Over the past 20 years Sarah and I have both been part of corporate America. Sarah as an HR Professional and me in sales. We have played “the game” and achieved what many would consider a great deal of success. We both have fairly high paying jobs, drive nice vehicles and have a nice house in Gilbert, AZ which is one of the most affluent suburbs in the Phoenix area.
All that being said, there is one thing we did not achieve in those high paying jobs….happiness.
A few years ago, Sarah and I bought an old “horse property” in Gilbert. Around here properties with more than an acre are called horse property . The house was in very bad shape and the yard was almost unusable due to overgrown weeds, trees and skeletons of old buildings. Our realtor recommended we bull doze the house and start over. No way! We loved it! We also loved all the hard work we had to put into making it livable and more importantly productive. It took time, but slowly we began to make improvements to the property. We started raising animals and learning how to process our own meat. We raised turkeys, chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats and pigs all for meat. We processed everything but the pigs ourselves. It was very rewarding and we were able to provide fresh, delicious meat for our family. We also discovered something else in this process. Happiness! We discovered that the thing we REALLY enjoy doing wasn’t HR work or sales. What we REALLY enjoyed was homesteading.
That set into motion a plan that most people knew nothing about. A plan to be debt free and be able to live a very simple life. We have never really had any debt other than our mortgage and car payments, but we wanted those things gone as well. We lived like we were poor for several years while continuing to make a good living. I am sure many people didn’t understand what we were doing and frankly we didn’t really tell anyone. We were just learning to live simply. We were able to pay off 2 cars, all of the improvements we made on the house, paid cash for a barn we had put on the property and paid down over 100k of our mortgage. That is when we decided to take things to the next level.
We made several friends along the way with similar interests in homesteading and “prepping”. I really hate that term because of the negative image it gets these days but when you have a basement full of canned goods and grain, I guess you are a prepper! Anyway, so many people we talked to would say, it would be so great to just move out to the middle of nowhere and be self sufficient. Then they would laugh because they knew that they would never do it and probably never could because of debt and other life circumstances. One day a light bulb went off for Sarah and I. We didn’t have any debt. At least not really. Our house had now over doubled in value and we owed very little on it anyway. We would be able to sell that house, buy a house in “the middle of nowhere” debt free and have plenty of money left over for a tractor, a couple years living expense while we built a new business plus money to have in the bank. It seemed to make perfect sense.
The question then was, where would we go? We knew we wanted somewhere where water was not an issue like it is in the Phoenix area. Somewhere that had all 4 seasons but not so much winter that we would regret leaving AZ. We did our research and found the Missouri Ozarks! We started looking at homes and found a great place that we fell in love with from the day we first saw it. It is a simple house with 3 out buildings and 15 acres of land. A lot more than we have in AZ but still manageable by the 2 of us and our daughters. SO…the journey is beginning…as I write this we now own the house in MO and our house in AZ has been on the market for 24 hours. We are hoping it sells fast so we can leave this life behind and start our life of happiness, hard work, family and most importantly giving thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for all he has done and shown us.