Where should you build? Where should you go?
Many of us don’t know where to start.
I’d have to say looking back (for this idea came to us sometime in 2005 when Monica first moved to the west coast of Canada) that had we known how long the journey would take, there is a damn good chance I would have said “no damn way” back when it was being conceived. You see even though it still hasn’t taken physical form yet, it has become all the more real to us as we’ve piled on the research and piled on the miles searching, searching, searching for that piece of land that would ‘feel’ like home.
So we enlisted ‘Pearl’ (the Wonder Jeep) and zigged, and zagged over the province of beautiful British Columbia putting at least 7000 km behind us. From the Gulf Islands, to Nelson, to the Haida Gwaii to Williams Lake we made some tracks, ultimately landing on that patch that ‘feels’ like home.
We were looking for an area that would have certain attributes, but we also knew that we’d just ‘know it’ when we found it. So when we chugged up from Hwy 5 onto Hwy 24 in central B.C. climbing, climbing, climbing ultimately to a 3980 foot plateau known as the Interlakes system, we were knocked out by the view. The growing season would take some serious creativity as it may only be for 6 weeks at that altitude, however, a bermed- south facing greenhouse would go a long way to solving that challenge.
We were impressed by the community. When we arrived at one of the most beautiful lakes in the region it housed a sign that read a story about how the locals had chased away a developer who had dreams of turning the spot into cottage suburbia. Happily these were our kind of people! I love the ruggedness of B.C. and there are precious few spots left like this on the planet as far as I’m concerned. Cottage suburbia really puts a crick in my neck. I now knew that these were the kind of folks who wouldn’t take anything lying down. Amen.
Just to be certain that we had found our nirvana we returned to the area over the course of a couple years in each season, and talked to the locals to learn what they could tell us about the area we wished to call home. We took the next step to move this story forward by renting up in the area over the summer to look for a specific property. We looked at dozens of properties when a phone call came out of the blue. Apparently, we, the ‘Composting Toilette Girls’ had made a name for ourselves. It’s a name I would like to live down, but that’s actually what they called us due to the ‘Humanure Handbook’ I had been toting around and raving about everywhere we went. Obviously I need to be more selective of what I read (kidding).
N’way the phone call came and we magically found ourselves walking along a gorgeous private development where the owners of the land themselves wanted to ‘sustainably’ and respectfully parcel out their property. They were artists looking to create a development with other artists, all the while preserving and protecting an Eagle Habitat, and maintaining a strict no motorized boating policy for the tiny lake. We loved these people at first sight! We have snow shoed the perimeter and selected a few south facing parcels relatively cleared with crown land at our back. Ironically they aren’t ready to sell these sections yet which is perfect because we aren’t ready to buy them yet. This gives us a chance to get our ducks in a row and get this website under way.
Meanwhile the water is artesian fed springs, the air smells floral and sweet, the lakes are stocked with fish, a wide array of plants all grow together in a small patch, and best of all we can see and hear frogs singing. That alone is a sign of an untainted eco system and a sound that we look forward to falling asleep to at night. So we’ve found our spot.
The next step for you if you are ready to ‘go there’ is to find the right place for you to put down roots. Take your time and find an area and a community that will support your values and your dreams. Go there in all seasons. Talk to people. Research the history of the place via news stories to see if there have been any ecological reasons you wouldn’t want to be there or any economical reasons the area might be poised to change. Most importantly check in with your inner knowingness to see if this is a place that you belong. It should feel ‘right’ with you. Trust that feeling. Trust that if it feels right to you then you are in flow, and where you are meant to be.
Image Credits: Monica Holy