You may be surprised to know I’m from a little cow town in south Florida. In our hometown there are rodeo’s that shut the town down, horses in the backyard, barns everywhere you look, goats running wild in the neighbors yard, ranches, parades for every reason imaginable and lots of land. I graduated with 300 students all of which I’m sure I knew by name or my mom knew their mom. I never fully embraced our town and knew the Orlando area was home when the husband and I moved here over 7 years ago. High school sweethearts. As an adult, and more so as a Mother, I wish I would have soaked up all the wonderful things our hometown offered when I was young, specifically the scenery and animals. Regardless of what I appreciated or didn’t, our hometown is such a fun place to bring our boys back to. They can ride 4-wheeler’s at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, work in the barn… you know, boy stuff. Our hometown isn’t where we see us raising a family so for now we shall stay put in central Florida but an unplugged vaca in our hometown was the perfect way to wrap up summer.
The boys spent time with my parents, my mom in love and then got some one on one time with their Aunt Heather and her better half. We’ve been talking about staying with Aunt H for awhile and I can’t wait to do it again! Let me fill you in… Aunt H lives on the most amazing property ever, a hunting preserve. She actually lives in a remodeled adorable horse barn, above the horses. Her home is seriously the ideal place to unplug with your family.
We swam, we walked over to get fresh eggs from the chickens (which were delicious for breakfast), we rode around property, we fed horses, we played t-ball with the dogs, we rode horses and so much more. This type of stuff is common for our families but living just outside of a large city this isn’t our normal routine. Doing all of this unplugged is where it’s at. With summer ending we knew things were going to start happening quickly with holidays and special events (a fall birthday, a fall anniversary and winter birthdays in our home) so we wanted to wrap up summer with a bow. Girl, we wrapped summer up in the pretties bow you ever did see!
I brought my fancy camera (aka DSLR) to snap photos otherwise I only answered important texts and phone calls- zero social media! My job requires me to be by my phone and social media daily and multiple times a day so when we had the opportunity to shut it down I was bout it bout it. The husband loooooves social media free days and would prefer this lifestyle I think.
So what happened when I unplugged? I felt a sense of relief, I felt a bit less stressed and I paid attention to my children and family the way they deserve to be paid attention to. I truly soaked up the moments, experiences and environment. I didn’t miss social media but I truly love what I do so I would say if I went unplugged for longer than a long weekend I would miss it in that manner. Being around nature and what it provides us gave me a desire to want this for my kids. I’m not saying we’re packing up and moving to the farm lands but I do want to have more property, goats and chickens… this isn’t something new but the desire is now in hyper drive. We live outside of the main city of Orlando and do have a decent amount of property for being in Orlando but it’s not enough property for goats and chickens. I’m often trying to get my husband on board to let it happen regardless of space but HOA wouldn’t agree that having goats mow the yard and chickens feed us are must haves.
So here’s what I’m saying
- Soak up unplugged time as often as you can
- Snap photos with your fancy pants camera or iphone but shut down everything else
- Give attention to loved ones, I mean for real one on one attention
- Soak up your surroundings in every way even if your unplugged surroundings are in the middle of a massive city
- Make time to be thankful and humble about your life, unplugged time gives you this opportunity
- Visit the towns you might not have loved as a kid, they might surprise you now
- Do something new; ride a horse, take the train even though it will take longer to get there doing so and show your kids how to live in the moment with no other worries
I hope to make this unplugged hometown long weekend vaca with Aunt H an end of summer tradition. Seeing my son light up and ask to visit the animals right outside the window is a joyful experience. If you didn’t know south Florida is rich with land, animals and ranchers now you do. wink