Before we settled down on the acreage with the chickens and goats, Hubby and I traveled. We backpacked, separately before we met, then together, and tried out an all-inclusive once, too. Between us, we’ve been to over a dozen countries on four continents. We both love checking out other climates and cultures, preferably for at least a few weeks at a stretch.
About a year after settling the goats and chickens in, it hit us: we were stuck. My sister was planning a wedding, and we had no idea if we were going to be able to go. We couldn’t just leave the critters for a two weeks while we traveled to her destination wedding, but we didn’t feel we could ask any of our neighbors to watch them, as the average age around here is approximately 75, and we haul water from the house to the barn twice a day. Uh-oh.
We eventually found a paid farm sitter who was willing to come out to our place…for a price. A high price. A very high price. In fact, our farm sitting cost almost as much as the rest of that trip put together, and the sitter was not as reliable as we would have liked…up to and including ignoring some of our instructions! It was not at all a viable option over the long term. So we have been limited to day trips or, at most, overnighters for quite a while – a couple of years, now – which really sucks for a couple of wannabe globe trotters.
I would guess that is why the majority of people who get into hobby goats get out again – in about three years, if the stats are to be believed.
Not us, though. We’ve found a stellar farm sitter (two of them, actually), who live relatively close, are physically able to take care of the critters, and who are trustworthy and reliable. We’ve had them watch the place for a couple of days here and there, but we recently went away on a vacation for a couple of weeks, and left them in charge. They dealt with unexpected inclement weather and a mass goat escape, and kept their good humour through it all…and the place was in great shape when we got home. What a relief to know that we can schedule a holiday, or even go to a wedding or a funeral in another province, without having to worry about how to get the goats fed and watered while we’re away!
We have our freedom back now. I’ve signed us up for a couple of last-minute travel discount websites, since we all have our passports, and our super-fab farm sitters are willing to come by on short notice. Yay for us! I just can’t emphasize enough how much freedom we suddenly have, or what a relief it is. If you (like us) love to travel, make sure you have a realistic plan for how you’re going to take care of your critters when emergencies come up, or when the travel bug bites – it’ll save you a lot of money and heartache, and help you keep your sanity while you work on your homesteading dreams.
(We went to Hawaii. Took the kids and Hubby’s parents. Had a great time. Would love to share some pictures, but WordPress is having a bad day, so perhaps in another post…)