La Rioja, Argentina — I’m living on a farm in the middle of nowhere. The nearest town with people (and Internet access) is 187 miles away.
I have been interested in Homesteading for several years now. It all started with a book that changed how I thought about work, time and money. The premise is simple: if you don’t need a lot of money (i.e.an expensive lifestyle), then you don’t need to make a lot of money, and you can spend more time doing things you want to do.
So for the next 3 weeks, I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m living on a farm. The family that owns the farm has lived in La Rioja for over 18 years and they built everything from the ground up, including 2 houses, the plumbing system and solar panels for electricity. It’s modern and well-designed. While I’m here, I will be helping with chores; gardening, building stuff, feeding animals, whatever they need. In return, I’ll learn about managing a family farm and improve my Spanish (they don’t speak English). It’s basically a masterclass in innovation and sustainable living.
On one hand, it’s glorious (because I’m an introvert from NYC, so I know the value of quiet spaces). On the other hand, it’s a little terrifying because I have an overly active imagination, I’m a bit paranoid and low-key afraid of the dark.
In addition to learning Spanish, I’m helping them with their English. Just the other night, we gathered around the dinner table to play a trivia game on their iPad. While the words were in Spanish, the topics were international. There were questions about celebrities, religion, history, movies, popular culture…everything. Well, a question popped up on the screen and I laughed out loud. My Spanish vocabulary is the equivalent of a three-year-old’s, mind you but I knew what the question was about. They all looked at me a bit puzzled, waiting for me to explain myself. But I didn’t have the heart to tell them what ‘twerking’ was. Not yet.