Ever since I was a little girl I have loved being outside. My parents took us up north a few times and I loved being there more than anywhere else on earth. Outside is where I felt like I belonged and knew it right from the start.
The House I grew up in, had a giant orchard behind it. I remember being very small and running out into the orchard, playing hide and seek with my brother, then running up and down the mounds of dirt once the construction began. Soon after that, the people started to move in and all my greenspace behind our house disappeared.
Once the orchard was gone, I would sometimes play in the backyard, but I always felt a bit confined after that. I would ride my bike to the creek a few blocks away and spend time in nature there, playing in the water, catching frogs and enjoying my time by the quiet wooded creek area. I feel as if that is where my need to travel to peaceful nature began. I was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario. Aside from Living in Oakville to attend college for a few years and living in Niagara Falls, New York for a few years, I have been in St. Catharines most of my life.
I love Saint Catharine’s and I always will, but for the majority of my years, I have felt like my heart was torn. My passion for the outdoors and for being in nature has grown since I was a little girl and now it has almost turned from a want to a need. The past year of my life has been amazing! From May 2015 until March 2016, I went on over 15 camping trips. A very large majority of those trips were north from where I live in St. Catharines.
I wondered why I kept driving back and forth to the North? Besides my mom and dad, and some really awesome friends, I don’t have anything tying me to St. Catharines, so why should I keep driving somewhere to visit, when in all honesty, all I want to do is stay there, and never return. The only thing that was holding me back, was me. I was incredibly panicked and stressed when I even just slightly thought about moving, so how could I proceed in doing something that terrified me into almost feeling sick with stress and panic?
I started thinking long and hard and did the one thing I do very well when it comes to making decisions and conquering my fears….. Research. They say knowledge is power and I truly believe that to be true, because once I gather all my facts and know the answers to all my questions, the fear usually subsides. It reminds me of Super Mario where he runs around hitting the question mark boxes. He smashes them open, get points (answers) and is able to move on the next level. Once I answer the questions, I can proceed to the next level.
I began browsing the Internet looking for information. Were there jobs available? Were there houses that I could afford? Where would I live? How would I choose? I had learned about a job online that I might be able to do, but after talking to my bank representative, I found out I have to work 2-3 years to be approved for a mortgage with my own business. I continued with the research, how much pay do I need to get a certain priced house? I called my realtor to ask him to give me an estimate of what type of numbers I’d be looking at if I sold my home and how well it would sell? I did not have a new job yet and I had not made a decision to go anywhere, but I continued to gather information…. just to see what I needed to do if I one day, I decided to go.
I started cleaning out my house and purging things I no longer needed, because that was something that was stressing me out about being able to move. The more I got things sorted, the more I started to feel like, YES… I could move, and have it not be that stressful.
I talked to my financial advisor and after I got all the answers I needed from the bank, I felt better about that as well. The next thing to do was just go online and see if there were any jobs that might suit me and would pay me enough to get the mortgage I was told I would be able to afford.
Then, suddenly, I was online one night and the perfect job was on the screen in front of me, waiting for me. The job description was incredible! They were looking for someone who had all the exact same skills I had, including some of my outdoors experience as well. It was like they wrote the job posting for me, or about me and I knew right away, it was my job.
I spent time creating the perfect cover letter. I went outside the box on this one. I wanted to be noticed and show them I was perfect for this job. I revised my resume and made sure it was perfect and finally I sent it in. I waited two days and called to ensure they received my email and was asked to do a phone interview the following week. In the meantime, I kept visualizing myself living there, performing duties at my new job and doing everything mentally to make what I want happen. I also continued on my purge, cleaning out my house and preparing in case what I thought would happen, did happen. The phone interview went spectacularly well and led me to have a live interview at the property where I’d be working, if, I triumphed in the interview.
I arrived an hour before I was due and drove through the very small, but quaint town of Port Carling. I took some photos and enjoyed the warm air and beautiful scenery. I was as prepared as I could be and now it was time to knock it out of the park! I wasn’t really nervous as I knew that this was my job. I felt it in my bones and I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I met my new boss and his operations manager and it went really really well, and in the end, I was offered the position!
In less than three weeks my new career and new life will begin!!! I am extremely sad to leave my current place of work where I am so grateful to have such a wonderful boss and amazing co-workers. I will miss my fabulous friends, and my parents, but they are all close enough to visit, and I truly hope that they will do so. I will also hugely miss my beautiful little house that I have spent the last 9 years making my own. I believe it will be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do, but I am ready to do it.
And if you are wondering, I am still very scared and have anxiety about everything that I am doing, but now, it is manageable and not so overwhelming that I can’t deal with it. Everything worth having, worth doing, is scary, but if it’s something you know is right for you, you just have to overcome that fear and take the plunge! I am eager and ready to start my new life in Port Carling. Everything else will fall into place, as it has so far during this entire journey. It is part of how I know it is the right move for me.
