From homestead to seashore: an update

Five months ago we drove north from Montreal and took a right at Rivière-du-Loup. Highway 2 took us deep into the Maritimes, through Moncton, and then on south toward Halifax.

It was a long trek for a holiday weekend, but the trip was not merely for pleasure – we don’t love road tripping quite that much; twelve hours is a heck of a drive just to see the ocean. And even though the crocuses were bursting through the ground along the banks of Sullivan’s Pond, we did not drive to Dartmouth in search of spring, either.

Our travels had brought us to Canada’s ocean playground on a different sort of Easter hunt: a real estate search. We were acting on a dream. Taking the first step – actual physical steps – to turn hopes and plans into reality.

Our car followed the coast down from Halifax, through Herring Cove and then up again past St. Margaret’s Bay, stopping here and there along the way to walk a beach, tour a home or catch the view from the end of a dock. The South Shore was showing off that day, beckoning us with distant lighthouses, glittering surf and dancing boats in harbour.

I distinctly remember coming around one curve where the road sloped down towards the shoreline. Two elderly men stood on the end of a dock, beers in hand and hats pushed back. They wore rubber boots up to their knees, faded blue jeans and checked flannel shirts, exactly as one would imagine a local fisherman to dress. In the instant we swished pass them in the car, they raised their beer bottles and clinked them together in a slow, deliberate ‘Cheers’. It was too much. The gesture, the moment in time, the sea behind them: it undoubtedly proclaimed: “Life here is some good”.

It’s heady stuff, dreams. And that moment you realize that there is nothing, not really, preventing a dream from coming true? That is purely intoxicating.

It’s no secret that we’ve been captivated by the Maritimes for a few years now. Our first road trip through Nova Scotia covered the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island and the wine country of Annapolis Valley. We learned history in Louisbourg and were charmed with the colours and markets of Lunenburg. We visited Prince Edward Island twice, casually looking up real estate on the Green Isle after each trip.

We packed up our presents one December and drove to Halifax for a white Christmas with my sister. There, we curled up in the award-winning library during snowstorms and drove to find a deserted beach on clear days. We cracked lobsters on Christmas Eve and toasted in the New Year with Benjamin Bridge bubbly.

On other trips we’ve stayed with friends in beautiful New Brunswick and traced Danny’s roots back to his Nanny’s childhood home on a charming Moncton street. Our last excursion was all the way out to Newfoundland, an experience my children still reference on a weekly basis – as in “When can we go back?”. If we were crushing on Canada’s Eastern provinces after previous trips, our Newfoundland travels fanned that flame into full blown love.

On these travels, we paid careful attention to how we felt while in the Maritimes and to how the children responded to the change of pace. It’s important to notice the little signs and signals that life sends your way.

“Man, people are really friendly in Halifax.” observed my son during our trip last April, as he skipped down the hill toward the waterfront. Later, back at our AirBnB, the kid from next door popped over to invite us to church on Easter Sunday.

I’ve seen a lot of Canada. I’ve traveled to every province and territory save two (NWT and Nunavut). I’ve lived in four distinct pockets of this vast country. No place has the warmth, the heart or half the charm as the Maritimes.

So, yeah. We’re taking small, but steady steps to move from our beloved Quebec homestead to a waterfront property just outside of Halifax. And we’re pretty excited!

This move is about so much more than the allure of a seaside city, of course. We wouldn’t transplant our family on a whim. The charms are the easiest to explain out loud; it is all the other, more personal reasons that are much harder to put into words. How do you explain a drawing? A gut-feeling? Somewhere, deep down, is a desire for a lifestyle change, a slower pace of life – and no one does slow like the Maritimes.

And the decision hasn’t been a snap one. Every time we’ve traveled to the Maritimes in the past five years we’ve had a conversation about relocating our family to Nova Scotia. Taking an extended trip offers the chance to examine your life from a distance. For a time, you are free from the day-to-day activities that are so encompassing, and there is opportunity to ask yourself – am I truly happy?

On our London trip last May, Danny and I actually had the time, as parents and partners, to finish that conversation. We concluded that there’s never a perfect time to make a move as big as this, but there are good times, and given our children’s ages (12 and under), this feels like a good time.

