This chapter is divided into three sections. First, I describe my research methods and provide an overview of the literature, then I share some of the challenges I faced early in the research process, specifi cally relating to recruitment and selection of rural participants for the research dialogues. Next I discuss some of the gaps between my initial ideas or ‘ideal’ proposal stage and the ‘real’ experience of gaining access to a rural community in which members did not have a point of reference that attests to my integrity as a researcher. Finally, I position this experience in the literature and explore how this learning contributes new ways of thinking about how we grapple with the challenges of this process of building and maintaining relationships. I argue that this process of connecting with rural community members is a vital part of the research fi ndings.