When my parents separated, my mom took the small amount of money she had and invested it in a rental property. She fixed it up and rented it out and the rest is history. She now makes her living investing in and managing
My mom might be where I get my entrepreneurial spirit from!
I joined her in BC in November so she could show me how to offboard the old tenants, then prepare the property and onboard the new tenants.
My mum lives in Saanich, which is a bedroom community to Victoria, BC, on Vancouver Island. It’s so close that I could walk to downtown from her place in 45 minutes or so, or drive there in 15-minutes.
On this trip, I did all my work from home (unlike Ireland where I worked from the pub!). I also did some work from my phone, which wasn’t ideal but got the job done, when I drove up to Nanaimo to meet a friend. Other than that, I had the pleasure of a private workspace and great wifi.
Why Victoria was great for working remotely:
Cell service is great, internet connection is high speed and every convenience is only minutes away.
Plus, I got the gorgeous BC winter, which is nothing near as cold as Halifax could be. Things were still green! The snow capped mountain views are gorgeous at this time of year and the sun shined nearly every day I was there.
Looking on AirBnB, I see it’s possible to get a whole house to yourself in January for $50 per night. We ate in quite a bit, too, and with the close proximity to attractions, a getaway to Victoria can really be very affordable.
Favourite Places and Spaces
Victoria has some really amazing coffee shops and the coffee culture is en pointe. After all, they are only a stone’s throw from Seattle where coffee culture in North America was basically born.
The summer after I graduated from University, I worked at a small and exclusive coffee shop which sent me for a week of barista training. After my training was completed, I had to make five consistently perfect coffee drinks for the owner before he would let me make coffee for the cafe’s customers. It took weeks before my espresso pours were up to snuff!
This experience made me a serious coffee snob, which is great when there is great coffee to rave about, and annoying when I can’t get behind a drip coffee from McDonalds and there isn’t an alternative in sight.
In Victoria, Discovery Coffee is probably my favourite because they really know what they’re doing with their espresso, though Murchie’s Tea & Coffee is a close second because it’s right next to my favourite bookstore and has a serious pastry selection.
Speaking of my favourite bookstore, Munro’s Books is one of the best in Canada. My dad still lives in Tofino but makes the trek to Victoria to see me when I’m there, and there is nothing a Patterson (my maiden name!) likes more than spending an hour in Munro’s and then heading over to Murchie’s for a coffee, a pastry, and a read. On this particular trip, I came out of Munro’s with no less than three books: ‘The Weekend Effect’ by Katrina Onstad, Arianna Huffington’s ‘On Becoming Fearless’ and ‘Assholes: a Theory’ by Aaron James (don’t be put off by the name, it’s an amazingly intriguing read!).
And the food! Victoria has a great foodie scene as well. Ferris’ oyster bar is one of my most favourite places with their fresh mussels, juicy hamburgers and great beer selection.
I met my friend April (who blogs over at Of Soil and Salt) at
I most definitely recommend Victoria, BC, for the small business owner looking to get away from the office, especially during our cold winter months. Take advantage of off-season rates and their ridiculously pleasant weather without going off the grid too much.
Have you been to Vancouver Island before? Where was your favourite place to visit?
If you’d like to work remotely and travel the world, I can help you prepare your business. Your lifestyle should drive your business, not vice versa! Ready to make a change? Book a complimentary consultation and I’ll help you make it happen.