Quebec will always be where I found love, and an enormous extended family. It has been where I have made dear friends who are as close as family. It will always be where my journey as a food creative was birthed. It will always feel like home, in a way. For two decades this place has been the fabric of my story, and my life will always be the more colourful because of it.

However, despite its rich culture, joie de vivre and fantastic bread, life in Quebec requires….a certain stamina, at least for this English-speaking transplant. And I think that unless you’ve lived or traveled outside of Quebec for an extended period of time, you might not even notice that there are more gentle corners of Canada, like Halifax, which was recently voted as one of the friendliest cities in the world.

Danny has lived his whole life in Quebec (with a brief school year in B.C.) and I am coming up on 20 years in La Belle Province. We’re ready for a change. And ocean. And a gentler, smaller city, where traffic is scarce, family culture is upheld, and community spirit is tangible.

Once the idea to move took hold, it grew like a spring seedling during the April rains… I read Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path, followed by Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. These two fantastic books confirmed what I was feeling in my soul: a deliberate change for a simpler, slower lifestyle could only be good for our family.

I started decluttering our home, donating baby clothes, used books and oodles of kitchen gear. Danny pared down the contents of our garden shed that was stuffed with tools, camping gear and everything else under the sun. In June we threw a huge garage sale and emptied the house even more.

In July, we power-washed everything that was nailed down on the homestead and shot photos of the exterior of our home in its lush summer glory. In August, we painted the interior for days and completed the pesky repair jobs that always get shelved. And in September, we listed our homestead on the market.

So this is where we are now… I feel like the pen is poised over a blank page, waiting to write the next chapter in our story.

I do not know how long this transition will take; fortunately, we are in a fairly unhurried position. There’s currently no job being held for Danny nor is there a particular property we are attached to yet. Everything hinges on the sale of our home, and if it takes a year, so be it.

We’re holding this dream with open hands, anticipating when it will transform from a hope to reality. Dreams are not meant to be tightly clutched, smothered in overachieving attempts to will them into coming true. Like most of the dreams in my life, such as world travel, finding love, becoming a mother, and writing books, it will happen when it happens.

I hope you will follow along on our journey from homestead to ocean.

Side note: If you are interested in our real estate listing, email me: [email protected] and I will send it your way. Who knows, maybe one or two of you readers are looking for an urban homestead on the outskirts of Montreal. 

Side note Part II: Maritime readers, please pipe up and say hello! Perhaps you will all be part of my new food community out in Nova Scotia. I look forward to connecting.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Oh, Aimee! I sat in tears as I read this. I’m currently on a self-funded leave year from teaching, 6 years from retirement, and trying to figure out what that dream might look like. Thank you for this. A big part of this year’s plan is purging the stuff I really don’t need, to make room for the things I do to breathe, and take root. Thank you so much for this. How brave and beautiful you all are.

    • Thank you for that, Lisa. And thanks for reading my epic post. It doesn’t feel brave, mostly because my spouse and I are united in this step. Moving to Quebec was a lot more terrifying as a 19yo. 🙂 But I know what you mean. And I hope that you keep searching. Come visit and bring your kids to check out Dal.

  2. We are so excited for you all! Good luck with the house sale and move. It will be hard work, but speaking from the other side – worth it.

  3. Aimee, you have just put into words how so many people feel…what an exciting time for you and your family. I feel the exact same way about living with less (I really hate clutter ?) and getting back to the basics even more. Fantastic and inspiring post!! ?

  4. Go in peace. You are loved wherever you are. ❤️

  5. So excited to see how this unfolds for you and your family. My husband is racking up Porter Air miles as he now commutes from Boston to Toronto each week. We’ve already talked about making a family trip to Nova Scotia and the surrounding areas to put those miles to good use. Hope to see you settled into the food scene by the time we make a visit!

  6. Hi Aimee,
    This is all very exciting! What a time for all of you as you look towards the future of your family. Our family recently moved from Timberlea (the outskirts of Halifax) to Windsor, a very small and quaint little town. I am a good friend of Breanne’s and would love to meet you sometime once you’re in the area. We’ve got three kids as well. Two girls (9,7.5) and a boy (4.5) . I also grew up in the French school board In Halifax if you have any questions in that department. Look forward to having you all here on the East Coast!

