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?|
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!