The Swiss Canadian Dream – meet Daniel & Connie who moved to British Columbia to find a new home on a Ranch

At the age of 50, Daniel and Connie Eberle immigrated to Canada to follow their dream and built the beautiful Guest Ranch and Resort KAYANARA in the middle of the Canadian Cariboo Region in BC, Canada. 

After 50 years in beautiful and safe Switzerland, Daniel and Connie Eberle decided to sell everything and went out into the world to follow their dream. In the middle of the Cariboo district in British Columbia they found a piece of heaven surrounded by wild nature, breathtaking scenery and pure tranquility.

SCCC-Admin, Melanie Ferreira, had the chance to talk to Daniel Eberle about leaving his office job in Switzerland and moving to Canada to start a life on a Ranch with 220 acres of fields, meadows, forest, bushes and streams.

Daniel, when did you come to Canada and why did you decide to start a new life here?

In 2009, I was a partner and managing director of a successful consulting company and was running from deadline to deadline. My wife had a florist business and our two adult children had successful jobs in Switzerland. Like other fifty-year old’s, I asked myself: Is that all? What do I do in the next 15 years? Wait for my retirement so I can finally enjoy my life? Admittedly, I still lacked the boat, the golf club membership, the affair, and the Harley-Davidson, which you must have at this age. The almost unavoidable push of a burnout to reflect on my life also belonged to the ‘successful’ career. Honestly, we were not so sure about our step going abroad, but we wanted to do it. So, we completely sold our old life in beautiful ‘Toggenburg’, called the following dream of regained freedom, ‘KAYANARA’, and set off on a world trip with a deliberately undetermined goal and time frame.


Birdview KAYANARA Ranch

We didn’t leave Switzerland because the old life would not have been nice. We simply left because it did not really promise new challenges. 

Daniel Eberle

We spent two months in a cabin on a lake in British Columbia, our first destination of the world voyage. Our journey lasted three weeks, before we saw by chance a ranch house on a small hill above a valley that took our breath away. It was winter and there was 60 cm of snow. We saw the white ribbon of the river, framed by bare trees, sparkling with hoar-frost.  The gentle hills of the north with giant pine-trees, seemed to meet the river at the horizon. The tranquility, the power of nature made us speechless. My wife and I looked at each other and both instinctively knew we were standing in front of KAYANARA. Our journey was over.


10 years later, how does your life look today on the Ranch?
You’re wondering how a tie-wearing IT consultant in a suit and a florist even had the skills to do it? We did not have them, but we learned quickly. Even at the age of 50. And you know what, there are countless stories of failure from these years. Looking back, we can laugh about these stories and they enrich our lives. To tell these stories is fun. Today, after several years, we live in a new network of relationships and commitments as a ranching and hosting family in Canada. Ten years of hard work with the chance to consciously rethink the ‘new’ life with the experiences of the previous life. We have exchanged our woolly, protected life in Switzerland for more freedom, uncertainty and originality. KAYANARA has become one of the most beautiful Guest Ranches in BC and is home to guests from all over the world who love the spirit of a Canadian ranch all year round. The ranch is built with love by us who consciously and consistently used their second chance to build a paradise not only for themselves.


How did you build up your business & network at the beginning?
When we started at KAYANARA the ranch was called Eagle Creek Ranch and it was an old ranch in bad shape. We had to clean it up during the whole winter. Then in spring we started to renew all the fences and later bought an excavator and started to build a workshop with a loft, two other log homes for guests, a tack room for the horse staff and 3 other smaller building.

Relax in one of the lodges or on the camping ground

It was a tough time since we mostly did everything by ourselves. We just had some friends who helped us. Two and a half years later we celebrated our grand opening.

We never stopped to improve KAYANARA for more guest value and we never will stop doing that.

Daniel & Connie at the Grand Opening of the KAYANARA Ranch

Daniel, how does a typical day as an Owner of a Canadian Ranch looks like?
We are working from sunrise to sunset as farmers, as hosts, as animators, as contractors, as electrician, as plumbers as cowboys, as chefs, as cleaners, and so one. ?

Who helps you managing and maintaining the Ranch?
We always hire some helpers during the high season, but it is getting more and more difficult. It is tough to find reliable Canadian youth for ranch working and on the other hand the Canadian Government makes it not easy to get people from abroad.


Why should every SCCC member visit your Ranch?
With KAYANARA we share our dream with our guests. All our life experiences and all our sole is packed into KAYANARA. We don’t want to build a big resort to earn a lot of money. We wanted to build an environment where our guests feel like coming home. We wanted to combine the stunning nature of British Columbia with high standard accommodation.

And for us it is not enough to just provide a nice and cozy accommodation. Our guests can decide whether they just enjoy the quietness and beauty of KAYANARA or experience all the typical Canadian activities out in the bush like Horseback riding, Fishing, Canoeing, Kayaking, Biking, Hiking or do some wilderness tour with us.

What did you learn from moving to Canada?
Only now, in the lonely log home in the wilderness of Canada, have we realized how trapped we had been in a network of relationships, duties, artificial needs, and social obligations, and how liberating it can be to completely and consistently evade them. Selling a whole life in Switzerland was though but it is about taking the opportunity to build a new life with the knowledge of 50 years and to discover what may result from it. Not because the old life would not have been nice, no, simply because it did not really promise new challenges. We never asked: Can we do that. We did it.

To leave as much space as possible for potential coincidence, to go out into the world and to discover what it provides for us is a great privilege. To do this together is happiness.

What is always in your suitcase when you come back from Switzerland?
The longer you live in another country the less you miss some stuff of your origin country. But we where living close to Appenzell, so we like the hard Appenzeller cheese, for sure the Appenzeller Schnaps and a nice Cervelat brings a smile on our face too.

Connie and Daniel Eberle in front of their Ranch Office

Thank you Daniel for taking the time to talk to us!


Would you like to know more about the KAYANARA Ranch?
Visit their website:

Watch KAYANARA’s video for more impressions

Click on picture for the video


All picture credits go to KAYANARA Ranch

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