Polar Opposites

Some people seem to have very little difficulty making decision, even big ones.

Hubby and I use to be those people, but it seems that those days are over.  The decisions we make now, especially the big ones, take a lot of thought and consideration.  If something in our life changes, we have to re-address our decision and make sure it’s the right choice for us.

Recently, something has happened that has caused us to once again re-evaluate our homesteading decision  Not because we don’t want to homestead.  Not because we think homesteading is a bad idea – to the contrary.  We’ve had to re-address due to health issues and in re-addressing the homestead, we’ve begun to re-address another topic that we put to sleep some time ago.  The thing is, these two topics seem to be the polar opposite of each other, so it may not make sense, but let me explain.

A few years ago, hubby began experiencing low back pain.  Not just the back pain one might get from a hard day of work, but severe back pain.  The kind of pain that made it extremely painful to sit and impossible to stand.  The kind of pain that landed him in the hospital for 2-3 days on strong pain killers.  Eventually a physical therapist came in to work with him on stretching and strengthening his back, then he was sent home.

Unfortunately, his back put him in the hospital 1 or 2 more times after that and a couple of times he has been bedridden at home to try to avoid another trip to the hospital.

As we have made plans for our homestead, hubby’s back problems have been kept in the front of our minds.  In an effort to improve his back, he has been making changes.  Then a couple of weeks ago hubby was doing some work around the house and since that time he has been suffering more back pain.  By last Friday the pain was getting pretty severe.  He was using a cane to get around and trying to rest it as much as possible.  Saturday was worse so I cancelled my plans for that evening as he was unable to lift FS2.

Hubby’s back problems could not be ignored and I suggested that we rethink our homesteading plans.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done daily on a homestead and if his back was unable to handle the work required around our house, we certainly couldn’t pretend it would be fine doing all the physical labor farm work requires.

And it’s not just hubby.  I’ve been going to physical therapy for months because of my knees (arthritis) and hand (tendonitis).  My problems aren’t as limiting, but there is no way to predict the future.

Where is that crystal ball when you need it?

Without the crystal ball, we needed to re-evaluate.

Does it make sense to pack up and move to a home in the country or does it make more sense to stay put?  We have our garden here, but we can’t have animals.  At this point,  other than chickens, we aren’t sure what animals may be in our future now.  We have to determine if the time and expense of buying a home, selling a home, and moving will be more beneficial than staying where we are, especially if the only animals we will be raising are chickens.

As hubby and I discussed our options, we began discussing another option for our family.  It was an option we had put to rest some time ago, because it just wasn’t in line with the homesteading lifestyle we were planning.  For a matter-of-fact, in many ways it is the polar opposite of homesteading.  However, it’s something we had considered long before we decided to homestead.  It was something we considered before we adopted the girls.  It was something we considered again after the girls came home.  It was something we considered after I began homeschooling the girls.  When we set our sights on homesteading, we let the other option die.

In our decision to homestead, we knew we would be giving up or at least greatly reducing the amount of time we would travel.  We enjoy traveling, especially me!  I love seeing new places!  I love going to visit friends and family!  I love the educational opportunities that travel provides!  I enjoy meeting new people and seeing how differently, yet how much alike we all are!

Unless you have someone who can care for the homestead while you’re gone, travel time is limited or obsolete.  Even if you have someone who can care for the homestead while you’re gone, travel time is still limited.  We discussed the fact that our days of travel may end with the homestead lifestyle we wanted to live and it was a sacrifice we were willing to make.  But with the homestead plans now in jeopardy, we began to again discuss the option of travel in our future.  Specifically, RV travel.

Homesteading + RVing = Polar Opposites!

Okay maybe not polar opposites.  After all, homesteading would allow us to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors and RVing certainly allows us to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors.  RVing just gives us an opportunity to spent that time enjoying nature in places other than our own back yard.

Both would provide us plenty of learning opportunities.

Homesteading would allow us to raise our own food.  RVing would allow us to spend time at lakes catching fish for dinner.  Not a great comparison there 🙂

The fact is, I’ve always looked at these two things very differently.  Homesteading being the right way to live and RVing being the wrong way to live.  But after a lot of discussion with hubby over the weekend, I came to the realization that life if meant to be lived.  For a matter-of-fact I said to hubby, “Life is meant to be lived”.  One isn’t better or worse than the other.  They are just different ways of living and enjoying life.  If hubby’s back won’t allow us to live the homestead lifestyle as we planned, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy our life another way.  We can still garden here and raise a lot of our own food.  Sadly, we can’t raise meat 😦 but the food we raise can go on the road with us and we can fish lakes and hit farmer’s markets along the way for meat and eggs.

As we considered RVing after I started homeschooling the girls, one thing that truly excited me was all the educational opportunities we could create on the road.  Loading up the RV and heading to places we had just studied in books.

Learning about Mt. Rushmore and then going to see it.

Studying the Civil War while traveling in the RV then stopping at Fort Sumter National Monument

Manassas National Battlefield Park


or many other sites to help then better understand the Civil War.

We could study the history of the U.S. while traveling up and down the east coast visiting many historical sites.

Studying a specific state and then going to visit that state.

Learning Native American history then finding ourselves at the Aztec Ruins in New Mexico

or Mesa Verde National Park

Doing a science lesson on the ocean and then camping on the beach to discover all we can about the ocean, sea life, and sand.

Along the way they would learn history, geography and science.  They would exercise their math skills as we talk about how many miles or how much time it takes to get from place to place.  They would improve their reading skills thru their studies in the RV and at each site we visit along the way.  The opportunities to learn in this environment are immense!

While homesteading and RVing may seem to be polar opposites, there are good things to be found in both.  I’m sad to think that our homesteading dream may be coming to an end.  I’m excited to once again explore the possibilities of RV travel.  Until then, we’ll see where life takes us and if we’re lucky, we may just be able to experience both of these dreams one day.




  1. That is quite a change of plans. That being said, wow. What amazing adventures might await you! I would love to do that (RV the country). I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

  2. Yes, a big change of plans, but sometimes life throws you lemons so you have to make lemonade 🙂 Maybe an RV is our glass of lemonade.

    Two things I do know for certain is that life is unpredictable so we have to make the best of if and enjoy the life we have.

  3. I’d LOVE to own an RV and travel all around the US – Jim and I have discussed it, too! Unfortunately, with age, comes limits on our bodies! I, too, have chronic back issues! It really irritates me to have to slow down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • If we get an RV and you get an RV, we can travel the U.S. together 🙂 I figure if the RV life works for retirees, then our bodies can certainly withstand some RV travel.

  4. We love traveling too and have always joked about getting an RV and living in it while traveling to various Celtic Festivals across the country. We could build a chicken coop/goat pen on a trailer and attach it to the RV. I watched the movie, “RV’ with Robin Williams and fell in even more love with the idea! Maybe an RV trip traveling across country visiting homesteads! You can head back here! What a wonderful idea.

    • We’ve done a fair amount of travel since he’s had back problems, spending hours in the car. It hasn’t been a problem and RV travel would be more comfortable than car travel 🙂

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