highlands hostel

Highlands Hostel

Call: 1-902-383-2371

Our Journey - Our Dream - Our Story


Our Journey started with a dream and a letter.

Dear Elizabeth,

I am writing to you from Vancouver, British Columbia on a rainy November evening whilst my two-year-old son and five-year-old daughter are sleeping soundly in our cozy, downtown, co-op apartment. My partner Bricin and my father Peter are flying to Cape Breton, to meet with you and view what we’ve been calling in our family recently, ‘hopefully our forever home’. As I am staying West Coast bound with the children for this viewing, I wanted to write a letter and take this opportunity to thank you for meeting with our family and considering our offer on your lovingly renovated church. It would be a dream come true to call your church our forever home.

We are a young family with strong ties to our community here in Vancouver, the Cariboo and on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, yet we cannot afford a forever home in this West Coast housing market, where housing prices are astronomical. My partner Bricin has fallen in love with Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail over the past decade. He has journeyed there and back again, travelling across Canada twice: once for charity and once, more recently, for sharing the journey of a lifetime with like-minded travellers. My father’s sister and two nieces live in NS and I have a dear friend whom I taught preschool with, who grins from ear to ear with the possibility of us moving to NS. Our family and friends in NS may be a small fraction in comparison to who we know and love on the West Coast, yet in my heart of hearts, and in Bricin’s too (we’ve been together for 18 years as high school sweethearts), we know that your lovingly renovated church on the Cabot Trail is the absolute, without a doubt, perfect fit for our young family.

I have to pinch myself to think that it could be a reality to raise my children surrounded by natural beauty, neighbouring a national park and minutes from sandy beaches. My daughter has always been a nature girl and that drive within her would only blossom further when taken out of downtown Vancouver to thrive on the Cabot Trail. My toddler son has rhythm in his soul, and to have the opportunity to raise him with ceilidhs surrounding us, I just shake my head and smile! I crave a slower pace of life, surrounded by nature and friendly smiles and community connections. Reading the reviews on your Air BnB site and how guests mention the humming birds, reminds me of growing up in beautiful Pender Harbour, far far away from any city’s hustle and bustle. Bricin craves spending time with his children and showing them how to build a life on your own terms and follow your dreams. He also has a strong desire to share his energy and passion within our new community and the chance to meet new people and inspire others to live each day to the fullest.

To us family is everything and the opportunity to raise our young family in a ‘forever home’ such as your church would be immeasurable. Our children are so excited at the thought of moving. With my father joining us, they squeal “we’d get to see Grandpa every day!” each time we talk about it. So thank you again for meeting with our family and taking the time to read my letter. It is clear to see that you have created something truly special when renovating the church, and it would be an honour and an opportunity of a lifetime for our family to become the proud new owners of such a beautifully unique and special home.

All the best,


Patricia Sauer