    • Katie, thanks for commenting. I look forward to meeting you as well. And yes it IS exciting! Breanne’s support has been invaluable – let’s all definitely meet up whenever it is that we get there. xo

  7. Rachel Johnston says

    I knew we couldn’t keep you here forever. Downtown to South shore to North shore we had a good run…..but your right there is so much more to this great country. I can see the allure of the ocean and wellie boots all year. Go forth and inspire other young girls like you did me when all you have accomplished was just a dream. I cheers your new adventures knowing that a trip out east will be in our family’s future.?

    • Ah this means so much to me, Rachel. Thank you. Distance won’t change our friendship. And I know Dave’s family roots will pull him back out East at some point, at least for a visit. We’ll always have a bottle of scotch on the shelf, waiting for when you come. xox

  8. Whoa! I’m so excited for you and your family. The very first blog I fell in love with was written by a woman from St. John’s her friendly, family style drew me in to the world of blogging. I can imagine, as you describe your feelings about Halifax, you’ve been drawn there for the same reasons. Kindred hearts always seem to find a way.

    I’m excited to hear more about your eventual home sale and migration. New is always exciting and I’m sure you’ll find a welcoming community and new adventures. I wish you the very best and am looking forward to a lot of new recipes from the seaside.

  9. How exciting!! I love your blog and look forward to hearing more about your move. We went East this summer for a wedding and toured NB, NS and PEI. Loved Halifax – both DH and I said “we could really live here”! Lunenburg also stole my heart – I was so not expecting that!
    FWIW, we moved to NWON a few years back (the kids were 10 & 12) and they are fine! It *was* a rough transition but all is well now!!

  10. Oh Aimee! So so excited for you and your families next adventure. And you know the sea has my heart, so I’m very approving of this move towards the coast. Can’t wait to see what unfolds!

  11. I forget how lucky I am to live here and your description of brought tears to my eyes. Welcome to the Maritimes, where the kitchen party never ends!

  12. How exciting!! I hope you will enjoy the transition time as well as relocation! Your present homestead is beautiful and I’m sure the right owner will fall in love with it as you did. Good Luck!!!

  13. Lovely blog post. I hope your move goes seamlessly. I live in Halifax. We moved to Ontario for a few years, and my heart ached for Nova Scotia the entire time. So on a whim, one weekend we put our house up for sale in Ontario and I requested a job transfer. We were in our new home in Halifax in less than 3 months! And we are loving it! You have described Nova Scotia so perfectly. Good luck and I look forward to hearing updates!

    • Sandria, that is an amazing story. What a step! I love it. and that is great that you are happy. I mean, why settle for less, right?

      Thanks for introducing yourself. I am coming to Halifax on my book tour in November…..maybe we’ll meet!

  14. Beautiful writing, Aimee!! I can definitely hear you soul through these words. Big moves are daunting and come with a lot of struggle before and after they happen but at the same time you simply HAVE to go if that is where your heart is. I know from a personal experience. Sending lots of love from London.

    • I accept that love, Julia. Your family is such an inspiration. World travelers, transplants, yet so at home wherever you are. Gosh. It gives me chills. PLEASE come see us. We can still house swap. 🙂

  15. Aimee!!! So excited for you! I grew up everywhere and although I was born in Quebec and my mother is a French Québécois I am Anglo through and through due to my wonderful parents giving me lots of chances to see what other cultures and people are like outside Quebec. Every time I go “home” to my mother I am shocked, disgusted and saddned by just how terrible Quebeckers are to others and each other. The move is the BEST life lesson you will give your children ??? I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things you guys will get up to in a truly 100% Canadian heartland. And should you ever travel in Switzerland let me know! Xoxoxo

  16. Lol! Thanks autocorrect ? *disgusted* was what it should have read ?

  17. What an exciting time for you and your family, Aimee!! This must make your book tour to Halifax extra special. I look forward to meeting you! I’m also excited to follow your adventures on the blog. As a life long Nova Scotian, it will be fun to see the province explored through fresh eyes – to see how you and your family take it all in. Hey, now that you’ll be closer, maybe I can score one of those Autumn Pie Social invites for next year! LOL

    • You are right, I’m extra excited to visit Halifax on my tour. I’d love to meet you! Maybe we can connect at the book tour….and as for the future, well that remains to be seen. I think we may end up out there by July/August next year, but I can’t say for sure.

