“The breathtaking scenery and the warmth of the people make it a truly special place,” says Stephanie.
The Long and Winding Road
It’s a long way from Jamaica to Cape Breton by way of British Columbia, but for Stephanie Newland and her family, the journey has been worth it. While visiting Nunavut in 2020, Stephanie met Andrea who hails from Pleasant Bay. Stephanie was lamenting the fact that the price of housing in British Columbia was beyond her reach and Andrea pointed out that the prices in Cape Breton were much more affordable.
Stephanie knew that change was in the air, she just didn’t know where it was going to take her and her family. So, after some prayerful reflection, Stephanie, her Mom, her husband and their two boys made the trip to Cape Breton and stayed at Andrea’s Airbnb. Once here, the family felt a sense of purpose and that knew it was home. And besides, it was a long drive back to BC!
Not knowing what to expect in her new community, Stephanie was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming nature of the people. Embraced by the community, the local church helped the family find a house to purchase and helped to move their belongings from Pleasant Bay to Petit Étang. Dalmain now runs a barbershop in Cheticamp which Stephanie says the community was also quick to support.
Adjusting to their new life was not easy, especially when trying to shop for her son who has difficulty eating and talking and has dietary restrictions. For her eldest son, it was his first experience with bullying, which was extremely difficult. “We are past that now, but it underscores how important it is for people of all ages to be welcoming to newcomers,” says Stephanie.
The seasons, the beauty of the mountains and the expanse of the ocean all rank as some of the family’s favourite things about their new home. “The breathtaking scenery and the warmth of the people make it a truly special place,” says Stephanie.
Stephanie would advise anyone thinking of moving here to visit first, to get a sense of the surroundings. She also thinks it’s best to buy a home before moving if you can. If you have a child with special needs, try to ensure that the specialists you need are in place to make the transition easier.
We’re glad that the Newlands decided to make this Coast their home. They are making the fabric of our Island even more beautiful.
In February 2022, the Newland family’s story was featured on CBC Cape Breton’s Information Morning. Click here to listen!