When we started our homesteading life, flexibility was a huge perk we were looking forward to. However, the last few years we had less flexibility since our mission was starting our homestead up from scratch. Our infrastructure and systems are in place now (for the most part) and we knew it was time to do the next thing in the master plan, travel more! While we can’t travel in spring, summer or fall due to our commitments of growing our own food on the homestead, we knew it was time to start utilizing the flexibility we have in winter to travel. I love traveling, seeing new things, experiencing new cultures and expanding my mind through experiences. As a homeschooling family, I also saw the opportunity for the kids to learn on the road, through experiences, rather than at the kitchen table in a book. Several months ago I start planning a winter trip, the timing worked well, having it take place just before we start our seeds indoor (always planning ahead!). A few winters ago Woodland said he wanted to see the desert, so that was our destination! It was quite the road trip! Some things I tallied from our travels:
2 adults, 2 kids, 1 dog
84 word search puzzles
5,000 miles driven, approximately
7 meals out
41 meals packed/prepared (this is no easy feat while traveling with family!)
1 epic hot air balloon ride
8 National Park properties
4 lizards, 10+ new to us birds
4 overnights in hotels
0 sightings of Michigan License Plates (c’mon MI, represent!)
Countless new things learned and opportunities had!
We learned so much along the way, and we even learned about homesteading – gathering knowledge about indigenous farming through the last thousands of years in the desert and ranch life from the 1800’s.
Here are some photo highlights from our travels:
On our travels we saw expansive open spaces, tall and seemingly never-ending mountains, and captured knowledge about millions of years of history. While daily life can feel big and overwhelming, through our observations I recognized how small we are in the entire scope of things. It makes daily challenges seem much more manageable, as we are just a speck in the expanse and history of time.
Yet, while we were out and about, so many things remind me of home. Yup, even in the desert! Common plant families – like mallow, hiking over sandstone and basalt rocks – such as those of the Keweenaw, copper mining – albeit a very different style than the Keweenaw region; so much of what we experienced ended with “hey, that’s similar to at home!”. While it was great to be out and about, expanding our minds and having new experiences, arriving home was a welcome part of our trip. Our homestead is where we feel the strongest sense of belonging. Man is it good to have a place to belong.
P.S. There was a lot more snow when we got home! We are so grateful for our neighbors who took care of our animals and homestead while we were adventuring. We have an amazing community who looks after each other.
Wishing you peace, love and time in nature,