  18. Thank you for sharing this next step with readers, Aimée. I’m a Canadian ex-pat who was drawn to the Appalachian mountains by that same sort of pull that draws you to the Maritimes. It is a fantastic thing to find the place that feels like where you are supposed to be. Good luck on your journey further east – I look forward to reading all about it!

  19. Just saw this briefly on IG and had to pop over to see the new post! I am so happy for your family, it sounds like everyone is excited. I’ve always wanted to visit the Maritimes, first because of Anne of Green Gables of course, second from a couple in our family’s experience in Halifax for a few years (they *loved* it) and third because of all your gorgeous traveling photos! We will definitely get out there at some point. It looks absolutely stunning. And oy vey can I relate to the traffic piece!

    • Sarah, we are all pretty excited! And this post…the sale of our home…everything is starting to get very real. Anne of GG is the best – and PEI is so fun. I hope you DO plan a trip.

  20. jesse collins says

    Me and my hubby did a similar thing.. From Joliette, Quebec to just outside of Shediac, New Brunswick with our 3 kiddos! You will love it! Cant wait to see more posts about your journey.

  21. Frédérique says

    It’s funny, because we were just saying my husband and I, how we would love a change of pace as well. We would love to leave our Plateau apartment to buy a Bed and Breakfast in Charlevoix or other more slow and beautiful places in the rest of Québec. I am sorry for your disenchantment for québec. This lack of kindness you and others seem to feel I personally find in EVERY big city I have had the chance to visit, It’s the sheer presence of too much stressed out people living in a multicultural melting pot of different cultures they don’t always love to bear in close proximity. I remember hating my visit to Toronto, crying in the streets with my luggage in London as no one would help me find my hotel, being totally disenchanted by the smell of pee in the Paris metro and how rude people were to tourists, etc, etc. Places like Halifax or any other small town where people have slower lives and are surrounded by nature are ALWAYS more pleasant, and I think that once you look, there are tons of those in the rest of Quebec as well. The language barrier is something else. I was born from french Canadian parents and my husband emigrated here from France. So french is our first language and thus it is much easier to communicate and feel at home. That said, I hope you find what you dream of in the maritimes. Looking forward to a lot of new sea food recipes from you after your move!

    • We started in the Plateau, too, many years ago. And in a way, it was perfect for us then. But I think we all grow and evolve – like trees- and we can outgrow our habitat. Keep examining that pull, who knows where it will lead you.
      You make a very good point about cities in general. Thanks for sharing that.
      And yes!! Chowder all the way. 🙂

      • Frédérique says

        haha! Indeed outgrowing is a very great analogy! I was just thinking that I was liking the city less and less with time because I was becoming less and less social, but it IS a need for more space and outgrowing a habitat is much better imagery than saying I’m becoming anti-social with age! LOL. WOOHOO! Looking forward to chowder recipes then! 😉

  22. Aimee, Congratulations on you and your family’s decision to follow your dreams. The photos show the exquisite beauty, but your words express your depth of feeling for the lifestyle you are about to embrace. And so, the adventure begins!

  23. So many people dare to dream, but only a handful actually put the wheels in motion to make those dreams happen. How wonderful that you and Danny have flushed out that dream together and are now actually doing it! I have yet to visit the Maritime provinces, though am always drawn to it by the stories my mum tells of living in Gander, Newfoundland for a couple of her teenaged years. It sounds like a wonderful place for you to put down roots for your family and I wish you all of the joy in the journey ahead!

    • First of all, your mom sounds cool! Newfoundland is awesome.
      Well, thank you Dara, that means a lot. It doesn’t fell particularly noteworthy, mostly because we’ve been talking about it for so long. But this is us, we think things through. 🙂

  24. I am excited for you. It was always my dream to move back to Nova Scotia. Now my children and grandchildren are here (in Ontario). You’re right about it being the right time for your children. If they were older, the move could be more difficult for them. I wish you success in finding the ‘right’ property. Your current home looks inviting. I hope everything comes together smoothly for your family.

