100 reasons to love P.E.I. a personal challenge for Island blogger

When Aila Gardner started listing 100 reasons to love P.E.I. on her blog earlier this month it wasn't just about convincing her audience.

Aila Gardner is looking for help with her list

The beaches are already a big feature on Gardner's list. (Aila Gardner)

When Aila Gardner started listing 100 reasons to love P.E.I. on her blog earlier this month it wasn't just about convincing her audience.

Gardner, who grew up in Ontario, moved to P.E.I. with her husband, a native Islander.

"It seemed like a really great place to raise kids and have a family," she said.

"I always thought that it was beautiful."

But the marriage didn't last. And while she still feels P.E.I. is the best place to raise her kids, it can be a challenge. She misses her family and her friends who live on the mainland.

'As far as finding community that you can be a part of it's a little more challenging,' says Gardner. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

When she heard a friend who is from P.E.I. was considering moving home, she joked she was going to launch a marketing campaign to convince him to do it. Then, just a couple of days later, the provincial government launched its own campaign to convince Islanders to come home.

That was the final motivation she needed to launch 100 reasons to love P.E.I. on her blog, and she's finding it's not just aimed at Islanders who have moved away.

"I'm trying to convince people to come back for all of the reasons I'm trying to convince myself to stay," said Gardner.

She started Aug. 2, and plans to list something every day for 100 days. So far, the list sometimes features a long-time favourite, and others are just whatever happened to be the highlight of that particular day.

The Weiner Wagon earned Gardner's award for most entertaining street meat. (Aila Gardner)

There are beaches, of course, and the joy of short commutes or being able to walk along the harbourfront during her lunch break.

The list is an effort to balance out some of the more personal troubles she has living on P.E.I.

"Everyone is very friendly and kind, which I absolutely adore, but as far as finding community that you can be a part of it's a little more challenging if you don't have those initial connections already," she said.

Having a property large enough for her dog to run around on made Gardner's list. (Aila Gardner)

"If, when I get to the end of it, I can convince my friend to move back, or convince myself that this is where I really want to be, then that would be an achievement."

Gardner is asking her readers for their own lists of things they love about P.E.I., and says she will try as many of them as she can.

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With files from Island Morning