Things changed back in 2007

Prior to 2007 the majority of the world’s population lived rurally. But, for years (just counting from the 1960’s) the trendline was towards urban growth and away from the boonies. Sometime in 2007 (according to UN figures) the trends crossed and more people in the world lived in cities than in the country.

The exodus from living rural started even earlier than the 60’s (unmeasured by the UN before then) and it has been measurably constant since then. Everyone was moving to the city; young, old, different generations, Africans, Asians and, of course, First Worlders.

This urban population growth continues even today despite the urban birth rate dropping below the replacement rate. Currently the only place on earth reproducing at or higher than the replacement rate is Africa. And even they are trending down.

Is it irony or a just a coincidence for us? Sometime around 2004, we went the other way, locationally speaking (we stopped reproducing back in the 80’s). Took us three years to finish building out here so one could say that it was in 2007 that we went totally rural. Talk about being a timely, in-sync contrarian, eh? Man, oh man…...”If all those folks are headed South, I want to go North.”

Fundamentally anti-social at the very least, dontcha think?

Admittedly, I have not been a joiner or a follower or a sheep of any kind but, face it, I am as mainstream a Canadian as anyone. Average Dave. I watch Netflix. I drink scotch. I’m pretty ordinary, actually, in many, many ways. I used to joke that I could be the poster boy for Statistics Canada. But, it seems, not in this one category…..

…why is that…?

Main reason, I think, is instinct. I got me some of them instincts, I must admit. And I listen to ’em, ya know? One just gets ‘feelings’ about things? Feelings are easy and hard to explain. Basically, you know what you are feeling but you don’t always know why. There are many reasons for unfathomable feelings – inferential scanning, of course, genetic tendencies and upbringing, information sources, obvious omens and signals have to be included in that. But, really? Feelings and intuitions are much more mysterious than empirical.

Sal and I once followed a major highway sign in Mexico and went along the new direction for a few minutes….I slowed the car…..Sal looked at me….I said, “This is not right…” and turned the car back to the first intersection. Sal said, “That’s weird but I feel it, too, I think turning back is the right idea.” A few days later we read in the news that it was discovered that criminals were misplacing highway signs so as to entrap drivers in a dead-end area where they would be robbed and sometimes killed. What was that feeling? What made us stop and turn around? Others hadn’t and had fallen victim.

I mention that story only to illustrate how feelings and instincts give messages and sometimes they are right. I am sure my instincts and feelings have been wrong, too. They are not infallible. But the feelings, the instincts and the little hairs on the back of my neck are real.

Consequently, we are here and not living urban. Jus’ sayin’…..

13 thoughts on “Things changed back in 2007

  1. I also believe in instincts and gut feeling. But no all people follow the always. You both had the courage (multiple times) to follow your instincts, and for better it seems!
    I think most people are indoctrined to forget about their instincts, they are, from a young agetold to follow the “pack” and obey and follow the rules (rat race).
    Not so easy to disobey and step out I guess


    • It is easy but on one condition: y’all can’t step out and, in so doing, hurt others. When you step out, you leave everyone whole and inflict on no one else. It’s an ingredient of integrity. The Golden Rule. Once that condition is met, one can leap with gusto! When I first wanted out, my daughter was in her last year of high school and Sal was climbing the corporate ladder. So, I kept my mouth shut. Three years later, E was in university far away across the country (scholarship) and Sal was getting burnt out. THAT was the time to spring Plan B. Sal took a few months to think about it and then said, “OK. I’m in!”


      • I agree, but most people will hold back because of fear, fear of the unknown mostly. We, as a species, as a rule hate change, ang going OTG is a huge leap and change. It also requires some basic skills, a certain degree of financial independence. Count in only these conditions, and you might have already lost 80% of the population. If one wold make a list of pro’s and con’s, both lists would be long I guess. But in the end all it probably takes is following instinct and then take the big leap. And the right timing (daughter in university and Sal also being “ready” mentally to step out of the rat race


        • You’re right, of course. I tend to ‘promote’ the idea of OTG because it has been such a good one for me. I was and am richly rewarded for having taken this risk which, at the time, did not really feel ALL THAT risky – just adventurous. There was a hugely demanding learning curve required and that was, perhaps, the biggest single challenge but, of course, you don’t know what you don’t know. Also – I have always thought that I could do it and, if I didn’t like it, I could change again and go pursue ANOTHER dream if I wanted to. I was not choosing incarceration. I was not losing my freedom.
          I think I am a bit obnoxious about it because I see people focusing on the wrong fears. Most stable couples have enough money to do this. Most smart, healthy people have the abilities needed and/or will learn them. The lifestyle, itself, will be more healthy and joyful, fun and ‘natural’, so it is the reward I always see now. They see change, mystery, danger, boredom, difficulties, fewer aids and crutches, much physical labour….all the things that society has taken away and replaced with a large pot of almost boiling water to stew in. I get it. I really do.
          But, so far, at least three and maybe more people made the leap after reading the book and, of course, hundreds if not thousands who leapt without having read it. And I have also received many of their opinions and views. They are happy for the leap as much as I am.


  2. While I agree with Win on the human fear the unknown, I suppose I’m less inclined to believe that fear. I once with only 2400.00 in holiday pay convinced
    Nickel Brothers to sell me a house, deliver it to Comox plus the land owner, concrete , lumber, electrical, machinery suppliers to come one board. I sold myself and promised full payment within 90 days. Most of the suppliers were surprised that I offered the truth and complied. I was 9 days late, due to a lazy lawer, but I was successful. Moving OTG (or any major shift in life)is really just a stage of accepting your inner desires and abilities, allowing them to flourish


  3. Malcomb Gladwell’s book “Blink” touches on people’s ability to accurately size up a situation in seconds.
    Something to do with our “hunter killer ancestry”.

    The planet just had it’s 8 billionth human born the other day.

    I was up on Quadra Island Monday and Tuesday doing a quick repair.
    Drove over to Herriot Bay Pub to buy some beer after work on Monday.
    Lots of snow in between the trees on Quadra.
    More than anywhere else I saw driving up island.

    I’m back in the Lower Brainland.
    Work beckons.


    • You big DICKHEAD! You were supposed to share your schedule when you knew what it was. We were keeping the house warm. Even kept the dogs fed in case they ate you. I dug out the scotch. We were wondering whether to feed you steak or prawns and figured BOTH!!!
      Looks like I am gonna have to come to you…………..and I won’t be pretty. Which is OK. Sal is still gorgeous.


      • Profuse apologies.
        I didnt know exactly what I was going to be facing when I got to Quadra. 1 day, 2 days or 3
        The repair took several hours then I had to go back in the morning to wrap it up and head back down island.
        We are swamped.
        Crazy busy. ( I’ve been out of town most of the month. I checked my mail today . I had an eviction notice! Forgot to pay the rent ! Oops.)
        I was on the Sunshine coast today and have to go to Victoria tomorrow and back to the Sunshine coast Friday.
        But now I know the logistics of getting there.
        How far of a drive is it from Herriot Bay to your to the boat launch. I saw the road heads north out of Herriot Bay.
        I’d still like to do that drive.
        In my comfortable 4×4 truck instead of the rattle, bang company van.
        Maybe in Jan?


        • Allow an hour. It is really 40 minutes but City folk drive slow. They should. Some of it is really logging road. In January you need 4×4 and maybe a chainsaw. Always welcome but not always comfortable. A smidgen harsh in winter. Really sorry to have missed you.


        • If you get evicted, you will have to be REALLY nice to JD and Sal to take you in, considering what happened :-). Or they might feed you to the dogs!


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