    • Thanks Judy. I mean, I can only hope and pray that is is the right move. But I clearly remember moving at 12 and it was a good thing. I loved exploring a new neighbourhood, new trails..
      Thanks for your well-wishes!

  25. I applaud your decision to make such a big change for a better lifestyle, and I totally understand your draw to the Maritimes. It is such a peaceful place. I’m sure that your journey with finding a new home and all that is involved will be an exciting one!

  26. Hello from the Annapolis Valley! I am a huge fan of your books (I first found Brown Eggs at the most charming coffee shop in Berwick NS-North Mountain Coffee!).
    I once lived in Montreal, and in the Yukon too… so I feel like our lives have taken us on similar paths! We moved to NS 2 years ago for similar reasons (although we are an RCMP family… so that plays into things).
    Wish you all the best and hope to be at your Halifax book signing!

    • Johanna – hello! Thanks for introducing yourself. I’m thrilled. And a Montreal/Yukon connection? This is indeed a small world. I’d love to connect at my signing. Hopefully I’ll have details for that narrowed down soon.

  27. hiiii the BIG announcement! I am so excited for you & your family, Aimée.
    Can’t wait to follow –OF COURSE– your new adventures and share pies in the meantime! xx

    ps. I’ve read Essentialism, too. Putting “Chasing Slow” on my list too. You’d certainly like “The One thing : Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” too– very similar too Essentialism, if I remember well! 🙂

    • HIIII! 🙂 Thank you so much for your support, Christelle. It means so much. I can’t even think about how much I will miss you girls – so I’m not gonna think about it!

      Thanks for the book recommendation. xo

  28. Dreams are what the best of life is made of! Speaking as someone who moved to Halifax 5 years ago without setting eyes on it, I’ll tell you it was one of the best decisions we made! The people are friendly! The landscape breath-taking! Wishing you the best in this new chapter.

  29. Changing lifestyles is very enriching. The scary transition period when there’s so much to do and the future is uncertain and everyone is way out of their comfort zone. It makes you feel so alive!! My husband and I moved to France with two young children for a year…that was 24 years ago! By the way you have fans here in my village…I’ve had to translated a couple of your recipes for them as they don’t speak english. Your blog is great and I’m looking forward to following your adventures.

    • How inspiring, Gail. Thanks for sharing your success story. I agree completely. I’ve had a few choose-your-own-adventure experiences in my life and the open-ended ones always proved to be the best.

      Thanks for reading! And sharing my work with your community. That is incredible.

  30. Good for you! Slowing down enough to clearly define dreams and then set the steps in motion is what many of us wait years and years to do. What an encouragement to not wait and make it happen now.
    I’m so excited for y’all, Aimee, and can’t wait to follow along with your new adventure.

    (I read Essentialism a few years back and just bought Chasing Slow … now if i can only slow down long enough to read it!)

    • Well thank you for that, I really appreciate the support. It certainly hasn’t been easy, and we asked ourselves over and over if we were just crazy (mostly me). But we’re mostly just excited now!
      Oh enjoy Chasing Slow. It’s hard to put down.

  31. How exciting for you and your family! the East coast is on my bucket list!

  32. I’ve lived in NS my whole life (in the Annapolis Valley) and your descriptions of this province gave me chills, even though it is nothing new to my ears. I think those beautiful words alone, speak volumes for your passion towards this move! Congrats, and an early welcome to our beautiful province!

    • Well thank you, Amy. That means a lot. How fortunate you are to call the Valley home. I can’t wait to explore it from corner to corner. PS> Please leave your recommendations. 😉

  33. Hi Aimee! I’ve been a longtime subscriber to your blog and I think this is the first time I’ve ever commented.

    I grew up in rural, southern Cape Breton, went to university in Halifax, lived there for another 10 years and in the past five years or so moved back to CB. I think your reasons for wanting to move to Nova Scotia are absolutely heartfelt and I truly hope you find what you’re looking for here. Both Halifax and NS as a whole definitely have a slower pace of life, and a warmth that I think will feed your soul.

    If you decide you want to live somewhere gorgeous but a little more removed (3 hours from Halifax), check out my hometown, Isle Madame.

