Unfinished Business: Back in Nova Scotia


Wolfville, Nova Scotia

We have been back in Nova Scotia for a month now and it has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride since we left the sunny beaches of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We accomplished everything we had hoped for and more during our first extended trip.


Playa Coco, Costa Rica, April 2016

We had promised ourselves that when we returned to Nova Scotia we would try to maintain the same feelings of optimism, relaxation, exploration and adventure that worked so well for us over the past three months. Things didn’t work out quite as we thought. Here we were in mid-July, the weather was very cool and damp and we were in the same house with our old routines and absolutely no interest even for a house showing. This left us to wonder if we were even going to be able to rent it before we left in September. We were starting to experience some of the same concerns and anxieties we experienced back in March.

Back Yard with Gardens

Back garden of our house

We took a deep breath and started to process it all again, but in a lighter way. There were plenty of routine things to keep us busy and the weather was excellent once the first week of chilly days passed. We had visits with family and tried to focus on the all of the positive aspects of the past three months and the excitement of our upcoming adventures, but little setbacks kept creeping in.


View from the Look-off near Canning, Nova Scotia

We couldn’t sell our house and had to try the rental approach. Some disappointments in that process also added to the reality of how much was out of our control when it comes to dealing with the housing market.

DSCF6287 (2016_07_15 11_04_39 UTC)

Across the Grand Pre dykelands to Cape Blomidon, Nova Scotia

We also learned we are going to have to get used to the fact that not everyone is as excited or as free of responsibilities as we are. We have accepted the feeling of being outsiders in many ways as we set off on our travels. Other long term travelers have shared that they have experienced similar reactions. We are okay with this and will make everything work. We may never get this chance again and we want to make the best of this opportunity we have created!

IMG_6149 (2015_10_17 13_44_39 UTC)

Taken from the London Eye while on our 2 day visit in 2009

However has been a lot of fun making the final preparations for our European fall. With the money we save by house sitting for a month we decided to treat ourselves to two weeks in London. We were there for two nights in 2009 and liked what we saw. We have rented an apartment and purchased a London Pass and Oyster card to become the ultimate tourists. We’ll let you know how they work out but they do seem like a great way to see many of London’s top attractions at somewhat reasonable cost.

IMG_6097 (2015_10_17 13_44_39 UTC)

London Tower Bridge 2009

We also have our train tickets for the trip to Portugal in October. We set out to be aimless nomads but we already have apartments booked in Lisbon and Lagos, Portugal as well as a cabina in Ecuador for the winter. Perhaps we aren’t quite as aimless as we thought, but we certainly allow random ideas and inspirations to take over our planning. We have also found that in order to get rentals within our budget we have to book early or when opportunities present themselves.


Habitant River near our house in Habitant, Nova Scotia

In the last few days things have turned around and we have a renewed sense of excitement. The biggest step forward is that we have secured a long term arrangement for our house. So when we leave for London we will truly begin our nomadic lifestyle and won’t look back.


Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with our Son, Erik and Tim’s Sister, Jennifer

The weather has been absolutely perfect for the past three weeks, our blueberries are ripening and we have spent some enjoyable time with friends and family. By being back here for the past month we have learned that it is easy to slip back into the familiar routine that we had been in for the past 10 years and that isn’t at all what we want. Our time in Costa Rica gave us a brief glimpse at what we have created through our years of planning so now we want to see it through!



So we say farewell to Nova Scotia with fond memories and open ourselves to an amazing adventure ahead of us when we leave on September 4th. Unlike our time in Costa Rica, which was primarily for relaxation and contemplation, the next few months will be new territory for us. We expect to be challenged, educated and amazed with our new lifestyle.

DSCF5910 (2016_06_21 11_59_58 UTC)

The sky is our limit….

We really appreciate that you have followed along so far and hope you will enjoy our stories. We will continue to provide practical information on the areas we visit and express how we feel about our homes along the way and our new lifestyle. We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on what we are doing or experiences any of you have had from embarking on the same path.

About Tim & Anne Hall

We sold almost all of our belongings and left our home in Nova Scotia in April 2016 to experience as much of the world as we could. We spent over a year slow traveling in Latin America and Europe, and are now living happily in the Portuguese Algarve, Portimao to be specific. We are gradually chnging the focus of our site to feature images of Portugal. Stay tuned - its a work in progress.
Image | This entry was posted in Canada, England, Preparations and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Unfinished Business: Back in Nova Scotia

  1. It sounds as if you’re really on your way. When you said the feelings of excitement have started to return I knew exactly what you meant. We too find we fall back into old routines whenever we return to Vancouver even though we housesit when we are there. And Vancouver also always ends up being a lot about doctors visits as we take care of aging bodies. But it’s always good to see all our friends again.
    I’ve never been to Nova Scotia. It looks beautiful.
    Happy travels! When do you leave?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blueberries – mmm. Nova Scotia looks like a place we need to put on our bucket list. 🙂 We visited Montana and Washington states last summer where we’d lived for several years and were constantly wowed by the beauty that surrounded us. It’s too sad that we had become inured to it while we lived there although the winters had a lot to do with our desire to leave! One thing we’ve realized over and over again is that dreams change and, while your home was perfect for you for several years, its good to follow your dreams in a new direction. Enjoy the familiar for a bit longer because soon you’re off on a whole ‘nother adventure that I’m looking forward to following! Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Thanks Anita. Nova Scotia is beautiful, and has a lot to offer. We’re definitely with you on winter though. It feels wonderful to be able to follow our dreams and see what lies ahead. All the best, Tim & Anne


  3. Kathy says:

    All the best to you both as you venture off on your exciting adventure and new lifestyle. What a wonderful opportunity you have ahead of you, take it all in and enjoy every minute! I’ll definitely be following along! Kathy xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Slow Travel in Retirement: First Year Reflections and Looking Ahead | A New Latitude

  5. Martha Peterson says:

    I am wondering what the tax implications are if you establish Portuguese residency as a Canadian. Do you sever all ties as a Canadian including health care?
    Is it better to maintain a Canadian residency, and rent out your property here. So many questions…
    If you maintain a Canadian residency and buy in Portugal how are you taxed? I spend 3months (the almighty 90 days at a time) every 180 days….
    Best Regards,
    M Pete


    • timannehall says:

      Hello there. The unfortunate fact is that everyone’s situation is different. Revenue Canada has very complicated rules for determining if you are taxed as a Resident or Non-Resident and the implications are significant. There is a Tax Treaty with Portugal so that helps and Portugal also has a good tax program called the NHR which allows many expats to get a tax exemption here for their first 10 years. As for health care – there are some reasonably priced plans available here and facilities are excellent. Be careful and you may want to get some professional advice. We chose to go the emigraton route and so far it has worked for us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s