Two years is the time window for me to make a choice of where to go. To remain local or not.
At that point, my child will move on, and shelter available to me now will no longer be available. A big pull for me to remain local is being in close proximity to aging as well as very young family in the region. My biggest impediment to staying local is finding a pet-free room to rent in a house or other rental that has never had a dog in the space. I can count on one finger the number of places I have encountered locally that fit this requirement. Time will tell.
Things I love about a rural area:
- No Starbucks or big chain grocery stores
- No Uber
- Independent bookstores
- Thrift stores that feed community food bank
- Big fish in little pond: People feel empowered to work to resolve community problems
- Local farm produce spills over to local grocery stores
- Trees, trees, trees
When I landed where I am 12 years ago following one of life’s royal clusters of unfortunate events ready to move into a one-bedroom apartment with young child, I was offered the generous gift of a stable place to raise my child in a spectacular, comfortable spot. That gift came with a lot of hours of hard work care-taking a large yard and inner space. Acknowledging tremendous gratitude for what was gifted me and formed the foundation of my child’s life, the piece I struggled with most was not having funds to provide maintenance in the way I would have liked.
I do not mind the hard work part of maintenance. Call it perfectionist angst, but each and every time I looked out the window I noticed all the work I could not do or needed to do and tortured myself with all the ways I daily failed. As mentioned ad nauseam, I have never owned a property or home and do not know how homeowners manage it all. One reason I dream of small and simple when it comes to living spaces.
Things like roses and even a veggie garden fell apart after a few years, because I was not able to afford a structure to protect them sufficiently from the multitude of critters in a rural town or to pay for truckloads of wood shavings and soil amendments to prevent massive weed/grass growth in landscaping.
I enjoy self-sufficiency and singledom and have many dreams of possible directions to go in two years, even though some of the dreams involve more money than I currently can envision mustering (like gathering all gear required to do the PCT while still supporting child for 2 years, for example). My guilty pleasure is watching videos people have posted about thru-hiking the PCT, so I have gathered a wide range of input about what it takes to realistically and safely embark on that adventure.
At least I have done enough distance hiking/walking to know one thing for certain about pretty much anything life:
The greater the risk, the greater the pain AND the greater the reward.