Alright folks, things have changed a bit since we’ve last posted! Our seven-month apprenticeship on Hornby came to an end on October 31st, and we were lucky enough to get a bonus month out of the deal on this idyllic slice of paradise. As an encore, we have spent the last month as “full-time job searchers”, looking for work and farming opportunities on Vancouver Island. As the holiday season approaches, however, we have been increasingly occupied with planning our visit back home. We are really looking forward to seeing the faces we love in person, rather than through a screen. Since we love to keep people on their toes, here’s the kicker: we are coming back home…permanently! Ahhhhhhhh!
That’s right, never a dull moment over here in Tutt Town. We came to several conclusions over the past month or so which have lead us to change our plans:
- We miss our friends and family more than we thought. Sure, we know that everyone who moves away from home experiences homesickness, but a bricks and mortar “home” isn’t what we missed. It was our emotional support network that had us craving closer contact.
- The Vancouver Island job market is in rough shape. We need jobs to support ourselves as we continue our journey towards becoming farmers, and after our month-long full-time job search yielded no leads, we began to feel desperate. We realize that job prospects aren’t what they used to be, including the once infallible OILberta, but we have found encouragement in the fact that there at least postings in our fields in Alberta, unlike on Vancouver Island.
- Land prices on Vancouver Island are sky high! Tack on to that the increased cost of living in BC (not to mention the Island), and you are left with two 20-somethings who could buy a chunk of land, but be left land-poor after doing so.
When we began to entertain the idea of returning home the mood in the caravan shifted from discouragement to excitement. That being said, this decision has been extremely bittersweet. The west coast is called the best coast for a reason, and living in this ecological paradise has truly felt like heaven on earth. We have been living closer to our values than ever before: having a zero-minute commute, being active by default (no need to buy a gym membership when you live on a farm!), tiny house living, growing our own organic food, preparing our meals from scratch every day, working outdoors, and really feeling like we were doing something of meaning. We were also lucky enough to be surrounded by so many others doing the same and who were generally living a life that challenged traditional ways of thinking.
Fortunately, this way of life can be accomplished wherever we land! Who says that we can’t live our values in Alberta? Sure, we may be swimming upstream a little bit by doing so, but nothing great is ever achieved by doing what everyone else is doing. And since we are being honest, we think Alberta could probably use a little bit of Hornby thinking 🙂
You may remember a post Aaron did about two months ago talking about uncertainty and our attempts to embrace it. Well, we haven’t abandoned that notion! When you break it down, we are still unemployed and in pursuit of land to farm, we are just returning to a more familiar locale to flail while we figure out this thing we call life! Our goals remain the same, how we get there is TBD.
We left the island this past Tuesday on an extended journey (just a few stops along the way!) home for the holidays, and for the last time as residents of Hornby. Yet again, we packed our car to the rafters with all our belongings and drove to the ferry in the same style with which we arrived on the island: in the pouring rain. Classic.
We have also decided to put our blog on a bit of a hiatus, seeing as we are taking a bit of a break from farming. We will post every now and again in the interim, but it will be fairly irregularly. But expect to see Tuttly back with a vengeance when our lives take a turn for the greener!
In turning the leaf and returning to our Alberta roots, we want to thank all of Hornby Island for a life changing experience. We leave this place with the ability to see the world through a different lens; one that takes convention, turns it on its head, and sends it back out into the world with an open mind. We will return soon and regularly. In the meantime, here are a few of our favourite images captured in a place of infinite beauty.
Lana and Aaron