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Phase 1: On The Farm

Lucy and I have been living on a farm since the middle of January. This is Phase 1 of #ProjectNomad.

I'm lucky enough that my parents own a beautiful homestead in Prince Edward Island on the East Coast of Canada. I'm also incredibly fortunate to have supportive parents who always, always have my back.

The big, sudden breakup last summer shattered what I had believed was a very solid foundation to my life. My partner and I had plans, short-term and long-term. We had a comfortable life. We'd rented a nice, dog-friendly condo and had a measure of financial security in a Vancouver housing market that is among the priciest on the planet.

And then suddenly that foundation crumbled.

I tried to carry on as if things were normal, for a few months. I entertained the notion that I could cover the costs of a fancy downtown condo on my own, if only things would just break perfectly on the career front.

Needless to say, it's foolish to put your stock in the best-case scenario when you're trying to plan out your life.

And then my dad suggested that I consider a RESET. Come to PEI and stay on the farm for a few months, until you figure out what comes next.

I discounted the idea, at first. PEI is thousands of miles from Vancouver. I know nobody here. There are no mountains to climb or trains to photograph. The craft beer scene is growing, but it can't match BC's.

And anyway, I was trying to carry on with my life as though nothing had changed. I downloaded Tinder and tried to go on dates. I took care of Lucy largely on my own, though I was lucky to have friends who'd step in to help if I asked.

I paid for more and more on my credit card, hoping my financial situation would resolve itself before I had to move out of my apartment, dreading the search for a new, dog-friendly home. I drank to excess and did embarrassing things and hated myself more or less all the time.

And all the while, I was navigating rooms and streets and neighbourhoods that seemed at once empty and also filled with the ghosts of the life I'd had a few months before, the plans and dreams and priorities, the partner I'd believed was the love of my life.

I realized I had to get out of the city. Not just for my financial well-being, but my mental health, too. I couldn't stay in Vancouver and act like life was still normal.

I needed a RESET. I needed a change.

I needed to get past the breakup and the self-loathing and bitterness that had taken root in its aftermath, and I needed to do it in a place where I could focus on myself above anything else.

Lucky for me, my parents have a farm.

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