In a recent online survey, 59 per cent of Canadians said the pandemic has taught them to appreciate the “little things” in life, like nature. Not only that, more options when it comes to working remotely means there’s no longer as great a need to centre our lives around where we work. This was exactly what inspired Vanessa Grutman to launch Call to Nature: a truly one-of-a-kind course filled with expert advice, guidance and actionable steps designed to help Canucks achieve their dreams of living closer to nature. We chatted with Vanessa, who found that very few resources existed when she relocated her family from Vancouver to Lake Country, B.C. back in 2019, about how she supports Call to Nature registrants from the start to the finish of their move. —Vita Daily
Hi Vanessa! When and why did you launch a Call to Nature?
Call to Nature is a passion project that stemmed from our recent city-to-small-town relocation. My family and I left the hustle of Vancouver in 2019 to establish ourselves closer to nature in the Okanagan. This slower lifestyle by the lake surrounded by orchards and vineyards offers us space to roam free, increased access to nature (i.e., at our doorstep) and a renewed sense of community—to name just a few of the perks! It has swooped me away in ways I didn’t expect, which inspired me to create the online course.
What services do you provide, and what niche do you fill within the real estate industry?
The pandemic has revealed new and more accessible parameters around remote work, which makes this way of living (out of the city and closer to nature) more relevant than ever. In other words, many people are finding they no longer have to base their lives around where they work, like a physical office space. Also, after many discussions with realtors, it became evident to me that the trend of desiring a slower pace outside of the city core was already in motion pre-pandemic, but has significantly accelerated since COVID-19 hit. However, most people arrive to realtors unprepared and unclear about what they truly desire. Given that this market is now a fast-paced one, it’s critical to be well prepared in order to be competitive. My course will help with that: taking your move from the dreaming stage (part 1) to real, actionable steps (part 2). I also created my platform to inspire people to elevate their health and follow their call to nature. As a kinesiologist by trade, health optimization has always been a passion, so I share tips and tricks and my own personal lifestyle hacks. Call to Nature is my first online course; it’s the perfect relocation guide that I wish existed when we were looking to make the move. I have also rounded up a powerful lineup of experts to offer supporting evidence and ideas to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. The course also comes with a comprehensive workbook to facilitate deeper reflections and offer “chewable” action steps and resources. There’s nothing else out there quite like it (trust me, I looked!).
Why do you think more and more Canadians have started to dream of living closer to nature?
It seems like people are generally craving space, a sense of freedom and autonomy (growing their own food, etc.). Many are wanting to reconnect themselves with nature and its healing and grounding superpowers. People are going back to a more ancient way of living and, by doing so, becoming more harmonious with Mother Nature. And let’s be honest: she needs all the love and care we can give her right now!
What do you think has contributed to/facilitated this movement in recent years?
There’s no doubt that increased access to Internet in remote areas and the rise of remote work paired with the rising cost of real estate has facilitated the movement of people out of the city. No one enjoys being mortgage poor (like we used to be) while not living in their dream house!
Who is your course for?
It is really designed for anyone that has been wondering what life closer to nature could look like, from simply wanting a bigger yard to growing your veggies to dreaming of having a farm to looking for peace and quiet on an acreage and everything else in-between. The dream is the common thread here.
What will we learn/gain from taking your course?
The course is designed in two parts that represent two stages of this transition. Part 1 will help you assess whether this dream makes sense or not, whether it’s viable and sustainable, from what needs to happen in order for you to move forward, how to overcome your fears, how much it would cost and how to plan a smooth transition for the whole family, kids included. I collaborate with physicians, counsellors, kid therapists, CEOs and entrepreneurs to gain their insights, and give real examples of people who successfully did such a move to show there is no single way of making this dream happen. If we let ourselves be creative, it’s a lot more possible than we may think. Part 2 is for anyone clear on moving ahead but needing guidance with the overwhelming to-do list and challenge of keeping the momentum going. We cover real estate and pitfalls to avoid, I offer workback schedules with everything that needs to be completed before moving, and I give tips on how to successfully integrate into a new community. Here, I work with realtors from different markets and regions as well as executive coaches and organization/moving specialists to make this part very action-driven, to ease the stress usually experienced at this stage. Part 1 and 2 can be taken individually or together, whichever fits the season you’re in. Currently, you can sign up for our evergereen five-lesson workshop to gain clarity on what this way of living looks like and assess if it’s for you.
Personally speaking, what do you love most about living closer to nature?”
It’s made me a better human. I know it sounds cheesy but I feel more connected to myself, my family, my community and ultimately to our environment. I’m so much more aware of the footprint we leave and how to be more conscious about how we live. But, let’s be honest, the absolute best part is having the forest and hiking trails in my backyard and the lake to go for a swim or paddle in during my lunch break. The access to nature allows us to literally live outside. It’s a game changer and equally as beneficial for kids.
Win! A $397 Call to Nature Wellness Prize Pack!
Congrasts Samita K. of Hampstead, QC, who will receive a $397 Call to Nature wellness prize pack, including registration to the Call to Nature workshop, plus a selection of Vanessa’s favourite wellness products from SkinCeuticals, TruMarine and Bulletproof to help stay sharp and radiant! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.