The REAL simple life! City slicker reveals how she moved to remote Canada

A former city slicker has revealed how she upturned her life and moved to a remote town in Canada with just 90 residents, and quickly had to adapt to subzero temperatures and the lack of a grocery store.

Hilary Messer-Barrow, 33, moved from Vancouver to Beaver Creek, Yukon, in 2019 after her husband’s job with the federal government required him to relocate. 

The self-described ‘serious city girl’ said she soon discovered that the only amenities in their town included one restaurant, a one-room post office, a bank, and a ‘tiny but awesome school’, while the nearest grocery store was a ten-hour roundtrip by car.

Despite the isolation being a shock at first, Hilary says she now loves her outback lifestyle. She has learned how to cook and to forage for ingredients, along with stocking up on fashions for temperatures as low as -47F.

Hilary said she used to be a 'serious city girl'

In Yukon, temperatures can plummet to -47F

Before and after: Hilary Messer-Barrow, 33, moved from Vancouver to Beaver Creek, Yukon, in 2019 after her husband’s job with the federal government required him to relocate

While the isolation was a shock at first, Hilary says she now loves her outback lifestyle

Hilary demonstrates what happens when you throw a cup of boiling water in the air in sub zero temperatures

While the isolation was a shock at first, Hilary says she now loves her outback lifestyle

To keep the outside world updated on her life, the teaching assistant posts regular videos to TikTok

To keep the outside world updated on her life, the teaching assistant posts regular videos to TikTok

The endless sunlight during summer, and bouts of darkness during the winter have been other things she’s had to contend with. 

To keep the outside world updated on her life, the teaching assistant posts regular videos to TikTok. 

In one clip she explains that when she first moved to the Yukon, she felt ‘incredibly isolated and alone’ but a simple gesture from a neighbor helped put her at ease. 

She recalled: ‘I didn’t know anyone and when my then-boyfriend was at work, I was super lonely. One day I heard a knock on the door, it was my neighbor coming over to invite me for a cup of tea. This incredibly thoughtful and kind gesture was completely unexpected but changed my outlook of the community.

‘Living in a small community means you know just about everyone. You might not know them well but you know them well enough to help them out when they’re in need. It’s one of the things I love most about living here.’

The nearest grocery store to Hilary is a ten-hour roundtrip by car

The nearest grocery store to Hilary is a ten-hour roundtrip by car

When they get to the grocery store, Hilary says they pack everything into'coolers, reusable bags and bins'

The couple 'often use two carts piled high with groceries' when they hit the stores

When they get to the grocery store, Hilary says they pack everything into ‘coolers, reusable bags and bins’ and they ‘often use two carts piled high with groceries’

When they get to the checkout, it can take a long time as they have to scan more than a month's worth of goods

Packing their truck as an equally arduous task

When they get to the checkout, it can take a long time as they have to scan more than a month’s worth of goods. Packing their truck as an equally arduous task

Their typical grocery shop comes in at around CA$600 to CA$800, or CA$100 a week, which Hilary says is considerably less than what they spent when they were living in Vancouver

Their typical grocery shop comes in at around CA$600 to CA$800, or CA$100 a week, which Hilary says is considerably less than what they spent when they were living in Vancouver

The endless sunlight during summer, and bouts of darkness during the winter have been other things Hilary has had to contend with

The endless sunlight during summer, and bouts of darkness during the winter have been other things Hilary has had to contend with

In other clips, Hilary reveals how food shopping is a herculean task, as the nearest grocery store is in Whitehorse and it takes ten hours to drive there and back.

She explains that she and her husband James, 28, make the journey every six to eight weeks to stock up on goods.

Before they make the road trip, they go through the kitchen cupboards and make an Excel spreadsheet of all of the provisions they need. 

As it’s such a long ride to go shopping, the couple usually make it an overnight trip by checking into a hotel or pitching up a tent. 

When they get to the grocery store, Hilary says they pack everything into ‘coolers, reusable bags and bins’ and they ‘often use two carts piled high with groceries’. 

Then when they get to the checkout, it can take a long time as they have to scan more than a month’s worth of goods.

The final part of their shopping excursion involves them packing everything into their truck before starting the long journey home. 

Their typical grocery shop comes in at around CA$600 to CA$800, or CA$100 a week, which Hilary says is considerably less than what they spent when they were living in Vancouver.  

