Hi friends! Today I want to share a new mini series to the blog. In the summer I announced a new project I'm working on called Idyll Guide and invited friends and readers to submit articles for the project. The response was very exciting. In their articles our Idyll Guides share about their adventures both home and abroad, and how increasing their exposure to the natural world has created a more idyllic life for each of them. I hope you enjoy this mini series, publishing every Wednesday. - Jill
Moving to the country
Born and raised a city girl, I always thought Toronto would remain home. After my husband, Sonny, and I started a dog behaviour business, we quickly realized the city was anything but ideal. We needed space, we needed nature, and we wanted our dogs to have fulfilled and balanced lives.
The city was no place to raise a pack of dogs, and living in 700 sqft certainly didn't allow for this. It took more than two years of planning and house hunting before we actually moved.
During this process, it became much more than just a business move. Our priorities shifted, and we longed for a change in lifestlye-- simplicity, adventure and a slower pace. Don’t get me wrong, I love the city, but living there got old, fast. Something was missing- a disconnect with nature and a life that just didn’t jive with what my soul was looking for.
Fast forward two years-- we now call Trent Hills, Ontario home. We purchased a 5 acre property, 1.5 hrs east of the city. There’s a magical pocket here, where rolling hills, lakes, trails and rivers surround us. No traffic, no smog, no road rage. Driving is actually a pleasure now, as the smell of sweetgrass fills the country air.
It’s our first summer here, and the opportunities for exploring and adventure are endless. We’ve been able to discover so many trails, rivers and hideaways where we can bring the dogs without the feeling of Toronto bylaw keeping a close eye on us. At home, the dogs have acres of open land to run free. They can finally just be dogs.
One of the things we love most about this move is the opprunity to entertain guests and visitors. We’ve been able to take friends and family along on our adventures, provide them a guest room, and enjoy meals together on the deck while listening to natures music. We recently designated an area of our property as a campsite. It’s private and peaceful, where guests can pitch their tents, park their campers and just chill out for a few days. The firepit we created is pretty awesome too. It’s a different experience for our friends and family, and there’s always a dog (or 8) to greet them.
Sure, we all go through stresses in life but for some reason it all seems easier to manage now. My life has shifted from go go go in the city, where a local adventure would be hanging out in a public park with an overpriced coffee and my dogs tied to leashes. Not ideal right? Now, I can’t wait for the next foraging trip, picnic on the river , or visit to a friends’ farm to play with her animals and learn to ride a horse. As we get closer to planning to expand our (human) family, it’s exciting to imagine the life of freedom, adventure and simplicity we will be able to offer our children.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Name: Melissa Condotta
I'm Melissa Condotta, born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I'm married to Sonny, and we have 8 dogs (with more to come). We recently left the hustle and bustle of the city, and traded it in for the sights, sounds and tranquility of the country. We're in pursuit of living a simple life-- one devoted to helping dogs, exploring rural Ontario, and making our dreams come true.