I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it is their dream to live on a farm and grow their own vegetables. I may be ‘living the dream’ but it was never my dream. I sort of just fell into this life.
I had no contact with animals, I disliked birds, I wanted the concrete jungle. My first camping and trekking experience came at the age of 20 when I traveled to Chile and Argentina.
I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney. I had no interest in the environment, the outdoors, or gardening. My parents have a large garden, grow quite a few different things and spend a lot of time looking after and maintaining it, but I never step foot outside to help. I had an irrational fear of wasps (and other bugs) that prevented me from enjoying the outdoor oasis they created.
At 23, before moving to Berlin, I went to Hobart (population of under 250 000) and thought “I would never be able to live in such a small place”. I dreamed of the hustle and bustle of big city living.
Traveling South East Asia for a year changed me a lot. I lost my Australian naivety and happy go lucky attitude and began to see the world with open eyes. Coming back from our trip and visiting my sister in Bremen, a place I had previously deemed boring and quiet, I began to see the positive qualities of smaller city living.
The idea to grow vegetables was something that organically grew from owning a house with the possibility to do so. We didn’t purposely go out and look for a place in order to do it. Growing our own things led to an interest in living more sustainably, making more homemade products and trying to reduce our waste.
I still really enjoy Berlin because I don’t have to deal with the daily grind that full time city living brings. When I need fresh air and greenery, I leave. I meet who I want and do what I want. I enjoy going to the cinema and bars. I like that I can get anywhere I want easily and whatever I need is in walking distance. I can live independently. I still want city life.
Though sometimes I think I’d be able to pack it all in for just a couple of donkeys. I see that as time goes by, I can go for longer periods of time without thinking or missing the city. Right now, Berlin allows Artur and I to have some healthy time off from each other, full time farm life makes that harder.