|The homestead: our acre and a half|
I grew up on the edge of a village, where it melted into open country, and delighted in free ranging. The love of freedom and open spaces entered deep into the core of me and nestled there through the years of city living, first studying and then working as a research biologist. It remained, not quite dormant, but torpid, as I met and merged lives with Sonja and we travelled and lived in various cities, following 'the career path'.
That powerful desire to be free and living in the midst of Nature, under the open sky, could not be suppressed forever. In fact, it took less than ten years for us to break out and run away to sea for a time. We had travelled a lot in between times, within the constraints of working life, but this was different. This was when we committed ourselves to stepping off the career path, knowing that our new route would not intersect with it again.
During two years away at sea on a small sail boat, roaming one of the Earth's last true wildernesses, another astonishing thing happened. We both, simultaneously, realised that it was time to settle down. Each time we moved on again, after starting to get to know new people in a new place, was more of a wrench than the last. The revelation hit me that maybe I'd seen enough new places and that going on adding more wouldn't add anything significant to my experience of life. It was time to create something tangible.
We knew that returning to city life was not a realistic option, so we started looking for our retreat, our next and biggest project, our dream home, our new life.