I've been writing this blog for many years. The first five years of blogging our family life was fairly standard. Except for the freedom-based homeschooling, the home birthing (which was done by the time I started blogging), unchurching, plant-based eating, and the emphasis on slower paced, natural living, Tougas family life was fairly standard. Ok, so it wasn't all that standard, but it sure looked more mainstream than it does now.
Originally from Western Canada, we've spent the majority of our married life living in Maine. As our children grew from babies into elementary aged children we found a stable footing in secure employment and home "ownership".
And then the itch.
The desire to create a shared livelihood around creativity and interests. The desire to live surrounded by natural beauty. The desire to do more traveling and adventuring.
We started to dream. We wanted to build location independent work, live in a beautiful environment, experience beauty and adventure right outside our door, merge our passions and our livelihood, work together as a couple, and raise our soon-to-be teenaged children in an atmosphere of possibility, adventure, and excitement about the future.
As non-permanent U.S. residents, the employment piece of this puzzle was complicated, and to make a very long story short we moved back to Canada.
That move re-booted family life. It was the largest undertaking we've ever done. We christened it Life 3.0.
Life 1.0 was the start of our family life as a couple. Getting married, having our first child, Celine.
Life 2.0 was our move to the States, the period in which we formed our family identity, solidified our values, and added Laurent and Brienne to the mix.
Life 3.0 was taking the foundations of who we are as a family and individuals and launching the next stage of family life - moving back to Canada, becoming self-employed, and raising young adults.
At that point in my blogging journey I thought I had it, the book I was meant to write.
Instead of writing that book, I've poured my heart into the blog. Telling the story of our family, as I have always been doing.
Since 2011 the overarching theme of FIMBY has been living the life I want with the family I love. And my goal in writing my personal story here is to encourage and empower you to do the same.
To know who you are as a family. To dream as a family. To make those dreams into goals and then go for it.
Broad stroke dreams we have accomplished already or are in the process of accomplishing during Life 3.0.
- Becoming self-employed with location independent work.
- Living in a beautiful mountain environment.
- Experiencing beauty and adventure right outside our door.
- Developing streams of online income earning.
- Shifting to creative, project-based work that lines up with our family values, personal interests and life trajectory, and utilizes our strengths and skills. (Yes, we are those Gen X'ers, raising Gen Zs, who want our income-earning work to be an expression of our values and we make no apologies for that.)
- Working together as a couple.
- Raising our teenaged and pre-teen children in an atmosphere of inspiration, possibility, adventure, and excitement about the future.
Specific dreams we are living right now
- Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2014.
- Earning an income while adventuring, via blogging and other creative projects.
- Take the kids out west (expand on this trip Damien and I took together). Reconnect with our roots there, experience the Rockies. Live, work, learn, and ski the big mountains in fall/winter 2015.
- Hike Scotland, my grandmother's birth country, 2016.
- Tour Europe, following Scotland.
- Buy a piece of land and build a yurt where we will live in-between adventures, and then rent-out while we adventure.
Future-future (Life 4.0?)
- Build a communal living environment with our grown children and grandchildren.
- Serve, connect, and adventure our way around the world.
- Live in a tiny eco-friendly home, on said family property, or in a tent, hostel, shelter on a trail somewhere
Damien and I are dreamers and doers. He's an optimist, I'm a realist (and a bit of skeptic). He's rational, I'm emotional. He's a visionary, I'm a organizer. We are lovers, best friends, co-parents, and working partners. We are on the same team, continually working towards our goals, together.
We are not the only family on a freedom path. There are many more like ours, swimming upstream against what society "expects"; identifying our values, recognizing our gifts, simplifying our lives, making space to dream and then taking a leap to live the life we want.
The Life 3.0 years of FIMBY tells that story, with a lot of photos to prove it, but some posts are more explicit in the message than others.
This page is a curated list of the most relevant posts related to adventure living. I share them here to help you create the life you want with the family you love.
These are not how-to posts, though I often share helpful resources and ideas. More than anything they are story, in all its ups and downs (and trust me, there are a lot of both) of dreaming, making things happen, and moving forward ideas in our lives.