Kids, cycling, retreat house and general mayhem on Bowen Island, Canada




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  • Description


    ** UPDATE ** I am looking for somebody to join our little family beginning this month (mid November) for between 2 weeks to 4 weeks (and possibly longer if there’s a good fit between us!). Read on below for details.>>>

    Greetings from the west coast of Canada! I am a single mom of two wonderful, boisterous young kids living on beautiful Bowen Island in British Columbia, very close to Vancouver (20 minute ferry trip to Horseshoe Bay and then 30 minute bus or 20 minute drive to downtown; or 25 minute passenger water taxi to Granville Island or Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver). Bowen Island is a special community to visit because it is SO BEAUTIFUL, and special in that it really feels like a village. People move here because of its beauty and the sense of community. It has about 3500 full time residents, and many of them are young families. The beaches are quiet, the forests are old growth and lush (50 shades of green!!). It's quiet but you also have coffee shops and restaurants and a bit of local art and a music scene. It really is a wonder that such a natural paradise is so close to one of Canada's major cities. Bowen residents sometimes feel as if we are living in one of this areas best kept secrets...

    Bowen Island is situated off the Sea-to-Sky highway between Vancouver and Whistler, a major ski destination. There are also many ski mountains on the north shore of Vancouver, readily accessible by bus from Horseshoe Bay (which is where the ferry from Bowen docks in West Vancouver). There are ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, so this is a great leaping off point to explore some of the most beautiful areas of the lower mainland of British Columbia. The weather in this area is glorious in the summer and fall months (May—October)—sunny, dry, temperate—and wet and rainy through the winter months (November—April). The good news about weather in the winter is that it is mild (usually above 0 degrees, hovering around 5-10 degrees), and therefore everything stays green even in the thick of winter. There are snowcapped mountains all around us, though. It's beautiful all year round.

    i am originally from the east coast of the United States, but went to university in Canada and spent time living all over the world working in international development. I run a small business as an real estate investment advisor, and team up with a nomad yogini friend to offer clients earthy but elegant interior design and short term retreat and vacation rental management services. I also work as a part time therapist in private practice with a specialization in mindfulness inspired approaches. I am also involved in running a large retreat center on Bowen, and I am the former owner of a yoga studio on the island. My ex-husband, who I am still close with, is originally from Israel, but is also Canadian. He works as a professor of counselling psychology and has a private practice. We have an 9 old daughter, Annika, who is out-going and a lot of fun, and an active 4.5 year old boy named Aden. We live in separate homes, but function as one family.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Animal Care
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    This exchange would likely really be about NATURE, CHILDREN, COMMUNITY, and HOSTING. Bowen Island is a special place to visit. If you were to pay for accommodation, it is hard to find a place to stay here during the high season because it is (surprisingly) limited due to the fact that there are no big chains or hotels here. It's a local-oriented culture, and so living with a family here will give you a special sense of this place, its forests and trails, and its community.

    I am a traveller myself! I travelled the world for many years and worked in international development throughout South Asia and parts of Southern Africa. I love philosophy and I am really interested in east-west psychology. i am part of a group on Bowen that is working on developing an eco village on a newly acquired 10-acre lot. I also manage a retreat center that hosts yoga, contemplative psychology trainings, and other programs year-round. I really appreciate local food culture, cycling, hiking, exploring the BC coastal and mountain terrain, and snuggling down as a family with music, movies, books, and good food and drink. :)

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    Come and help a busy mom who just started her own business!! I would love help with the kids and around the house. I love spending time with my kids so I am not looking for full time care—just a bit of help here and there so that I can keep up with all of my work. They are active and love to play, so I’d love to find somebody who loves kids and can engage them.

    Specifically, I would love help with the children and some light cooking and cleaning. Help with the kids may involve spending time playing games with or reading to them, helping them to further their outdoor education through play, going on walks or forest or beach adventures, biking together on forest trails, beach play and swimming, art projects, and so on. I also ask for help with cooking dinners (mostly vegetarian—though our kids eat meat so we are not opposed to having meat cooked in the house), laundry, and light general cleaning and (always!) tidying.

    We will come up with a regular, though generally very flexible schedule for you so that you can plan other activities around it. Most of my WorkAway guests in the past had 2-3 days per week entirely off to explore and to do other jobs for pay through connections of ours here on the island.

    You will be an important support person for me. It goes without saying that, in exchange, I will do my best to support you to enjoy your time here, and to make it really fun. We may do little trips together (to Whistler, Vancouver Island, and so on), so you will also get to see a bit of the West Coast (if you like!).

    NOTE: Given the fact that you will become part of my family and the lives of my little ones, I give preference to people who would like to stay for a month or longer. It takes time for the kids to develop rapport with you, and they become quite attached. Since it's best for them not to have too much change, i will always prefer working with people who are looking for a place to put down some roots for a while. I am open for stays as long as a year (!!) and beyond, if the fit is right, and have found that our relationship with the people who have stayed for long periods to be deeply enriching. You are welcome to inquire about shorter stays, but I will always be balancing our interest in a good fit with length of stay. I have had 10 longer term workawayers in the past 3.5 years, and a few short term guests, and all are happy to act as references.

    I have two young employees in their 20s I found through workaway who rent the suite below my home. John is from Nova Scotia and he’s into herbalism, spirituality, and farming. Mathilde is French and she is into all of the above and she is an artist. She also has work at a local gallery here.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    If you join us, you’d be living together with me and the kids in a little cozy 3 bedroom cottage in Snug Cove, which is walking distance to all of the stores, coffee shops, library, galleries, and restaurants and TRAILS and beaches on the island. You will have your own private room with a double bed, nightstand and a large closet. It is sweetly decorated (everything new). The bathroom, shower, and kitchen will be shared with me and the kids (who stay at their dad’s on Sunday and Monday nights, so there are some quiet respite nights!!). There are large decks front and back and a quiet garden in the back with lots of sun. The best things about this location are it’s accessibility on foot to Snug Cove and the ferry, and proximity also to Pebbly Beach and Mother’s Beach. There are also SO MANY trails very near by—two mins on foot and you’re on a network of trails that go up mountains and clear across the island. I am an avid walker and cyclist (road and MTB) and so I can share lots of secrets about the island’s trails, as well as about where to visit on the North Shore and Greater Vancouver region. If you’re into cycling, you’ll find a friend in me. It’s my big passion these days.

    We have a little 10lb dog named Lilly. She’s hypoallergenic, and super cuddly.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    On your time off, you can walk the trails of Bowen, spend time on beaches, hang out at coffee shops, or travel to Vancouver or the coastal mountains that surround it for the day. You can also use this as a jumping off point for trips north to Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, etc. On the North Shore of Vancouver, which we are very close to, you can visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Lynn Valley, hike the famous Grouse Grind for amazing views of the city, and explore an infinite array of trail systems, ski mountains (with cross-country and downhill) and snowshoeing terrain high in alpine territory. This is wild, coastal BC at its best! It's a beautiful place to explore.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We have hosted Workawayers who are students of online programs, and/or who work online. Our internet is stable and reliable.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week (possible to help longer days on some days and leave other days open)

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Host ref number: 488945375815