A couple from Vancouver was in search of a simpler life, so they sold their house, packed up their things and moved to one of the most remote places they could find: Port Renfrew.
Ronald Laidman and Diane Moran were born 28 days apart at the Vancouver General Hospital and have quite the history together, dating back to when they first met at Kitsilano High School in Vancouver at the age of 16.
They dated for a while when they were 19, but that came to an end when Moran moved away for a job.
“We married other people and had completely separate lives,” Moran said.
But both of their marriages eventually ended, and 24 years later in October 2008, Moran said Laidman’s name came up in conversation, so she decided to send him a message through Facebook.
“I asked him if he is the Ron Laidman who went to Kitsilano High School and, if so, did he remember Mayne Island and Diane Shukalak (Moran),” said Moran.
Laidman did, and the couple reconnected; they have been together ever since.
Finally in 2016, the couple were married at French Beach in Sooke, which is when they first fell in love with the area.
They toured around while visiting, and liked Sooke so much that after returning home, they decided to look online at houses for sale in the region. That’s when they stumbled across a property in Port Renfrew.
“We had both never heard of Port Renfrew before, but we were curious so we decided to come and look at the property,” Moran said.
The property is three hecatres and has a log house, along with two cabins.
“We both thought of it as kind of a dream, and didn’t say much about it. But then a few weeks later I said to Ron, ‘I can’t stop thinking about that property,’ and he said he couldn’t either, so we decided to go for it,” Moran said.
And that was it, Laidman and Moran quit their jobs and left city life behind to start a new life in Port Renfrew, running a riverside retreat.
“We’ve rebranded it to be called Remote Renfrew, and I think it will be a nice little source of income,” Moran said.
They officially moved in to their new home on March 28.
“I love it here so far. It’s like being in the middle of nowhere, but you could be within kilometres from the heart of town,” Laidman said..
Moran added that they will need to become smarter shoppers, because the closest grocery stores are about an hour away.
“That will probably be the biggest challenge for us, but both of us have lived similar lifestyles to this before, so I don’t think we will have a very hard time adjusting to living here,” Moran said.
They have been working hard redecorating the two cabins and will be welcoming their first guests in May.
So far, the couple have been busy getting settled but are excited to be immersed in nature and spend more time outdoors.
Both Laidman and Moran have multiple hobbies, including art, gardening, and restoring vehicles, and see their new life as an opportunity to dive deeper into their interests.
“Most of all I’m looking forward to the community, and the diversity of people living here,” said Laidman. “I think there’s maybe a couple hundred people living here, and I hope I get to know every one of them.”
To find out more about Remote Renfrew riverside retreat, go online to remoterenfrew.com.