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The Tiny Dream Goes North!

July 20, 2017
The Tiny Dream Goes North | Tiny Ambitions

Two posts in one week?! Is the sky falling?! No, far from it! I have exciting news and I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys.

After nine long months of unemployment, Mr. Tiny Ambitions has accepted a job offer! What this means is that our tiny dream is moving north. Sixteen hours north to be exact. To be even more exact, we are moving from a teeny, tiny rural town in Western Ontario, to one of the biggest cities in Northern Ontario – Thunder Bay!

Moving North
Fun fact: it will be easier for us to get to Toronto from Thunder Bay than from Chesley (oh the wonders of air travel)!

Change is the Best (and the Worst)

It will be a big change for sure, but I’m excited about a new adventure. For those of you wondering, I work remotely, so nothing will be changing about my day job. The only difference now is that when I have to go into Toronto for monthly meetings, I’ll get to fly!

We’ve only known about this news for a couple of days, but I am already feeling swept up with the newness of it all. And not all in a good way. The word ‘frantic’ comes to mind to describe how I’ve been feeling.

I’m a planner (i.e. control freak) by nature, so when we got the news, my mind was off to the races, immediately making lists upon lists of all the things that need to get done before we move (cat vaccinations, trailer hitch installed, packing, FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE, good byes etc.). I’m running so far into the future, that I’m ruining the wonderful moment of right now. Anyone who has anxiety will probably understand what I’m talking about.

I’ve also had a very physical response to the news. My stomach has been in knots, my brain is foggy and my body is buzzing so hard I can’t sleep (thanks, anxiety)!.

What I need to remember, is that everything will get done, because it has to. There is no other option.

Making the Minimal Move

Even though we are “minimalists’, I still feel like we have too much stuff to move. I want to get rid of everything to make moving easier (as if we don’t actually need that stuff to live on the other side). Rather than taking an ‘everything must go’ attitude, I would like to approach our pre-move slowly and mindfully. Basically, I would like to take my own advice, as well as Cait Flanders‘.

My action plan moving forwards includes:

  • Breathing, lots and lots of breathing.
    • It’s the only thing that will keep me from full-on spinning out.
  • Taking stock, literally and metaphorically.
    • I haven’t really enjoyed where we’ve lived for the last two years (for a variety of reasons). But, of course, now that we’re leaving, I’m feeling nostalgic.
    • We will be deciding what to sell/give away to make the move easier. Currently on the chopping block: our couch and our bed.
  • The longest goodbye tour you’ve ever seen.
    • Like I mentioned earlier this week, our friends and family are all over southern Ontario, and we want to see as many of them as possible before we essentially become Northern exiles.

Moving might be the best time to do a thorough ‘once-over’ of our belongings. There is no way I’m moving 1477km (918 miles) with stuff I’m not sure about. And definitely not with how expensive moving equipment is. Yikes.

Moving North

I have no idea how successful I will be in achieving my mindful move, but that’s the goal. Once we’re through the other end and are settled, I will share our experience of moving as minimalists. To be honest, I’m sure moving as minimalists will be just as annoying as regular moving, but we shall see!

If you want to follow along with the actual moving journey, follow me on Instagram (Insta Stories is so handy for stuff like this!). Since the move will take at least a day (maybe more if we stop), I’m contemplating doing some sort of live stream to answer questions, chat with you guys and kill the time – good idea? Terrible idea? Let me know in the comments.

To everyone on Twitter who has expressed warm wishes to me about the move – thank you. It means the world to me.

Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Regularly scheduled Tiny Ambitions will resume Monday (with an uncomfortable but necessary post about privilege).


Do you have any long distance moving tips you can share with me? I’d love to hear them!

Header Image Credit: Unsplash

  • Christine Meusburger July 22, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Since you asked if we wanted a live stream or chat “to kill the time” — I think it’s a terrible idea (sorry you asked for it 😉 I know it’s a long ride on your move, but as you mentioned in your post (and rightfully so), such a move also entails letting go, saying goodbyes (not only to people but to your life of the past 2 years) and then slowly arriving at the destination, your new place to live. I would want to get distracted by live stream and chat and the like. It might keep you busy and perhaps alleviate your anxiety, but won’t it clutter your mind as well? and by this even be — ahem — a contradiction of sorts to your minimalist approach? Just asking…
    I am 52 and I had two long distances moves in my live (from Austria to California in 1998 and back to Vienna in 2001). Of course, done with a professional movers company because I wanted to take my furniture with me and therefore had to be shipped. But still I needed the time — on the airport upon departure, during the flight (11hrs) and then on arrival with my carry-on.
    And well, in the weeks before the relocations, both to the USA and then back to Austria again, of course, there was tons to organize and plan and get rid of. Imagine also the visa, banking, drivers licence stuff — at least that’s something you don’t have to take care of. FYI- I decided to take most of my stuff (furniture, household things, dishes etc) with me just to be able to settle in faster at the new place. But then “having a home” is something REALLY important for me. And it worked out for me that way. 🙂

    • Christine Meusburger July 22, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Just saw that a missed out a negation…wanted to say that I would NOT want to get distracted by live stream etc 😉

    • tinyambitions July 22, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Thanks for your feedback! My suggestion for a livestream was purely practical. I’ve never had that big of a chunk of uninterrupted time to connect with my followers before, and thought it would be a good opportunity to do so. Believe me, I’ve spent enough time inside my own head to know when I’m looking for a distraction!

      • Christine Meusburger July 22, 2017 at 3:05 pm

        Yepp — I can see this aspect from a blog point of view, of course. And I am almost 100% sure that your followers will love it. Wishing you all the best for this exciting opportunity — the move, the blog and everything that comes with it!! 🙂

  • sharon July 21, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Hope your move goes great! Here’s a video our city recently created that you might enjoy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdgnOeEV3L0
    And tbnewswatch.com is a good site for local news.

