Since we are building a homestead, one might think we are homebodies in a way.  I guess that could be true, since in a perfect world we could focus solely on creating this little mini-farm oasis that we dream about and work toward.  Still, there is a part of me that craves variety.  I have stated before that I grew up in a pastor’s home.  As part of our family habits, we spent much of our summers traveling.  My father would preach in other churches, we would have a family trip, and there were several church camps we all attended.  Maybe that is where my love to travel originated.  Our family is spread from Louisiana to Michigan and more, so even a simple trip to visit family during the holidays inspired the love of all things new and varied.  Holiday traditions in our family could be playing in the snow after a hearty meal of German rouladin and potatoes or it could be a hog roast over a fire pit.  It has always intrigued me just how different places can be, even within the same country.  The vibe in the deep South is completely different than that in the North, and the atmosphere of more Western states varies yet again.  I love it all.

               One of my favorite trips I remember was a drive up the East coast all the way to Maine, with several stops along the way.  One of my favorite states to visit has been Rhode Island, which is a fact that I find more than a little ironic given my choice of lifestyle filled with wide open spaces, nature, and animals.  The two atmospheres could not be more different, yet they both are beautiful and inspiring.  The history of the Northeast, with its cathedrals and monuments, is alluring to the reader’s soul in me.  There is something to be said about seeing firsthand things that you have studied; the experience enriches the book knowledge. When Bret and I were married (almost fourteen years ago), we honeymooned in Arizona.  We stayed in Sedona and visited the Grand Canyon.  The drive from Sedona to Flagstaff was magnificent, and all in all this trip is the top three of my favorites, maybe even with top billing.  I hold the hope of going again with my family so that my children can see the places they have heard me talk about all their lives.

               One of my life intentions is to see every state and every continent at some point in my life, and when we were searching for our forever home, I tried to get Bret on board with the RV life trend.  I would love nothing more than to take a year and roam this vast and beautiful nation of ours, but Bret needs roots.  He is my stability in so many ways.  One of our dear friends described us well when he said that it takes me to get the projects started and Bret to get them finished.  In this way, we balance each other well.  I struggle with self-described squirrel brain, where I am easily distracted by the newest shiny object – typically a project that seems artistic and expressive.  The trouble is I often underestimate the mechanics of how it should work.  My solutions sometimes work, but they are typically complicated and cumbersome.  Enter Bret, the king of practicality.  While I jump in and just start doing something, he stands back forever analyzing all the things.  Most often, though, he steps in with a simple, straightforward solution that works well.  His need for the practical and methodical helped us dodge a bullet with my zeal for travel, since we would have embarked on a cross-country road trip just as the nation was essentially shutting down.  Not much fun for the tourist when nothing is available to tour!

               After over a decade together, I have embraced the value that routines and systems bring to daily life.  Bret has opened his mind to trying new things, and we have found our balance.  Even while we grow roots and build our homestead, part of me longs for beaches and mountains and deserts and sunshine.  I would not trade what we are building for anything, but I want to create systems that give us freedom to roam.  The world is so much bigger than what we see here and now, and it is just begging to be explored.  At least, that is what my soul tells me.

Bethany

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