Debbie Cameron was enjoying the good life – wind in her hair, sun in her face, salt spray at her back – when she experienced what she calls a life epiphany. Well, at least in hindsight it was an epiphany. At the time, it was a good old-fashioned meltdown.
In the spring of 2008, she and her husband Mike were sailing with his relatives off British Columbia’s Gulf Coast. The coupled lived full-time on their boat and Debbie enjoyed the freedom and liberty such a lifestyle allowed.
At home in Tatamagouche, NS, the Camerons owned a beautiful log home that they had designed and built themselves. They also had an off-grid, 600 sq. ft. (55 sq m) beachfront cottage on family land overlooking Northumberland Strait near Pugwash, where Mike worked. But the emotional cost of maintaining two properties had worn thin.
Not prone to envy, Debbie was surprised at the intensity of emotion she experienced when considering the confines of the life she had built.
“I was overwhelmed. I thought something’s got to give.” She and Mike talked about their options. Despite being half the size of their log home, a kilometre from a serviced highway, and requiring a major change in their lifestyle, the cottage won out.
They put their cherished home up for sale, downsized their possessions and joined the ranks of folk who have adopted off-grid living.
“The liberation of letting go of something you held so dear far surpasses the feeling of loss,” says Debbie, who admits their home had been their identity. “A friend said that we have done what a lot of people want to do, but never will be able.” She delights in the idea that she is not beholden to a power utility.
(full article: 900 words)
Excerpt © Deborah Carr, East Coast Living Magazine, November 2013