In less than a month, I will have a HUGE new area to explore and I will be close to many of the places I love with all my heart. I can not wait to get out there and start adventuring and publishing posts to share with you! If you are in the area, and you know the best places to paddle, hike, camp and explore, I would definitely appreciate any advice or information you can offer. Until then, my outdoor adventures will have to be put on hold for a few more weeks, but I will be back at it very very soon! All that red tape crap needs to be handled and loose ends need to be tied up first, but I very much look forward to my new life, in Muskoka and am counting the hours until it is a reality!
Although this post isn’t about camping or exploring, I felt it was important to write about my experience in making one of the biggest decisions of my life. I know a few people who are struggling with making some major life changes, and I wanted to do my best to inspire them, and maybe even you, to overcome your fears. Possibly by showing how I did it, it will help that process happen for you as well. I hope you will continue to check out my blog and join me on my new adventures, coming soon in beautiful Muskoka… my new home!
Happy moving! 😉
Congratulations and best wishes!! I am sure this is the right move for you!!!
Thank you so much Wendy!!!! I really appreciate your wishes and kind words! 🙂
So excited for you!! (Side note you left out breafast with a hot date)!!! Can’t wait to hear all about the new exciting things coming your way!! xoxoxoxox
Thanks my friend! Looking forward to seeing more of you ! 🙂 xo
We wish you all best on your new chapter of your life. Still can see you at our patio putting make up on without daughter. Good luck ” little one”. Keep in touch.❤️👍👍👍
AWE! thank you so much Magda! That is so nice! i just saw that picture the other day actually. Been sorting through so many, hence why I posted the one a few weeks ago of me and lil Debbie. I will see you online for sure! 🙂 xoxoxo
Really? Am i reading correct? My heart sank deep. You are a memory i have from childhood in St Kitts…. i am feeling depressed beyond words. I am so happy for you but cant believe apart of my history will no longer exist. I love you Chris. I know this is a huge move for you.
Why are you depressed you silly girl! That history will always exist. I can never be erased from your memory, heaven help you! hahaha. You are in another country ! I am just moving 2.5 hours away! LOL. We will see each other many more times in life my friend. our journey is no where near over! Love you!!
Good on you for going after what you want. Best of luck.
Thanks Girl! You’re going to have to cover all the blog posts in this area now too! I’m out! 😉 LOL.
You go girl! You’re going to kill it up there, and there was no doubt in my mind that you wouldn’t get the job! Congrats yet again, and I can’t wait to read all about your future adventures 🙂
Okay, my brain is dead and re-reading that seems like it doesn’t quite make sense HAHA. My job’s breaking my brain! The summary: YAY. YOU GOT IT. I KNEW YOU WOULD!
You’re hilarious! hahaha xo
Thank you so much Lindz! I appreciate the support and all the advice you’ve given me along the way! Hoping you will be in one or two of those adventures? 🙂 When I get my house you are welcome anytime! 🙂 xo
So sweet! I’d love to visit once you’re all settled in! Our paths will definitely cross in the not-so-far-away future 😊 Can’t wait!
yes ma’am it is meant to be, and so it will happen! 🙂
So very proud of you Camper! Following your heart makes everything fall into place. It’s almost like happy attracts more happy. So glad that we got to know each other last April so I could watch you take on all the adventures that took you to this new home. Can’t wait to have a Northern celebration! 😘❤
Thank you so much my friend! You are right, this all started last April and has grown into this. I said I will follow my passion and see where it takes me and here I am. So much more to go! I can’t wait for our Northern celebration!!! xoxoxo
“There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they over thought it, or they were too cautious, and were unwilling to make the leap of faith” (Unknown). You continue to inspire. Speaking as someone that took that leap about 11 years ago and never looked back – I am so excited for you!!!! Congrats on the new job!! I look forward to adventuring in the months to come….and reading about your new experiences!!!
Thanks so much Jen. I love reading your comments. They are always so lovely and thoughtful and make me feel so special. I am looking forward to seeing you lots this season. A paddling we will go!!! 🙂 xo
Christina, I only very recently started following your blog after stumbling across it while researching all-things-Algonquin.
This post is…..well, it’s me. I also find that I need the woods and the north and my poor car is taking a beating as I drive up from Burlington as often as I can. I have spent the winter day dreaming about living up there and wondering how the heck I could find a job and make it work.
I’ve been purging myself of “things” too, so I know exactly that feeling of wanting to lighten my stuff so I could take off easily.
Sending you huge congratulations for being so brave and following your dream. I would love to know what resources you used for finding your job.
You have most definitely inspired me!
WOW! thank you so much Lesley and congrats on the start of your own journey North. Keep at it and keep visualizing it and do whatever you can to make it happen. It sounds like you will get there for sure! I used Indeed.com. Just did a job search in muskoka and all surrounding areas. What is it you do? Maybe I can help? Maybe that’s why you found my blog? 🙂 You never know??? Anything can happen my friend! 🙂 Sometimes you just have to push it a little bit!
Thats Great Happy for you.. more people should Just Do It !!!.. Enjoy your new home .. and I’m sure you will get out and explore every inch of the back country there 🙂
Thanks so much Glenn! I appreciate the kind words! I will do my best for sure! 🙂 Have an awesome day!
