Kevin B Ebert
We Bought a Farm
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
I'm starting a new tag on the blog, the #FarmLife category will highlight those posts of the new chapter in our lives where my wife and I moved out of the suburbs and into the country where we now live on a 20 acre hobby farm.
Why in the hell did we do that?
It's an interesting story. Over the last year, my wife and I have been talking a lot about what's next in our lives. We've discussed downsizing our home, to living on a beach, and everything in between. The plan we were leaning into was to sell our house in Franklin, TN and buy a condo in Downtown Nashville and another condo on the beach in Florida. We figured, that when we retired, this is the lifestyle we'd want to live.
But, being the pragmatist that I am, I wasn't convinced that such a radical downsizing in our home would be manageable nor living in a high rise, after all, we have 3 dogs and having a back yard for them is nice. So, instead of leaping into the realm of condo ownership, my wife set out on a pilgrimage to experience condo and beach life over a few month span and provide a readout on the results.
In the age of AirBNB and VRBO, finding rental for a month anywhere is easy and that's exactly what we did. We started out with a condo in San Destin FL, in a high rise on the beach and she took off without hesitation. It wasn't long before she realized though that living in a high rise condo on the beach was not for us. The problem was, most of the condos are used as rentals during peak season and as a result, the building was full of transient guests. This was definitely not our cup of tea and we looked for other options.
We turned our sites on a vacation rental along the famed 30A highway in Florida. This was nicer, but the problem was, it wasn't right on the beach and you had to walk about half a mile to get there. Also, while the beach house was nice, we couldn't help but feel that we were still living in the suburbs, only hotter, getting sand in our shorts, and we had no view of the water. So, living along 30A just off the beach was a no go. As an aside, we wouldn't be able to afford a home right on the beach and that's why we rented a few blocks off the beach.
Not giving up on the beach life ideal, we then tried a condo along a golf course back in San Destin. The condo was located along the bay side of the island and had a completely different vibe than the beach side. It almost did the trick for us, but what my wife found, was that living in a condo along a golf course means lots of golf balls pelting your home. I was really pulling for this lifestyle because of my love of golf. As it turns out, by this time, we were growing weary of the beach life because we kept getting sand in our shorts and it was hot (by now it was the end of June) and everywhere we went, there were people. A lot of people.
We needed to try something radically different. Since we've been in TN, we've taken a few trips to Ashville NC and visited the Biltmore estate. We absolutely love the town and the surround mountains. And with that knowledge, we decided to rent a place in the mountains as the next adventure. I took to Google maps and looked for mountain areas within a day's drive of San Destin FL and came up with Blue Ridge in northern Georgia. So, I drove down to Florida, helped load up her car and we headed to the mountains.
The cabin we found was the last cabin 2 miles down a gravel road. My wife was there for a month and during her time there, she only saw 3 other people when she hiked down to a local store. I ended up spending the 4th of July week with her and we were in heaven. We found our happy place. The quiet seclusion of mountain life, having trees as neighbors is what we wanted and we fell madly in love.
We started poking around and toying with the idea of buying a mountain cabin and purchasing a condo in Nashville as a home base. But, the more we thought about it, what we realized we loved the most about the mountain life, was the seclusion. Our introvert selves were in utopia not being surround by people and non-stop energy.
With this revelation, we thought hard about and it and realized that maybe having multiple homes, one in the city, and one in the mountains isn't the greatest of ideas for us. The more we thought about it, the more we realized we are not meant to live in a high rise or a condo and be around people. What we loved the most about the mountain life, wasn't necessarily the mountain life itself, but the privacy we got from it. With this new knowledge in hand, I started asking, what if we could find a place in the Nashville area that gives us seclusion and privacy and trees for neighbors. What if we moved out of the suburbs and into the country?
And before we know it, we found 20 acres in Culleoka, just south of Columbia that checks all the boxes for what we were looking for. And to boot, we decided to not only have trees for neighbors, but we decided to invest our lives into building a hobby farm. You know, a small farm with goats and chickens, all of which will have names and not used for food. It's something different but something that has appeal to us and we can't wait to see where this journey leads us and what adventures we'll find on the farm.