Why I traded my 10 minute bike ride for a 2+ hour commute

With each passing year, I am finding myself reaching new milestones that I would have never guessed I would be experiencing at this point in my life. When I was in Europe in 2012 after graduating from University, I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me that in 3 short years, I would be married and living in Toronto with my husband and a great dane, living my dream life with my dream job.

I just wouldn’t have thought it would all happen! But it did. And just one year after getting married, Will and I are taking another big step and have bought a house! If we thought getting married made us adults, we thought wrong. Becoming home owners is definitely a much bigger step!

But this isn’t just any house. It’s a beautiful renovated century home on a big chunk of land (well… big for us city folk) in a beautiful rural neighbourhood outside the city.
20150815_103851We were always looking for a house, but didn’t know for sure where we would end up. Ideally, if we could have afforded it, we might have ended up in our Toronto neighbourhood, but as luck would have it, we aren’t millionaires, and so that dream had to stay as just that – a dream.

So when I shared the news with my friends, family and colleagues that we’ve bought a house 1.5 hours outside the city and that I will be commuting over 2 hours to work and home every day, I got a lot of confused looks, pity stares and questions about my sanity. Another common reaction I received is people clarifying whether or not I know how far it actually is from the city. To clear things up off the bat, the answer is “Yes,” I do know how to use Google Maps!

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So the question remains: Why on earth would I be trading my 10 minute bike ride for a 2 hour commute?

To explain our reasoning behind this choice, let me explain our thought process:

  1. We want to buy a house. Can we afford a house in Toronto? No, we are not willing to be house poor. We want to be able to travel, have some land and still have money left over for date nights. Are we willing to look at condos? No. Okay, so let’s look outside the city.
  2. Looking outside the city, regardless of where you look, will involve a commute. No matter where we live, we are almost guaranteed a 45 minute minimum commute. Heck, it takes me 40 minutes some times to get to my friends house who literally lives 7 km away from me! Do I want to live closer to the city, but not necessarily in my ideal location just so I can reduce commute time? No. Okay, let’s look at where I want to live.
  3. Would you like to live in Hamilton? No. Scarborough? No. I want to live close to my family. Okay, so let’s look northeast of the city.
  4. Wow, homes up here are affordable, close to family, would give us space for the dog, and would allow us to live our ideal lifestyle.

So yes, it would mean I lose 4 hours out of my day during the work week, but really, that’s just 4 hours of dedicated me time every day. It’s time for me to sit, read, blog, nap, or anything I would probably be doing at home anyways.

It also means my weekends will be filled with family time doing things I want to do, like exploring the Trans Canada Trails near our house, throwing around the baseball with a beer in my backyard, visiting with family close-by and creating a beautiful garden that I can call my own.20150904_120531

There are so many things I am looking forward to, and not enough blog space in the world to list them all. So yes, I did trade my super easy and quick commute for a long and (what some might call exhausting) commute, but I am really excited to where this new adventure as homeowners goes, and as always, I can’t wait to share my experiences here with you.

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