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One Year. 8 Rooms. 1 Motel. We Actually Made it Happen!

Updated: May 9, 2022

the marmalade motel travel nova scotia motel rooms

One year ago this September we packed up two of our kids, three cats and two dogs and made our way across the country to the East Coast. Looking back I have to wonder who these risk takers were and where they came from. If someone had told us three years ago that we would be living in rural Nova Scotia, building a destination motel experience we would have laughed them right out the door. But look at us now.

The last 12 months have been the craziest of our adult life. The last time we experienced this much change and emotions was when we were 18 years old and moving away from home together. Our motto back then was "your bed, my stereo, your cat" - and that's basically all we had to our names at the time (and like $100 in the bank). This time, it's been 'deep breaths, we've got this, it's only money'. And we still only have $100 in the bank.

the marmalade motel travel nova scotia motel rooms

But let's take stock, shall we?

7 - the number of months we spent renovating rooms.

3,360 - the number of hours we spent sweating, bleeding and pouring our love into this project

50,000 - the cost of renovating, decorating and furnishing 8 rooms top to bottom

30 - sleepless nights after opening in April when the province shut down due to COVID

23 - years of marriage that we tested over and over (and over!) again

3 - amazingly supportive and loving kids we are blessed to call our own

1 Million - positive words of encouragement and love we received from our new community

Making the decision to leave our jobs and move to Nova Scotia doesn't feel monumental to us - it never really did. I read somewhere that the time, struggle, uncertainty and fear of change all play out up to moment you make a decision. Once the decision is made, change happens really fast. In hindsight, we were struggling with a change decision for years. We may not have known exactly what that change would look like, but we discussed it a lot.

As we reflect on our last year we've learned a few important lessons:

  1. What you don't know now, you'll learn along the way

  2. Surround yourself with people who champion your success

  3. Mistakes happen. Don't make them twice.

  4. When it sucks (because eventually it will) remember WHY you are doing what you're doing

  5. It won't be easy, but it will be fulfilling

  6. Somehow, someway the money will come - just focus on the goal

  7. Everything costs twice what you expected and takes twice as long as you planned for

the marmalade motel travel nova scotia motel rooms

No matter what the next year brings, we are both grateful for the friends, the support, the love and the amazing Eastern Shore community that we now call home. If the first 12 months opened the motel doors, wait till you see what the next 12 months bring! The ideas are endless and the renovations and improvements continue full steam ahead. Can't wait to share more surprises along the way.

Cheryl & Neil

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Love your story, I have been following your story all along. You have made this into a great property. I hope you never think why did we ever leave home and start this venture. I worked in the industry for 41 years at liscome Lodge. There is not greater place than Nova Scotia. Good luck in 2022 may it really be a good year for you and your family, keep up the good work. By the way I love the name. Do you use Hardy Wares marmalade jam at the breakfast table. If not you should try it, it is local. Best of luck to you both.......

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Thank you!! We love it here. And while there are certainly challenging days, we wouldn’t change this life for anything! We also LOVE HardyWares and offer it for sale in our reception area!

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