    • tinyambitions July 21, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Thanks Sharon!

  • eemusings July 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Breeeeathe! You will get through this 🙂

    Congrats and best wishes for the transition!

    (Now I’m trying to think if it would even take us 16 hours to drive from one end of NZ to the other! Canada is so vast in comparison)

    And super looking forward to the privilege post.

    • tinyambitions July 20, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks! My anxiety has come down 9000% since we got a few more things sorted for the move. So it’s all good from here hopefully.

      Ya, Canada is massive haha. Although you could probably drive from Ontario to the East coast in a day.

      I hope something resonates with you in the privilege post- it was certainly an uncomfortable one to write!

  • Mrs. Adventure Rich July 20, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Woohoo, so exciting! Its going to be gorgeous up there! We used to camp along Lake Superior (Agawa Bay, ON) when I was younger and I loved it!

    We moved from California to Michigan last year… here are a few of the big things I’d suggest for moving 🙂 They may not all apply since I’m guessing you were a bit more minimalist than we were!

    – Label like your life depends on it! It was really helpful to label all of our boxes with specific items in them (or make an excel list) so that you can find what you need in the first few days/weeks of unpacking.

    – It might help to pack a suitcase with the essentials so you don’t need to dig to find the basics (including a set of plates/cups/utensils, computer items/chargers, necessary legal documents etc).

    – Does Canada’s postal system have an automatic forwarding program? This helped us to get our mail while we were finalizing our new address

    – Not sure if you know people in Thunder Bay, but if not, look up local meet-ups for things that interest you. I did this in advance (even though I’m originally from Michigan!) and found a local running club. I was able to start attending runs within the first 2 weeks of arriving and now I have an awesome network of 100+ runners I have come to know and love, plus a few close friends in the club. It is fun to bump into them at the store or elsewhere and feel more like I’m part of the community because I am seeing people I know!

    – Meet the neighbors! We did this a little late, but about a month after moving into our new home, we brought cookies over to our neighbors to say hi (we live in the country so it isn’t exactly a situation where we would see them unless we intentionally go over to their house). Not only was it great to meet them, but they were very helpful with the local tips and tricks or suggestions for different times a year (who can snow plow for us before we bought a plow, where to find the best local produce, etc.)

    Good luck on the move!

    • tinyambitions July 20, 2017 at 10:51 am

      These tips are amazing! Can you move for me?!? I especially like the meetup tip. We won’t know anyone when we get there, so that will be key!

  • Hanna @ minimal marathoner July 20, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Congratulations! There are a lot of wonderful things about city life. I hope you end up liking it.

    Moving is definitely stressful and overwhelming, but as mom would always tell me when I got stressed about some or another thing, “you’ll get through it. You always do.”

    • tinyambitions July 20, 2017 at 9:31 am

      It’s won’t be the first city I’ve lived in, but it will be the first since my commitment to minimalism. I’m interested to see how that new mindset will influence our lifestyle in the city!

      And you’re right, moms always know best!

  • Lindsay | Notorious D.E.B.T. July 20, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Congratulations! You should go visit Isle Royale sometime. It’s beautiful! Not sure how the whole customs thing would work out though…but you’d be pretty close to it, lol.

    • tinyambitions July 20, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Thanks for the recommendation! I just googled it and it looks beautiful! Customs shouldn’t be a problem (fingers crossed).

  • Lance @ My Strategic Dollar July 20, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Woohoo! Congrats on Mr. TA getting a new job and the adventure you’re about to go on!

    • tinyambitions July 20, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Thanks Lance!!!

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment July 20, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Yay, you’re starting a new adventure! But I totally hear you on the anxiety thing, that feeling when you can’t fully rest until the whole thing is finally sorted and things are looking a little more concrete again (I guess in this case they will literally look more concrete too, since you are off to the big smoke!). That’s something I’m working on too (unfortunately minimalism doesn’t sort it overnight – dang). Unfortunately I don’t have any long-distance moving advice as I’ve actually never relocated, but I have one piece of advice that is always relevant when sitting in a car is involved: take lots of snacks! 😉 I’m so exited for you and can’t wait to read about how it all goes. Enjoy the process and keep breathing, lovely lady. You’ve got this! x P.S. Love the idea of a live stream but not sure if I would be awake to watch due to massive time difference??

    • tinyambitions July 20, 2017 at 8:03 am

      You know me so well Lisa! Snacks will be my number one priority. And that was my worry about live streaming too! Darn time change getting in our way.

      You’ve perfectly summed up how I feel (better than I did!). I won’t be able to get rid of this feeling until it’s all over. Interestingly, I noticed a huge drop in anxiety from yesterday to today after Mr. TA officially signed the contract. Hopefully it will keep coming down with each step we take!

  • Happy Camper July 20, 2017 at 7:12 am

    “Back when I was your age…” Goodness, how horrible to be able to say that kind of thing now that I’m “old”… Anyway, I used to be able to pack my entire life into my car – a Datsun 310 at the time.

    I had no idea what “minimalism” was then, and we didn’t have these here fancy Interwebs to connect us to similar-minded people. It’s awesome to be able to connect and share our lives with one another. Fancy city livin’ comes with its share of hidden expenses, so stay sharp, and best of luck in your new place!

    Make sure to smell the roses along your journey — that’s my favorite part of traveling. “World’s largest ball of twine?! Lemme at it!!”

    • tinyambitions July 20, 2017 at 7:24 am

      It will be interesting for sure! It won’t be the first city I’ve lived in, but it will be the first time as a ‘minimalist’. I am definitely going to stay vigilant about accepting any form of lifestyle inflation. Not on my watch Thunder Bay!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.

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