Where to Homestead on Mainland USA?

The desire for travel and adventure always courses through our blood, but somehow our "temporary" USA pit stop in Hawaii turned into nearly two years. Along our journey in Hawaii we experienced an unexpected shift in priorities from a permanent-travel mindset to a permanent home-base mindset.

Could this be part of our future?
Our stagnation in Hawaii is partially to blame on its stubborn beauty and pleasant climate, and, admittedly, first world comforts and opportunities that we forgot we even missed. And our limited budget also stalled our plans. It's expensive to live like tourists in the first world!

Incidentally, we realized that being stationary allows us to develop and enjoy good friendships, to love pets again, to grow some food, for the kids to play sports and take music lessons, to do some online shopping (don't laugh until you go without it), and to make homemade smoothies with our own blender! Oh, the luxury of personal appliances.

Throw in a teenager with new braces on his teeth, followed quickly by him getting his drivers' permit, with two more boys rapidly coming of age, and permanent travel seems less plausible. And genuine fear gripped us when we realized that we only have a few more precious years of significant parenting and our soon-to-be adult kids would have little connection to a place called home.  That fear has replaced the fear of settling down that I have discussed before, although admittedly I seem to bounce back and forth between the two!

Now, we find ourselves in a place we haven't been for a while psychologically, intellectually or physically -- looking to settle down, to commit to a homestead, and in America of all places.

Yet, the most daunting challenge we faced as restless travelers is the same for us now -- where to go, and why?


Hawaii is stunning, and a dream location for many mainlanders especially now that winter is setting in. However, as an island far away from all other civilization, it can feel small and constraining here. Plus, having lived in the Tropics for the last eight years, we sorta miss a cold nip in the air, comfy sweaters, and the smell of a wood stove -- but not too much snow.

Mainland, here we come, but where? A mild climate is a must, but lifestyle is just as important.

Our alternative lifestyle may seem radical in some places. On the Big Island, we seem like squares compared to the dreadlocked hippies using their EBT cards to eat at the farmers market before retreating to a drum circle flanked by interpretive dancers. But mainstream suburban America may be as intolerant of our free-range chickens as they are of our free-range children who're unschooled and unvaccinated.

Then there are our adult desires to consider. Did you hear you can grow or buy cannabis in some states in the U.S.? Yeah, that just happened. Medical marijuana, like non-psychoactive CBD oil which is helping thousands of children reduce seizures, led the charge in its mainstreaming acceptance. It's not a major factor in our choice of location, but it would be nice to indulge without risking being thrown in a cage. Yet, the intention of permanence makes all factors of this decision more important than they'd normally be.

As for lifestyle, I'm being quite literal when I call it a homestead. We aim to produce a good bit of our own food needs with gardens, meat and egg chickens, goats, and perhaps even a milk cow. So a semi-rural area is imperative. I know what you are thinking, that there is no way we could go from exploring the world to settled down in some back woods town.  But we were raised in one of those towns and love it, miss it even, so I think we can handle it as long as there are a couple trips a year.  And yes I already have some planned.

But of paramount importance to our homestead location is natural beauty, close to the ocean and modern amenities, in a mild climate with a local government respectful of liberty.

Can you guess which states we're considering?  Give it a go in the comments section below!


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9 comments:

  1. I so very much enjoy the conveniences of online shopping and 2-day shipping.

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    1. Well in Hawaii there is no 2 day shipping but yes it is definitely a great benefit of US living:)

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  2. I would say Washington state and Colorado. They both have completely legal marijuana and they both experience nippy winters with not too much snow. I'm from Seattle and it's a great place to live. A very open, liberal community with a good focus on education and lots of job opportunities. The city is also surrounded by nature: mountains, rivers, skiing, boating etc. so there's a lot of things to do. Wish you the best of luck!

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  3. Ooh, tough. A lot of the states that are liberty minded are not near the ocean or have 4 distinct seasons instead of a mild climate. Perhaps west coast states, maybe NC, CO?

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    1. NC is a contender as is Oregon and Washington! We'll see though, so darn hard to decide. CO is just too cold and no ocean:)

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  4. I would have to agree with Richelle on Washington or Colorado. I'm guessing more Washington since Colorado is much snowier.

    Can't wait to hear the answer. My wife and I are having very similar thoughts although Hawai'i is our #1 choice since my wife is Taiwanese and the culture/climate are similar for her.

    I'm not a fan of liberal or conservative because as a libertarian-anarchist, all that means is someone telling your what to do with your money or your life at the point of a gun.

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    1. I can see that, Hawaii is amazing but I just feel so trapped by living on an island and the cost of living is pretty high especially if you want to really live the Hawaii life:) I think we are leaning towards Washington or Oregon, mild, by the ocean, and fairly liberty minded although no place is perfect for that it seems:(

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  5. All through reading this, and reading the comments, I kept thinking of Oregon. The problem is, the more rural you are, the more conservative the folks... I spent a number of hours daydreaming and researching just the other day. Looked at cities and towns along the coast (expensive) and inland, but close to the coast (redneck)... very frustrating exercise. But Mary: you will figure it out, because you are a gifted problem solver!!

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    1. I must admit Oregon is the front runner especially since they just legalized:) We will need to find the balance that is for sure. We'll work it out but most likely when on the ground there so as to get a real feeling. We thought this town would be perfect, and it is on paper, but getting here we quickly realized it was not really:)

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