. Thank you again for stopping by - it's great to meet you!

3/13/2011 10:03:03 AM

Victoria hello.Alot of people would like to be able to do what you are trying to do. There is alot of work just in getting started. So many people think I'll just go and do it and everything will be fine. The first real life changing check comes about the first day you start to look for a place to begin your new life style. Where to start is within both of you, not on a map. I have been trying to get back to the land for years. Well I've finally almost got to the piont of going off grid, out of sight, away from people. Isolated no cell phone reception, no TV recp.,very little traffic, plenty of water, alot of fire wood, no power unless you make it. No steet lights nothing but a gravel road. No body to tell me not to start work at 6am or 4 am or even 8 pm or 9pm at night. No close nieghbors (3/4 miles away). Just what sacrafices did you make to get your land and keep it. As you start to live your life you will find that it will be awhile before you can truely succeed for it takes about three years to go off grid and live that life. To truely live life off grid you will as (everyone knows who is in that life style) you will find out that you will earn every carrot or apple or chicken egg you recieve from the land. The rewards cannot be measured in money but in the beauty of holding the seeds in your hand. Then putting them in the ground planting and caring for each one. The harvest is the grestest part and eating vegges in January you produced cannot be matched. Life is good.

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