Escaping to Rural New Brunswick This young couple is making headlines for their courageous move from apartment life in Toronto to their new cabin in rural New Brunswick
Madeline Taylor and Mitchell Kingsley bought their fixer-upper in rural New Brunswick early this year, planning to use it as a summer vacation property after spending the next couple of years renovating.
When the pandemic lockdown started, and they were crowded into a shared house in Toronto with five other tenants and limited bandwidth, they decided to make their move early.
The couple was working from home, so they had to make sure they could get Internet service that would accommodate their work.
“Us being able to come here really hinged on whether or not we could get Internet service,” Mitchell explained.
They discovered that Xplornet had an LTE tower nearby and were able to get a strong signal.
“We are so grateful that we have access to Internet at our cabin because it’s really what has allowed us to take on this lifestyle while keeping our jobs,” Madeline said.
Madeline and Mitchell met at their rural elementary school in Flesherton, Ontario. Romance blossomed in high school and grew stronger after they both graduated from university in Toronto.
“We’ve known each other for a long time,” she said.
“Through the small towns and the big city and middle of nowhere,” Mitchell added.
Now they call home a small cabin on a private lake with 225 acres of forested land in New Brunswick. They spend their days working 9 to 5 online and hiking, swimming and exploring their new property in their free time.
Madeline and Mitchell started the @OurLittleOutpost Instagram account to keep friends and family back home in the loop.
They quickly found out that people across Canada and beyond were engaging with their story.
Being in a new place, especially during the pandemic, the couple were finding it difficult to make friends. Their online community was also a way for them to make connections with like-minded people.
“I think having @OurLittleOutpost was the first time I’ve ever experienced social media being truly social, and the Instagram has really connected us to so many incredible people that had become virtual friends at first, but we’ve eventually converted them into being our real-life friends as well,” she said.
Their long-term goal is to open up their property and be able to share it with other people through small cabin rentals.
“Since we’re so close to the Bay of Fundy, Hope Well Rocks and Fundy National Park we feel like there’s a lot to enjoy here,” Madeline explained.
Eventually, they will use their online community as a way to spread the word about their cabin rental business.
The couple will be building these cabins with their own two hands with a goal of having at least one ready to rent by the spring of 2021.
Madeline considers New Brunswick to be a bit of a hidden gem.
“New Brunswick is sometimes referred to as the drive through province which is just simply not true. There’s so many beautiful parts of New Brunswick and if you’re somebody who really enjoys being outside and enjoys natural beauty then there’s so much here in New Brunswick for someone to have an amazing quality of life,” she said.
The couple agreed that without access to Internet, their dream of moving to New Brunswick and starting Our Little Outpost wouldn’t have been possible.
“We wouldn’t be able to be here on a full-time basis. It would have been a trip on the struggle bus to set up an Instagram without having Internet access, and ultimately having reliable Internet is what helped us begin to build a community here. It’s a very good tool for building connection, I mean we’ve all experienced having to work remote during this time and the thing that keeps us all connected is the Internet,” Madeline explained.
“If our cabin idea starts taking off, and it becomes more of a business we’re going to need ways to handle bookings and just to manage small business tasks, and nowadays that very heavily revolves around the Internet,” Mitchell added.
Other than their business, Mitchell and Madeline have noticed their Internet connection coming in handy in a variety of unique ways.
“We have a couple of friends back in Toronto and we have a fairly regular games night where we connect up with all of them and we play virtual board games with each other,” Mitchell said.
They’ve also been using their connection to map out their property as they explore.
“Being able to jump on my computer and pull a bunch of property line information and make some maps that I can then put on my phone so we know exactly where we are on the property at any given time has been a really big bonus and that wouldn’t have been possible without the Internet,” Mitchell explained.
Madeline and Mitchell have also noticed the Internet comes in handy when they are dealing with home maintenance tasks that are outside of their wheelhouse.
“We had some plumbing issues last night and we spent a good 2, 3 hours underneath the cabin trying to figure out how to fix. We video-called Mitchell’s dad and are using YouTube as a good resource for figuring out how to fix stuff ourselves,” Madeline said.
The couple has even used the Internet to identify foods while foraging on their property!
“I feel like bushcraft is something that used to take tens of years for people to learn what’s edible and what isn’t and now we’ve kind of got all that at our fingertips,” Mitchell said.
His family relocated to New Brunswick and now Madeline’s working on getting her family to join them too.
Madeline grew up really close with her grandparents in a tight-knit family.
“We use a lot of Facetime, a lot of Zoom so that’s how we stay in touch these days,” she said.
The couple says that their Xplornet Internet connection has been meeting their needs.
“We’re very happy with the service so far and I would have no problem recommending it to someone else who came out here. It’s by far the best service you can possibly get here,” he said.
As much as this move has been a big change for Madeline and Mitchell, they said that in many ways it feels like a return to home.
“We both grew up in the country. I grew up on 100 acres when I was on our farm for most of my life and even though it’s very far away it feels a little bit like coming home. Just going back to having space and that freedom to explore,” Mitchell said.
Have you ever dreamed of making a move to rural Canada? Call 1-855-291-3383 to see if Xplornet can help give you the freedom to explore.