People & Culture

Our Country: Jazmyn Canning and Crystal Drinkwalter on their off-grid cabin in the Maritimes 

The YouTuber duo known as the Vanwives sing the praises of off-grid living in Nova Scotia

  • Published Aug 21, 2023
  • Updated Aug 22
  • 283 words
  • 2 minutes
Illustration: Kerry Hodgson/Can Geo
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When we met, we wanted to travel and to spend the majority of our time in nature, and “van life” allowed us to do that. We were always chasing remoteness, and without even knowing that we wanted to live off grid, we kept finding these off-grid spots. Our cabin is very much the backyard we were searching for in our van. It encompasses all of the things that we love about nature and camping, but now it’s our own. Of all the places we’ve been in Canada, the cabin feels the most like home — and we’ve gone across Canada three times. There’s something about the Maritimes: the people are so incredibly warm, and it’s slower paced. We can live remotely but still only be an hour and a half away from stores.

Of course, we picked somewhere super remote and in nature; that’s something we’ve always been drawn to. It’s where we love to spend our time together and where we feel the most authentically ourselves. We have a small lake, and it’s very quiet and good for canoeing and kayaking. There’s a river that comes down the property, and we see the trout swimming to the ocean. Before we installed electricity, there were some tough times, but going through these challenges made us more resilient. Living here can be isolating, so we make it a priority to have friends and family visit. Everyone talks about the quietness and says that they feel more present. People feel really rested when they’re here — it feels like a true getaway. Every morning, we have a coffee and walk down to the river. Waking up and being in nature never gets old.

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This story is from the September/October 2023 Issue

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