Hilary's TikTok videos have garnered millions of views, with many people fascinated by her'back to basics' lifestyle

Hilary’s TikTok videos have garnered millions of views, with many people fascinated by her ‘back to basics’ lifestyle

While she has lived in the wilds, Hilary has had friends and family to visit

While she has lived in the wilds, Hilary has had friends and family to visit

In one video Hilary reveals how she foraged blueberries to accompany a plate of waffles

The outdoorswoman also cooked up a pasta dish with foraged morels and gifted moose meat

Picking it up: In one video Hilary reveals how she foraged blueberries to accompany a plate of waffles and she cooked up a pasta dish with foraged morels and gifted moose meat

While Hilary says starting a new life in the Yukon has been'life changing', she doesn't think she will be there forever with James and Chilli

While Hilary says starting a new life in the Yukon has been ‘life changing’, she doesn’t think she will be there forever with James and Chilli

Hilary and James were girlfriend and boyfriend when they first moved to the Yukon, but they tied the knot at a cabin close to where they live with their dog Chilli as one of their witnesses

Hilary and James were girlfriend and boyfriend when they first moved to the Yukon, but they tied the knot at a cabin close to where they live with their dog Chilli as one of their witnesses

In another TikTok Hilary explains how they go about storing food at home to ensure it keeps for as long as possible. 

She says: ‘All the fresh things are stored in the fridge and we keep much of our fruit on the counter. 

‘We keep the dry foods we eat regularly in the kitchen. 

‘We have big freezer boxes to keep things frozen and use them in the winter to make sure things don’t freeze.

‘We use up our fresh stuff in the first few weeks and then move onto frozen things.’

In the summer, the adventurous couple are able to supplement their groceries with homegrown produce and they have an expansive vegetable garden.

Hilary also goes foraging. In one video, the outdoorswoman reveals how she foraged blueberries to accompany a plate of waffles and she cooked up a pasta dish one dinnertime with morels from the woods along with gifted moose meat.  

‘I had never really cooked before but now I make everything,’ Hilary says.

‘At first cravings were hard as I couldn’t fulfil them but now, I anticipate them.’

When she’s not cooking, Hilary enjoys a range of other new hobbies which include cross country skiing and cycling. 

She also takes her dog Chilli out for daily walks, with the two of them exploring new routes. 

The cold is no joke, as Hilary demonstrates with this shiver-inducing selfie

The cold is no joke, as Hilary demonstrates with this shiver-inducing selfie 

Ahead of their grocery shops, Hilary makes constant lists to ensure they know what they need

Ahead of their grocery shops, Hilary makes constant lists to ensure they know what they need

Hilary reveals how she makes her food go further, by using salad goods first

As the weeks go on, Hilary moves on to longer-lasting produce such as squash and lentils

Hilary reveals how she makes her food go further, by using salad goods first before moving on to longer-lasting produce such as squash and lentils

Hilary says since living in the countryside she's learned to appreciate spending time in nature

She explains in one TikTok:'I spend a lot of time outside. It's been healing and has allowed me to connect with the land and with myself'

Hilary says since living in the countryside she’s learned to appreciate spending time in nature

When the couple fancy a date night, they like to go to the only restaurant in their town; Buckshot Betty’s.

Hilary says her favorite dish there is a taco salad, but they also do a good burger and juicy deep fried pickles.  

Hilary’s TikTok videos have garnered millions of views over the past few years, with many people fascinated by her ‘back to basics’ lifestyle. 

Creator @IshanVerma said after watching one of her clips: ‘We are capable of so much more but with all these conveniences around (which is a blessing) we are becoming extremely dependent!’

Meanwhile, @Stevi commented: ‘I’m never complaining about having to go grocery shopping again.’

Hilary says since living in the countryside she’s learned to appreciate spending time in nature.

She explained in one TikTok: ‘I spend a lot of time outside. It’s been healing and has allowed me to connect with the land and with myself. 

‘I never feel alone in nature. Living here has also allowed me to build an incredible bond with my husband. It’s so special to spend time together here.’

Hilary and James were girlfriend and boyfriend when they first moved to the Yukon, but they tied the knot at a cabin close to where they live with their dog Chilli as one of their witnesses. 

One video showcases photos from their big day, with both of them wearing down coats over their wedding outfits as they pose against a snowy backdrop.  

While Hilary says starting a new life in the Yukon has been ‘life changing’, she doesn’t think she will be there forever with James and Chilli.  

However, she notes: ‘I hope I never move back to a city!’ 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-11654563/The-REAL-simple-life-City-slicker-reveals-moved-remote-Canada.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The REAL simple life! City slicker reveals how she moved to remote Canada

Bradford Betz

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