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I am carving out a life in nature from scratch, in an off-grid self-reliant nature paradise near Vancouver, BC. Close to the city, but on raw land, part of the British Columbia coastal wilderness. 30-40 minutes from civilization/stores, approx 1.5 hours from Vancouver. Living a mindful, meditative life, simple, modest, and self-reliant in the extreme, you could say. Easy hike or paddle in. At least a moderate level of fitness is recommended, but anyone can do it. Almost anyone. My son was even able to be here for months with a broken knee cap. Attitude and mindfulness are everything.
Many helping and learning opportunities available. Connecting with oneself and one's environment are the ultimate opportunities here. Observe the rhythms and realities of nature, and find more understanding of our place in this. Gardening, eco-building, off-grid systems, fishing, cooking. You will have a tent overlooking the ocean, hot shower under a fir tree, clean drinking water and healthy meals. Great opportunity for the right person, to experience a largely pristine and vibrant wilderness environment, simple living, self-reliance, and gain many useful and transferrable skills in a both challenging and therapeutic environment.
You will be privy to largely unknown local knowledge, and will be well taken care of although this is a rustic setting. Remote wilderness retreats are my background and your safety and comfort level are paramount. Understand this is basically in an early construction phase, not a turn-key retreat center so to speak. In this respect, connecting well before hand to determine a good fit is also probably necessary. Be a part of something you can carry with you forever, and come back to visit and see the fruits of your labour! We are on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Indigenous peoples of this land - this recognition and a harmonious relationship with the earth and each other are important to us.
Types of help and learning opportunitiesArt ProjectsHelp with Eco ProjectsGardeningDIY and building projectsFarmstay helpCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseGeneral Maintenance
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
I have lived much of my life in the wilderness, both personally and professionally, born and raised in British Columbia, and have been responsible for others experience in remote wilderness. I've also been fortunate to grow up as part of a few BC First Nations communities which has greatly influenced my life and person, relationship with the earth and others. In an era of reconciliation with our First Peoples, and of great upheaval in our climate and environment, I believe there is value in simplicity, spending time close to the earth, and exploring both our vulnerabilities and strengths through direct personal experience. I'd like to provide a space for others to do this, in a light but mindful manner. One thing is for certain, British Columbia has awe-inspiring wilderness, and every day is different. Wildlife abounds, the air and water are clean.
There will be many things to choose from. Building/construction with log, hand tools with materials from the land is probably number one for us, but you can support this in many ways, for instance by cooking a meal, running an errand, shuffling things around the land, helping with gardens and simple chores, or with landscape architecture and backyard engineering. It's all permaculture ultimately. There are many other things to learn and help with, including simple ocean travel, harvesting, foraging, simple off-grid power and water systems, boating, small engine operation and maintenance (chainsaws, boat motors). Your safety is a priority! You will never be asked to do anything you are not comfortable with, or for that matter anything I'm not comfortable with! But you will have the opportunity to learn much. All we do is rooted in simplicity, but sprouts like the branches of a tree, so pick your rabbit hole! Helping to lift some heavy items occasionally would be a huge asset! A strong work ethic is a huge asset, but a great attitude, willingness, and good/kind disposition takes precedent!
This host offers a language exchange
Glad to explore this possibility, high level oral and written English as well as street vernacular! Interested in all possibilities, any language. Have learned some Spanish, Norwegian, and local First Nations language over the years. This is primarily a work exchange offering though.
Tent overlooking the ocean. Outdoors. Hot shower under fir tree. Clean drinking water. Composting toilet. Outdoor kitchen, open fire cooking, depending on local fire restrictions. You will fall asleep to the sound of waves and crickets or rain, and wake to the birds singing. Cell phone signal available, no unlimited wifi as of this writing, although internet is available. Wholesome healthy food and meals, you will not be hungry! Willing to accomodate most diets. Laundry off-site at this time, but clothes washing by hand is possible. Advanced wilderness first aid certification is held, your safety is the first priority, as is ours. Air ambulance, hospitals, health centers all within minutes to one hour away. You will only need to bring your personal items, and camp gear like a sleeping bag and mattress can be addressed/provided on a case by case basis if you dont have your own. We will provide groceries, a mix of organic and conventional, local, ethical, from our garden and waters and land, and the odd old-school bush food like a wonderfully horrible corporate can of beans into the mix. We will create a plan for meals, likely a mix of cooking together, or alone while others are busy finishing other things. Whatever is best for the whole. If someone loves to cook, you're welcome to! If others are more tentative, we'll do it together or give you something else to do, maybe dishes or chop firewood for instance.
What else ...
In your free time you will be able to pursue so many things you likely wont be able to do them all. Hiking, exploring, rock climbing, paddling, fishing, swimming, yoga, just meditate in nature in an incredibly beautiful coastal rain forest, or explore the local community for yoga, music, and various events...even the city of Vancouver and downtown is a day trip. On any given day, we see orcas, humpback whales, eagles, snakes, hawks, owls, herons, seals, otters, mink, deer, skunks, salamanders, ravens, and last night, phosphorescence on our paddles! For divers, we are in the midst of a new UNESCO biosphere reserve, due to fairly recent and ongoing discovery of ancient glass sea sponges. Pickup MAY be available from Vancouver or nearby, details to be arranged case by case. It's also a very easy, fulfilling adventure to make your own way here. We are glad to host locals, or foreign travelers from anywhere, and willing to work through language barriers. I've been a workawayer myself, and have hosted international clients professionally, who did not speak English.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Can possibly accept pets
This is a possibility, case by case basis.
How many Workawayers can stay?
Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week
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