The good life – living outside the city

IMG_0521I was born and raised a city girl. So I never thought that I would live anywhere else. That was until I met my now partner Jesse, who came into my life from Windsor. At first, I thought that Windsor was so far away and somewhere I would never consider living. I mean why would I when my friends, family and business resided in Toronto? Not to mention, Windsor was a small town and it didn’t have the same resources, restaurants, shops and go-to’s that I frequent in Toronto.

Well….things change. After years of living in the heart of midtown Toronto – the construction, the cars, the buses and noise started to wear me down. It was early last year that Jesse and I (after him moving to Toronto a year before) decided to explore the possibility of living outside the city. Once my Food Studio and cooking class business was no longer in the picture, we were virtually free to live anywhere. This is truly an amazing concept…free to live anywhere. Our work is online as the co-hosts of The Ultimate Health Podcast – and we have nothing tying us down to the city other than friends and my family. Although both very important to me, neither were as important as our mental health and well being.  After looking for months for the “perfect” place to live, the right place finally came up. What we found was everything we were looking for in a home, especially after living in a very small one bedroom apartment.

For us, we scored huge. We found a cute bungalow, in a quiet neighbourhood with a large backyard in central Windsor. This was a must since we have a medium sized dog – Goji who needs room to run and play. After experiencing at least four doors and four flights of stairs to let her out for a pee in our old apartment, it was a non-negotiable that we just wanted one door. We got that and so much more. We were after a place with 2 bedrooms, but we found a place with 3 and a huge basement. What more could you want for a young couple with a dog? It’s absolutely perfect for now.

We were open to living anywhere, but Windsor became a reasonable option because at least we have family there, friends and some connections. Jesse’s family lives close by and we have a wonderful community of new friends here. Which of course wasn’t hard for us, we are two very social and very friendly beings and we tend to make great friends wherever we go. We are lucky enough to not just make friends, but friends who are on the same page as us, have the same goals and values around healthy living. Such a bonus and such a perk to find such people. We are grateful everyday for our community in Windsor and in Toronto.

We come into Toronto now quite a bit, as it will always be home for me. However now it’s just a temporary vacation spot where we can come in on weekends for a visit with my family, meet up with friends, go to our favourite famers markets and other favourite spots in the city. It’s not around the corner…it’s a four our drive but so worth it when we need a city fix!

What I would like to share with you now, is some of the other wonderful benefits that have come from making this move outside the city.

  1. Campfires. This is not something that is common in urban Toronto, at least not something I experienced or saw too frequently. Now that we have a huge backyard for Goji to run around in, we also built a mini fire pit to have frequent campfires in as part of our evening routine.
  2. Quiet. Being on a family friendly street, we don’t have noisy neighbours or young kids partying all night. We are also not trapped amongst loud construction or loud city buses stopping in front of our home. This was something that become very uncomfortable after four years.
  3. Space. One of my biggest requirements to thrive is to have space to move around. Enough room for me to spread out and do my thing. Whether that is escaping to the basement to do my morning routine, sitting on the couch in the living room to read or head into the backyard for playtime with goji. I am grateful that there is more than one option of a place to hang on our own property. This is the ultimate luxury!
  4. Time. Even though we are busy every day working hard to create the best health podcast ever, we still have more time in a day than we are used to. After dinner now we have the time to go for walks (when I was once teaching), go for bike rides in the middle of the day or take a late afternoon yoga class. I guess these are some of the perks of being an entrepreneur and creating your own schedule.
  5. Nature. Windsor is still a small city, but it does also have lots of greenery. So does Toronto for that matter, but at least when you are going for a walk in the woods, you can truly disconnect. This actually happens in our own backyard. Just sitting outside listening to the cecada’s is healing in itself. Honestly on a daily basis I see bunnies, glow bugs, bats and other creatures. Let’s not forget the stars at night! Without so many city lights, you can actually see the sky and all its stars.
  6. More online shopping. I am not trying to sound shallow here, but online shopping has become a favourite pastime. Windsor has lots to offer in terms of natural food and other goodies, however we don’t have the same access to some of the same things that we did in Toronto. This means more ordering online from brands and companies that can support our healthy lifestyle.
    1. Tru Local – This is our resource for local, antiobiotic-free meat and fish. It comes frozen and delivered right to your door. We are big fans! If you want to order your own box, just use the code ULTIMATEHEALTH to get some freebies added to your order. Also be sure to read this post on why LOCAL is just as important as organic.
    2. Thrive Market – I know this doesn’t benefit my Canadian friends, but since we are so close to USA we have a US Mailbox and have the chance to order anything health foods we want at lower prices. If you live in the USA then you MUST create an account with Thrive Market. It is the absolute best resource for all your healthy shopping needs.
    3. Raw Elements – This is our Canadian resource for all of our superfood goodies including protein, superfood powders, chocolate and other goodies. Use the code TUHP to save 10%

I understand that many people can’t or wouldn’t make such a bold move to escape the hustle and bustle of a big city. I must say, if you are at all comtemplating it, I highly recommend the change in scenery, even if it’s just temporary. What this move has done for my productivity, health and my self-care routines is tremendous. I am actually getting more work done, while taking care of myself and maintaining a cute cozy little home. I have no idea how long term this will last, you never know we may be back in Toronto next year, but right now this is what we needed to relax, recalibrate and detach for our well-being.