Congratulations! (surprised you didn’t think of it earlier! 😉 )
I’ve thought of it many times, just didn’t really think of it, you know? Sometimes you just get lost in the living and you follow your routine and you get comfortable. It’s easy to do. But I’m awake now and ready to be uncomfortable! LOL. Thanks for the congrats ! 🙂
Congratulations Christina, you’re gonna love Port Carling. You know your just down the road from one of our stores (Algonquin Outfitters) that’s located in Steamboat Bay!
YUP, I was already there my friend! Will tag you when I post the pics, had to post this first! 🙂
Thank you so much for all of your help and support! YOU WERE A HUGE PART of this decision and I will be forever grateful to you! Please send me the contact for the Port Carling location. I would like to introduce myself and start getting some ideas in place. I am planning on doing some work with them for our muskoka adventures division. More details to follow! SO EXCITING! xo
Hi Christina. I live in Bracebridge. For sure, I’ll have to come up with a list of quiet lakes for you. In the meantime, check out muskokapaddle.club. This is a new paddle club that has some exciting plans and has some very experienced directors. There is a meeting tomorrow night at the Independent grocery store in Bracebridge. I would normally be there but have a conflicting meeting to go to. I know you are in the middle of moving and starting a new job, but the club will give you some terrific contacts.
THANK YOU TOM!!! you are so awesome for commenting and messaging me! I greatly appreciate anything you can offer me! Hope to meet you one day soon, a paddle perhaps? I prefer creeks, rivers, streams and that type of water, but I will do pretty much anything other than whitewater. I will check out the paddle club for sure! Please send over any further suggestions you think of! Thanks again so much! 🙂
Wow Christina. That is awesome. 🙂 The North has gained ONE AWESOME ADVENTURER! 🙂 I know that you will be out exploring every chance you get. I cant wait to see pictures and read your blog posts about it. Congrats my friend.
AWE!!! Thank you so much Cathy! I really appreciate your support and constant encouragement! And I hope you will come to visit when I get settled. I am only a short drive to arrowhead and lots of other amazing places! 🙂
You go girl! You must be my soul sister lol….I too grew up in St. Kitts with the occasional venture north with my parents when I was young. There is something magical about that pull to go back, and I have! Camping in all of the parks and now a residence in a wee town called Kearney. Haven’t been brave enough like you to make the full time leap yet, but you just might inspire me to do it! Hopefully we both get more of being one with the magical pine scented breezes around the beautiful lakes than we do crazy tourist traffic 😊
hey Sue Soul Sister! I know Kearney and have been through there on a few trips. It’s a beautiful place! We can call it brave, or maybe crazy? Not 100% sure yet but it is happening regardless now, so I am wishing for more good things! I hope that you get to make the full leap soon as well! Please keep me posted! Would love to hear how you make out! 🙂 Until then, Soul Sister Sue, happy adventuring! 🙂
I have never met you but feel like I know you from reading your adventures. You are inspiring, I am proud of you!
Wow! Thank you soooo much! What a lovely email. Happy adventuring! 🙂
There are people who spend their lives dreaming of change but not having the courage to take the plunge. Congratulations on taking the plunge and starting a new chapter Christina. I look forward to reading your new adventures!!
Thanks so much Paul! I appreciate your kind words and your encouragement. Happy exploring !
This is totally about exploring – exploring the potential for your life. Very happy for you my friend!!
Ya ! You are totally right ! Thanks so much. Have a great day! 😊
Great news! Congrats and good luck 🙂
Thank you so very much! 🙂 Have a super amazing day!
That is a wonderful story! Best o luck.
Thanks Trenna! 😊😊😊
I seem to be the only one curious as to what the job is you will be doing up there? One that combines all your existing skills and outdoor experience sounds like the dream. Congratulations! Looking forward to hearing about all the new journeys you get to go on.
Thank you Nathan! I appreciate your comment and your curiosity. Happy exploring! 🙂
[…] hours from put in to take out. As some of you may know, I recently purchased a house in Muskoka, after over 2 years of looking, and have been doing renovations on it for a few weeks now. There is a lot left to do, but summer […]
i grew up in St. Catharines too!! just read this post (as a link from your Tim Lake – 18 Hours of Awesome), such respect for you and your drive to be where you know you need to be! hoping that some day my life will take me further north to live, i totally understand that drive…. living in waterloo right now, but you just never know what the future will bring, right?! continuing to enjoy following your adventures, i’ve learned lots from you!
Hey Terri. Thanks so much for the great comment. You have made it over the first hump, it sounds like. You know where you want to be and why. My advice, stop waiting and just go for it. If you regret it, you can always go back, but the time you loose waiting, you can’t get back. I wish I would’ve done this 10-15… 20 years ago. I feel like I wasted so much time. It’s like you said, you never know what the future can bring, but you can make as much happen as possible on your own and make the future what you want it to be. I am glad you are enjoying the blog. (i also have a youtube channel with videos, I like them much more than the written posts but do both as some like just one or the other!). Take care and hope to hear from you again soon! Please keep me posted! Cheers!