8 unexpected joys of owning a cottage

Woman in passenger's seat of car

The joys of owning a cottage are pretty universal: listening to loons call across an early morning lake, the lapping of the waves just outside your window, the chance to get away from the endless noise of the city, and the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends in a whole new way.

There are some lovely things about cottaging, though, that are a little more surprising. Here’s our list of the top unexpected joys of being a cottager.

1. Smelling like campfire

It’s a smell you just can’t duplicate in the city—at least not without having the fire engines come roaring up to your door. An even headier aroma combo is campfire smoke mixed with bug spray—the Chanel No. 5 of the outdoor world.

2. That satisfying muscle ache (and sleep) you get after chopping wood all afternoon

Yes, you’re sore—but it’s a good sore. It’s the kind of sore that lets you know you worked hard, and deserve a little break. Even better is the intense sleep you’ll get after engaging in a little manual labour and breathing fresh air.

3. The Zen-like peacefulness of waiting for a tug on your fishing line

Every angler knows that, at some point in a fishing trip, there’s nothing to do but wait. No amount of moving the boat, switching up bait, or trolling can take the place of pure patience—and that comes with a peaceful acceptance that what will be, will be. Just make sure you defrost some hotdogs first so that you can really relax.

4. Sitting in the sun to get warm after swimming in chilly lake water

Cooling off by jumping into an icy lake is a close second to the exquisite pleasure of getting out of the cold water and warming up in the hot sun, preferably sitting on a warm rock or wooden dock.

5. Feeling oh-so-small under the stars

There’s nothing like the feeling of being a teeny, tiny speck in the universe (it’s somewhere between uncomfortable and totally awesome) and nowhere will give you a better picture of the night sky than the pure darkness of cottage country.

6. Joining a different—and sometimes quirky—community

Whether it runs bathtub regattas or an annual apple peeling contest, a cottage community is a whole new crop of friends and neighbours. They’ll share your (sometimes obsessive) love for all things cottaging and can help you get your dock out at the end of the season.

7. Driving down backroads with the windows down

There’s no place for air conditioning when you’re meandering along country roads, so roll down the window, crank up the tunes, and work on your one-armed suntan.

8. Coming home to reliable wifi, no bugs, a robust sewer system, and your own bed

Being at the cottage is wonderful. Coming home to clean clothes, familiar pillows, and the ability to flush more than one piece of toilet paper, is also wonderful.