When I am having a tough day or an extremely busy week I often look for an outlet. For some it’s working out, for others it’s cooking or baking; but for me the answer has always been my animals. I spent the majority of my childhood and most of my young adult life planning to be a veterinarian. I worked at 5 different veterinary clinics over 10 years; watching, learning, and hoping that one day I would become Dr. Chelsea. I was fortunate to achieve good grades all through high school and was accepted into what was called the VetFAST program at the University of Minnesota. This program was created to fast track qualified students into becoming veterinarians to support the supply and demand gap in the Midwest. At the risk of becoming long winded I will just say that the universe had different plans for me, and after a while, I decided to set aside all of that planning and preparation to make way for something else that I loved. Yellowstone National Park.
Growing up I was fortunate enough to be able to take a family vacation to Yellowstone each summer. As a born and raised Midwest girl, I quickly fell in love with the mountains, rivers, and abundant wildlife that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem offered; to me they were unlike anything I’d seen before. Yellowstone was the place where my love for the outdoors and my passion for animals collided. “You mean there’s actually a place where you can hike, camp, AND see hundreds of different species of animals all within a few miles?” YES. yes there is; and it’s glorious. After spending most of my life in suburbia, and all of college in downtown Minneapolis, I was ready for some wide open spaces.
Have you ever climbed to the top of a mountain with no other living soul in sight for miles and just looked around? If you haven’t, take it from me; there is no better reminder how great and vast this world is; and as a result, how small us and our day to day problems are.
So, what does any of this have to do with starting a hobby farm?
Choosing to move to Montana was one of the most difficult decisions I ever made. I left behind all of my family and friends in the Midwest to chase a dream. There were days where I felt like it was the best decision of my life and there were days where I almost packed up all my belongings and ran back “home”. What I slowly started to learn about myself through that emotional rollercoaster was that no matter what was going on with me internally, my animals were always my rock.
Even when you are having a tough day, your cat needs fed and your dog needs taken for a walk. No matter how upset you might be, your dog is still going to want to lick your face and your cat is going to want to sleep on your head. For some people this may sound like a burden, but for me it was the anchor that held me down when my emotions began to run away. This is when I started to realize that whatever the universe had planned for me, it needed to involve animals, and lots of them!
Fast forward; last year, my fiance and I purchased our dream property on 20 acres just 24 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. Wildlife is abundant here; there are mountains out our bedroom window and off our front porch; we are working every day towards making it the hobby farm and animal oasis of our dreams. In starting this blog I am hoping to share our adventures and lessons with you. If life has taught me anything so far, I know there will be many ups and downs, but you can always bet that when you pull up in our drive, whether you’re happy or sad, there will be an animal that wants to lick your face, sit on your lap, or chew on your hair; and for that I will always be grateful.