Without thinking about it, I inadvertently picked just about the best week ever to move back to the coast. Months and months of rain finally gave way to summer sun. It’s also the long weekend, so the days have been filled with pal hangs and long table dinners. It’s pretty much been a perfect week. So it’s been a nice welcome home, but it’s also not 100% reflective of what life will be like all the time. Or maybe it is? So far, it’s certainly been how I imagined/described it in all of my best versions of what I thought that coastal life would be like.
I’m staying at a friend’s house at the moment, which I am super thankful for, but it also means that it doesn’t quiiiite feel real that I’m living here yet. I’ve spent a month at a time visiting these pals, so part of my brain is probably still viewing this as a vacation, rather than a new permanent place to be. I’m going to see a few apartments this week, and I think that once that’s sort of settled, it will all start to actually feel real.
A few observations so far…
Holy moly are there ever hills. It’s good. But also, like, holy shit Toronto is super flat, and I am v aware of how out of shape I am at the moment. The good thing about it is that I can already see how cycling here is going to just whip me into super shape by the end of the summer. My foot/ankle is still an issue, but I’m starting to incorporate little 3k runs into my routine a few times a week. It’s a humbling, but good feeling.
Most people that I know here are couples. And the majority of those have children. Which is fine. I’m comfortable being the only single around, but it’s also kind of a weird feeling when literally everyone that you meet is in a long-term, stable partnership. I can definitely see how if I don’t break it up every now and then with single pal visits from/to the city, that it could start to feel a little isolating and lonely. It’s also definitely a lot more apparent that I don’t have kids. (Aside – as if they internet knew, it sent me this today) Again, it’s fine, but just one of the most striking shifts from the city.
I’m also pretty much the only renter. I can’t help but feel tiny pangs of anxiety over not being in a position to buy something, and the ever-rising cost of real estate on the Sunshine Coast. It’s the next hot spot, and the cost of housing is sky-rocketing accordingly. It’s funny, because owning has never been something that I’ve wanted. But suddenly it seems like something worth wanting. That being said, there are options. I’ve had a few offers from friends to put a tiny home on their property, which is so kind, and makes me feel very loved and welcome. It’s also kind of ideal, because in reality, the idea of taking care of an actual huge property or proper sized house of my own is still just not appealing to me. At all. In fact, the only reason I have interest in owning anything at all now, is just the dwindling rental market. It’s scary to be at the whim of other people when it comes to your housing. A tiny house of my own seems to be a good in-between solution.
I reactivated Tinder when I got to the coast, just out of curiosity. There are definitely 500% more photos of dudes holding fish that they caught. There are also 500% more outdoorsy photos. I’m definitely curious to see what dating will be like in a small town. I put dating on the back burner during my last year in Toronto, but I think that I’m ready to make it a priority again.
Before coming to the coast, my list of desired new skills/hobbies included biathlon, shooting guns in general, more swimming, riding a motorcycle, gardening, trail running, and all of these things seem well within my grasp within the first year. I actually know people who do, or are interested in all of these things. Maybe I’ll also take up canoeing? And definitely sailing at some point. And I know that I already write quite a bit, but there’s something about being out here that is especially conducive to more writing. I’ve never really considered fiction as an option, but I’m thinking about it more and more these days. I’m also considering longer projects that I’d never considered before. And that’s really exciting.
When I say that I’m going to walk somewhere, I have to remind country folks, that I’m from the city and a 20 minute walk is really no big deal. That being said, I had a good reminder last night to always carry my headlamp in my purse just in case, because it really is SO DARK at night. Also maybe I should get some bear spray just in case of dangerous wildlife?
Every person that I have met out here so far seems to be super interesting, self-driven, generous, and kind. Generous with their skills and time and knowledge, and just willing to help out another human finding their way on the coast. Everyone has the shared goal of building a nice community and life that is healthy and thriving and doing cool shit. Not a bad place to be!
Many more observations to come.
A few more things to share for this week that were v typical beautiful coastal vibes moments.
Foraging stinging nettles.
Buying fresh duck eggs from an unmanned roadside stand.
Going to the dock to hand-pick freshly caught spot prawns direct from the fishing boat.
Outdoor wood-fired pizza oven party, including crab that was freshly caught via crab trap and paddle board (not by me) that day.