We have to get down to the real, deep dirt about farm life. The stuff that doesn’t come across in stories about befriending donkeys and battling rams gone rogue.
Along with the peace and quiet that comes along with farm life is, well, a whole lot of peace and quiet — by yourself.
While I have found a sense of belonging and family at the farm, I have also spent a lot of time by myself. That sense of aloneness is something I actually crave and require. But sometimes, after stretches of alone time (and too many conversations with the sheep), it can feel as though something is missing.
I want to write about this because I want to be fully honest about my experience living the farm life, beyond what people see from Instagram photos of cute lambs and farm dogs.
Thing is, when you really want to pursue a dream — especially when it involves a significant change to your lifestyle — there will be things that you have to sacrifice in return.
Want a life with kids? Sacrifice some (or a whole lot of) independence and “you” time. Want to buy your dream home and settle down? Sacrifice the ability to pick up and move around wherever you want, when you want.
Want to pick up whenever you want, and freely travel the world like a nomad? Sacrifice time with family and your closest friends back home, and possibly sacrifice that feeling of having a “home.”
Since moving to the farm, I gained what I knew would make me happier in my everyday life: being immersed in nature. But having lived in the city my whole life, moving away from that also meant losing the ability to see my family and many of my friends more often.
As I plan for more adventures even further away from home (I’ll be leaving the province this summer, and the country next winter!), I can already feel a sense of homesickness creep in and out of my stomach.
So, why do it, then? you ask.
I do it because I know that when I do visit the city, I find myself dying to go back to the farm after a couple of days. And that once the concrete highways disappear and open farmland comes into view, the spirit inside me lifts and my full energy is restored.
I do it because I’ve had the intense need to immerse myself in other cultures and parts of the world since I was a teenager, and it’s only now that I have the courage and freedom to actually act on it.
I do it because what I want most in life right now — even more than company — is to grow as an individual, and to learn how to trust myself in making honest decisions for myself.
I don’t think any situation is going to be perfect. And seven months into this new life path, I’m still learning about what I want, and don’t want — what I’m willing to not compromise on, and what I’m willing to trade off, at least for now.