The mountains are calling!
We've all heard the phrase, but have you ever actually followed that voice in your head?
After two years of working on Teaquila Farm, I was feeling a strong calling to step away. It had been almost two years, did I already mention that? I love our life on Teaquila Farm and am always excited about projects, gardening, chicken tending, etc but I had to break up the routine, and travel fuels my brain like no other.
I pulled up Airbnb and starting searching.
Palm Springs? Too expensive.
Santa Barbara? Too close to home.
Idyllwild. Hmmmm, now this was an interesting destination.
I'd never been to Idyllwild and there's nothing like a trip to the mountains to fuel a yearning soul. To provide some additional context, I had a very specific agenda for stepping away -- to map out the next quarter / goals for Teaquila Farm and to publish this darn website!
Chad and I call this exercise an 'offsite.' Sometimes we do off-sites together and sometimes apart, but more on off-sites in a separate post.
Circling back to the title of this post brings me to my main point. I love my husband, and I know that's reciprocated but that doesn't mean we need to spend every waking moment together, nor is that necessarily healthy.
Here are the four benefits I've personally experienced from taking time apart.
Maybe. That could work both ways but I do think shaking up the routine and having something novel to talk about is really important. Today, Chad and I both work from home, we meet in the kitchen after work, go to the gym together, make dinner together, etc. Even though I've only been away for two days, I'm already excited to tell him all of the unnecessary details from my mountain trip that I'm sure he's chomping at the bit to hear.
2. Breaking Rigid Habits:
I can be a bit of a neat / control freak. Shocking, right? And when we cement the same routine and habits every single day, it can get a little rigid. An example is -- I now have a very specific routine with the chickens, so me stepping away invites Chad to do things his way and allows me to break a routine that really doesn't need to be that rigid. I mean, they're just chickens, man.
3. Strengthen Independence.
Do I wish Chad had driven us the 6 hours up the mountainside so I could kick back and enjoy the scenery? Yeah, for sure but there was this feeling of excitement when I got to the mountain pass. As I started driving up into the unknown elevation and around the narrow windy roads, my heart started pounding (in a good way!) It sounds silly but mostly I just drive back and forth to Target and there's nothing mentally stimulating about that.
This goes without saying but when we're together 24/7 it's easy to take one another for granted. We often dismiss each other or fail to listen deeply (guilty). I find that when I step away and come back, or vise versa, there's this renewed sense of appreciation and excitement to kick it with my better half again.
Here is a bonus benefit and one that surprised me.
5. Improved Sleep: I personally own a Whoop and use it to track my sleep habits. After waking up the first morning in Idyllwild, I had the highest Whoop score I've had in months, 97% recovered. I think it's that sense of letting go, not worrying about stuff, feeling relaxed and safe, all of those things contribute to healthy sleep. Pretty interesting stuff and worth the experiment. If you're interested in joining Whoop, you can check it out here.
Next time the mountains are calling, follow it. Listen to your brain or body trying to tell you something instead of just admiring the beautiful photos of everyone else on Instagram.
You might be surprised at the people you meet too. My airbnb hosts were RAD. I got to hold their chicken Luna, and honestly I was soaking up inspiration from all of the design elements in the space they call @casitaranchita.
You all know I'm a sucker for tile, right? Well Casitaranchita has four different kinds of tile / stone which immediately had my heart, alongside modern colors and textures, and on-point hardware. From the moment I set my suitcase down, I was sucked right into the space. I mean, when you see a stack of books that includes "The Alchemist" and "Rich Dad Poor Dad," you know these are your people.
Listen. I ate better at this airbnb than I usually do at home. Well, my meal was similar to what I typically prepare at home but I enjoyed my food more.
Why is that?!
Well I usually feel like cooking takes up so much time, and I'd rather be doing other things. At my airbnb, I wasn't distracted with doing laundry, organizing the fridge, watering my plants, etc. I was just...there.
So in case you are looking for an inspirational dish to cook at your next Airbnb offsite, here is the super easy dish I prepared that also lasted me three days.
Stacie's simple butternut squash / garlic lemon dish!
Keep Your Recipe Simple
Dice up squash, square apples, crush and slice fresh garlic, add oil of choice, pumpkin seeds and one fresh squeezed lemon, add salt and pepper, mix in the pain and cook at 400 for 25-30 minutes.
The next day for leftovers, to mix it up I created a salad:
So in summary, listen to your heart when it's calling. Pack a bag, a few fresh groceries, your favorite notebook and just GO!