Our small family currently lives in the Metro Vancouver area in Canada. I’ve lived here since 1976 when I was only 6 years old. I loved growing up here. The whole region was just over 1 million people at the time so for me it was never a small town but it felt safe and easy to get around. The access to outdoor adventures in the North Shore mountains and beyond was unparalleled and the winter climate is much more mild than the vast majority of the rest of Canada. It does come by the nickname ‘Rain City’ and the ‘Wet Coast’ quite honestly though.
Today Vancouver is 2.5 million strong and the vibe has changed. For Mrs. Freedom and I it has become too busy, too big, and too difficult to get around. It doesn’t feel as safe as it once did. We no longer visit the mountains as before as the trade off of battling traffic to get there makes it less attractive and there’s often little solitude to be found in the North Shore forests. To add to this, the cost of living has gone through the roof in large part due to the explosion of real estate prices. In short, I once thought I would never live anywhere else and now I find myself longing to live almost anywhere smaller, slower, and quieter. Mrs. Freedom is on the same page – in fact, she’s even more eager than I.