One of the side effects of having a farm and only one income is that we travel way less than we did when we had two incomes and zero farms. This is to be expected - and here's the part where the 26 year-old version of me gets skeptical - I don't mind it. I actually rather dig it.
For the first few years of farm ownership (when we had two incomes but were working on our plan to give up one of them), this bothered me a bit and I grudgingly thought about how we used to travel and how we weren't doing that anymore. Consider:
We spent my 29th birthday in St. John snorkeling, drinking rum, and enjoying a tropical paradise even as a plethora of spring break hooligans invaded the campground, including a young gentleman who chose to make monkey noises whenever he laughed. Very loud monkey noises all through the night.
We spent my 30th birthday in New Zealand being amazed at volcanoes, glaciers and wine. In between those birthdays we were fortunate to take two additional short vacations (Vegas and Iceland) and visit with our families in NY. Plus, we lived in DC at the time, so every day held opportunities for local tourism. Except for eating fabulous food, my most fond emotional attachment to living in DC was having the responsibility-free lifestyle and ability to travel to new places.
After my 30th birthday, we took our life in a different direction, and a year later I was shoveling poop out of a barn in Indiana. I don't know if I realized at the time that the barn would eventually hold turkeys...or that I would find turkeys to be a giant pain in the butt...or that I would ever utter the sentence I whispered to Bill earlier this week.
Are you ready?
Bill left work early one day and stopped at the cheese store, a beer store and a cupcakery and brought home these delights.
We spent the evening eating, playing games, and tending to the animals. As we walked out in the twilight to put the farm to bed for the evening, I told Bill I had a delightful evening and it felt like a vacation - just the simple joy in having a couple of extra hours together and sharing food that we don't have often, made the whole day feel special. Also, I was really, really pleased that we could have a vacation where I dressed in pajama pants for dinner and didn't need to interact with TSA.
I realized that I didn't miss the opportunities to travel at all. (That's not to say that I wouldn't take a free trip to Rome if anyone out there wants to offer...)
I think it takes practice and mindfulness to find honest joy and contentment in the really simple things, and to be pleased with where you are and not just where you wish you were. I am so very, very fortunate to know many people who have cultivated this sort of outlook and I thank them for their influence on me (surround yourself with happy people!).
It may look like it was just a few hunks of cheese and some cupcakes, but really, it was a revelation.