    Best of luck with the house selling and hunting! Maybe our paths will cross someday! 🙂


    • Myra, I was keeping it together so far, but your kind comment made me cry – in a good way. I’ve written this post from a very vulnerable place and you’ve seemed to grasp the essence of what I am talking about. So thank you. And thanks for being a longtime reader. I’m sorry it’s been so boring around here lately, but it has been pretty intense behind the scenes. 🙂

      I love your story and we will have to check out your hometown one day. I can’t wait to explore CB more – especially in fall. And yes, let’s connect once I am out there and settled.

    • Hi Myra. I am from Isle Madame as well with both sides of my family from there. I have many relatives on the island. I’m sure you would know several of them, Samsons, Marchands, Landrys, LeBlancs, Boudreaus…I have heard of your blog so I am thinking one of my family members shared it in the past. I just took a peek and bookmarked it as it looks like it would definitely interest me. We are heading to Isle Madame this week to stay at one of Robin’s Cottages my cousin’s tourist accommodations in Cape Auget. All best to you!

  34. I live in NB, and extend a warm welcome to the Maritimes!! Hopefully your move will go smoothly and you’ll be settled in NS before you know it. Very exciting times!

  35. I am a Maritimer! My home now is in New Brunswick but I grew up in Kentville, NS and have family in the Annapolis Valley and Halifax. You will love it! Hope everything comes together in a wonderful way for you!

  36. So exciting!! The pictures are so pretty. The one of you and all 3 kids in the sunset at the beach is just dreamy. We’re listening to Anne of Green Gables for school currently (we homeschool our boys who are 8, 6, 4, and 1) so some of that enchantment is especially heightened for me. Hehe. I’m from Florida, so the ocean and the east coast always will feel like home to me, even if I live in Chicago for the rest of my life. 🙂 Looking forward to following along on the blog.

  37. Wow, I am so happy for you guys! I love the Maritimes as well, particularly PEI, and hope to own a property there one day, but many years down the road. I’m looking forward to following your new adventures!

  38. This was beautifully written, and I completely understand the draw to a slower paced life in a beautiful, friendly seaside town. I’ve never been to the maritimes, I’ve lived in Quebec my whole life, but you have sparked a desire in me to see that part of the country. I also have a dream of moving out of Montreal, to a smaller (but not tiny, town. I have been focusing on southern BC as my “one day, maybe” dream. But now the martimes are calling me too. I’m looking forward to reading all about your moving adventures and I wish you and your family nothing but the best.

    • Jennifer, thanks for your note and kind words. I’m glad you are dreaming. We have so many dear friends and family in Quebec that a BC move seemed too far away. We still want to come back for holidays and weddings and such. So that might be something to consider. Definitely explore the Maritimes, especially since they are the next province over! Also, BC real estate is some of the highest priced in the country, especially in the south of the province. Trust me, we looked. 🙂
      Thanks for the kind wishes and I wish you all the best as well!

  39. I’m a Maritimer, born in Moncton and raised in Halifax and the Annapolis Valley. We’re moving back home from Alberta at the end of the month, and in the with my inlaws to put enough aside for a downpayment on our own little homestead outside of Windsor, NS

    I understand the pull, the rightness and the uncertainty of following that tug. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy my home has captured your imagination.

    PS: My daughter is only a few months younger than yours. It’s become something of a birthday tradition for us to bake *her* cake for Annika. ?

    • Carlie, congratulations on a big step! That is really exciting. And the second person in this thread living in/moving to Windsor. A homestead sounds just lovely. That area is super special.
      I’m glad you could understand – and for reading my lengthy post!
      So which of Clara’s cakes does Annika prefer?

  40. My husband and I made a move this past year that is what I called a heart move. It has been simultaneously hard and joyful at the same time. Sending you a big hug and lots of encouragement and support. <3

  41. Hi Aimee,
    I’ve enjoyed your blog and recipes for quite awhile now. I am a west coast girl while has spent the last 16 years living in the land of potatoes and Anne. I love it here and NS is just as incrediblee.

  42. Colleen Gander says

    You asked for readers from the Maritimes to connect. My husband and I went through a process similar to yours over the past seven years. It began first with a business trip that we extended and slowly the salt air and seawater seeped in. A few more trips east confirmed our resolve. We embraced the community, the climate, the people and then hoped that our Ontario property would sell so we could realize our new dream. It took a while, a long while. However, patience rewarded us and we now call the Annapolis Valley home for the past two years. We are at a different stage of our life, no young children to aid in the introduction to the community. Our interests and activities have given us a running start meeting new friends and we feel rooted here. Good for you to follow your dream. May you be as happy here as we have been.

