BC's Sunshine Coast

Mar 30 2020
Rural Living on the Sunshine Coast
Posted by Emilie

As I reflect on the month we spent on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, I realize how much I've learned and experienced since we've been here. We've dipped our toes into a nomadic lifestyle, I've hiked by myself on quiet trails without seeing anyone else for hours, we've seen beautiful views of the coastline, and we've experienced rural, coastal living.

The house we rented is in a small community that backs onto a quiet provincial park. Deer frequently pass through our garden and we saw a wild owl last night for the first time in our lives. Hearing and seeing bald eagles in the forest are regular occurrences.

Living here has allowed us to think more about how we'd like to travel and live. Chris and I have spent weeks or even months at a time in different countries, but we've never fully immersed ourselves into the nomadic living experience. There are so many places I want to visit, mountains I want to hike, and foods I want to eat. Seeing the marine life in the Galapagos, climbing Kilimanjaro, and visiting the ancient ruins are just a few to start out. It's scary for me to leave my comfortable life in Vancouver, but I don't want to stay just because I'm scared. There is so much the world has to offer and I want to see as much of it as I can first-hand.

Nomad life allows us to explore so many different ways of living. Our time on the Sunshine Coast has allowed us to experience rural life where our closest grocery store is over 10 km away. Though it's beautiful here, our stay has also been challenging me. In urban city living I'm so used to seeing people, being around people, and feeling safe because of it. But in this rural setting, we don't have that. When we arrived here, I took my first hike alone through the woods and I ended up turning around after only 20 minutes. The solitude of the forest and not seeing anyone else on the trail really scared me. I didn't want to be by myself in the woods. But after being out here all month I'm feeling confident going out by myself on tiny unmarked trails that you can barely even see, far from a road, and isolated. I love that nomad living is forcing me to try new things and think about stuff in a new way. To me, constantly challenging yourself and doing things that are different from how we would normally do them is how we learn and grow, and this nomad experience is allowing me to learn so much.

Travelling has taken us to all sorts of places, but nothing quite like this. We're learning what it means to not have Door Dash and Skip the Dishes ready to deliver food whenever we're hungry, that we can't just run across the street to pick up some fruit, and most importantly, to be prepared to find wildlife hanging around our car. We love urban living - especially pre-pandemic. The excitement and energy of being among crowds, sitting at a cozy, crowded bar on a Thursday night, and being one of 50 people in a Soul Cycle class. City living also offers huge conveniences, like the ridiculous number of dentists we have within a 3 block radius of our home, and living in a condo where most things are maintained for us. But living here, we've been forced to be more prepared and organized by keeping food in the house and learning to fall asleep when everything is so silent. You'd think it would be similar to our camping experiences but it feels completely different. Though we don't think rural living is something we would enjoy long term, it definitely has its pros and we can see why some people crave this.

This is our last weekend on the Sunshine Coast. Leaving is always a bit hard, but we're so happy with everything that we've been able to do here over the last month. We've explored so many hiking trails, taken the Honda Pilot offroading, watched the tides rise on the beach, and experienced a quieter, more rural lifestyle. Though it's a bit sad to leave, we're also really looking forward to our next adventure.