Many family and friends wonder how we are making out at our new homestead in Anagance, New Brunswick. They are confused when I say we are "going off the grid". Let me explain.
First a bit of history on how we got here:
While on our RV road trip, we asked ourselves the question, "What are we going to do when we get back home?" We knew that we truly enjoyed our simple life on the road, living in our travel trailer, liked the freedom to go where we want, when we want to. We didn't want to go back to the rat race and the hustle & bustle in Southern Ontario.
I am grateful being a Virtual Assistant and an Online Computer Instructor that I can take my work anywhere there is an Internet connection.
Mike is multi-skilled ~ truck driver, massage therapist, home builder, computer programmer, professional mover. He was not looking forward to getting back to the grind - wake up, go to work, come home exhausted, sleep, then rinse and repeat day in and day out.
So we discussed our options. He had a dream of having a home that was "off-the-grid" meaning the home was powered by solar and wind energy. I liked that we could live away from the concrete jungle, still have the basics of electricity, clean water and internet so I can work wherever we live, and grow our own food; basically reduce our carbon footprint. Great we were in sync; where shall we live?
We made our must have list. Here's our list:
somewhere in Canada
some acreage to grow our own food, or log wood, firewood
have a house that we can modify
a good amount of south facing property for the solar panels
close to family
not too hot & humid during the summer
has caves nearby for Mike to go caving, hiking trails or mountains for us to climb
under $100,000 so that we can become debt-free
Mike began his research. He checked out British Columbia - nice climate, lots of caves & mountains but way out of our price range. Then Ontario where my family is & Mike's adult children live. A bit more land available, but way up north in black fly country, and very pricey and too many rules about building an off-the-grid home.
Then Atlantic Canada. Newfoundland was an option since I have family there and we had access to free land, however it would be harder for family to visit us and for us to get supplies. Just can't just drive over (still have to take a ferry to drive over).
We liked New Brunswick (NB) when we visited Mike's sisters in October during our RV road trip so we started the search there.
We found this 50-acre wooded property that came with an old farmhouse, fruit trees and even a creek! So in January 2020 while on our travels in Texas, we took the risk and bought this property unseen! Just saw photos. Here are some of those photos:
Woohoo! We are now owners of a 50-acre property in NB! :-) We were so excited and started making plans for the transition to our new home in NB.
We needed to:
Sell our home in Hamilton, Ontario
Have the home close around June 5, as our home was actively being rented as an Airbnb place
Stay in Ontario until June 6 for the wedding of Mike's son
Find Mike a job that he could work at until the home closes @June 1
We came back from the US on Family Day (February 17). Well fate was on our side! We had our home in Hamilton sold by February 25. On March 3, Mike secured a trucking job delivering garbage from Hamilton to Lewiston, New York. Since our home was booked solid until May 31 we stayed with my Mom in Hamilton and could park our trailer in her driveway, awesome!
Then COVID-19 happened. Luckily Mike's work was considered essential and he worked long hours knowing it was just until June. My virtual business was on "pause" as my client's businesses were also on pause.
As May started we came to realize a few things:
the June wedding might not happen
we will need to self-quarantine for 14 days when we arrive at our home in NB
Mike's AZ drivers license expires June 21. We need to transfer it BEFORE that day
Working with those variables we had to be in NB by Wednesday, June 3 - the latest.
The Airbnb guests left at 11:00 am Sunday, May 31. We packed up the home that day and evening ready for U-Haul truck tomorrow.
Monday, June 1 we picked up our U-Haul and packed up the whole house.
It helps that Mike used to be a professional mover! Boy does he know how to pack a truck :+)
Here is all our contents ready to go!
Then a wrench was thrown our way - my Acura MDX stopped working while getting our final groceries! :-( Luckily it happened at home in Hamilton, and not out in Quebec!
My mechanic worked late Monday, June 1 and early on Tuesday, June 2 to get us on the road. Thank you to Hamilton Auto & Cooling!
Finally we were ready to hit the road. The MDX is ready to tow the trailer, and Indy and Marley are all set inside the car for the trip to our new home.
Tuesday, June 2 we headed on the 401 East to Quebec. That day we drove 900 km which took us to the east side of Quebec City. We found a quiet spot at a gas station at 1:00 am and rested up.
Wednesday, June 3 we drive towards the New Brunswick border. Due to COVID-19 the New Brunswick government has closed all interprovincial points of entry to screen those entering. I was prepared with documents though!
Circled in yellow is Mike in the U-Haul getting interviewed.
I had passed my interview and now waiting for him.
This is at the Quebec New Brunswick border near Edmundston Airport.
We passed! :+)
Off to Anagance to actually see our new home! Where is that?
We are in the middle of the NB triangle ~ Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John.
When we arrive at our new home that afternoon we find this:
A welcome package at our front door! What a nice way to start our chapter here in Anagance, New Brunswick!