  43. Aimee!!! I am squealing and smiling the BIGGEST SMILE! And of course, sending you the warmest Nova Scotia welcome. I hope that everything works out smoothly for your move, and you might find me waiting on your doorstep with a basket of goodies when you arrive. I love Nova Scotia SO much, and I love it when other people do, too. If I recall, you didn’t come down to the Yarmouth end of the province on your visits, though… we have new neighbours across the road who just moved here from Montreal! Sending much love and all of the best wishes for a transition full of ease! ❤️❤️❤️

    • Hey hey! I would like nothing more than to accept those goodies along with your welcome. 🙂
      We still have so much exploring to do. Send me your Yarmouth recommendations. And watch this space for updates on our move.

  44. Melinda Green says

    This is so very exciting. Sherrie Graham and I both live in the Yarmouth area and our kiddos play sports together. This end of the province is spectacular, but as you have seen already there are so many spectualr parts of Nova Scotia. I’m a transplant from Alberta, who moved for university and this place and people just stole my heart. Fifteen years later and I am still living here with my husband and three kiddos on a beautiful piece of land with chickens and cats, a garden and lots of woods. What an adventure you are taking to move east and to one of my favourite places.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Melinda. I find it so encouraging. Yarmouth is on our list for exploring – we love road trips! It would be great to connect. I’ll look you and Sherrie up when I finally get out there. 🙂

  45. Oh my….this is so exciting! I’ve been a huge fan of your blog and books and live on the South Shore of NS…and my SIL and family live in Boutillier’s Point. We have some of the most beautiful beaches here all within 15 minutes of where I am….a beautiful new French school and many amazing local Farm markets. I also blog and did a 6 month gardening series with Wile’s Lake Farm Market this year. If you’re ever in need of a tour guide for this part of the South Shore ..Just let me know. 🙂 What an adventure….so happy for you! 🙂

  46. Jennifer Kerr says

    Oh Aimee! I am so excited for your family! My husband and I were both raised in Nova Scotia. Shortly after we married, his job transplanted us to Toronto. We started our family there and had a good life but it was always our intention to come “home”. And we did in 2013 after 13 years! Our kids were 11, 9 and 6 and although the oldest misses Toronto and her social network, everyone has settled nicely! We built a ocean side home (near Crystal Crescent – which I think you visited on your spring trip!) and have never looked back! Life is soooo good! I wish you the best in your journey to your new “home”. Look forward to reading all about it! Perhaps our paths will cross at the beach someday!

    • Fantastic story, Jennifer. Love that you came home and that the kids transitioned nicely. Crystal Crescent is an amazing area. We’d be so lucky to settle around there! Thanks for your well wishes; it would be great to connect once we settle in NS. 🙂

  47. Becky Van Iersel says

    Aimee I read with a smile and a tear. I’ve had the same debate for 4 years and it sits in the back of my mind nagging at me. My Ontario pace doesn’t allow people to be kind. We’ve taken all available space in our hearts and filled it up. When I’m out east I believe in community again! I’ve debated if it is just “vacation mode” but if I’m listening to my gut it’s more. I’m so reassured to hear that omyor gut said something similar.
    Maybe I’ll have to plan a trip with my hubby to finish our conversation…. ?

  48. Oh Aimee, I love that you’re doing this. I got goosebumps reading your post. My own visit to the Maritimes left me feeling very much the same. I’ve never felt so at home in a place I’ve never been. The incredible natural beauty and the kindness of the people found a permanent place in my heart. I’m so thrilled for you and your family as you take on this move. Sending love and very warm wishes your way. xo

    • Oh that’s right, you were there this summer. Im so glad you felt at home. I can’t believe I will get to call NS home –shortly. Thank you so much for the well wishes. xo

  49. I love everything about this, and you all. Can’t wait to come visit. xo

  50. Shawnna Griffin says

    hey girl- love the post! I’ll be praying for you and your family. Have faith. God knows what is best!

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