An Unlikely Vacation Destination

Posted: March 16, 2012 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives

As I boarded my flight down to the Sunshine State for spring break I couldn’t help but overhear the woman sitting next to me: “My new vacation obsession is farm stays,” she said to a friend.

Wait what? I had to pursue this.

We all know spring break means the annual exodus of college students headed for coasts and tropical islands. Even as I write this, I am sitting poolside in Florida. Yet while the majority of us, myself included, have been brainwashed into thinking that the only acceptable getaway is near a body of water, there is a new movement determined to restore vacations to what they were originally supposed to be: a break from obligations.

Farm Stays U.S. is an organization devoted to arranging home-stays for families and groups that just want to get away from it all. The slogan explains it best: “Take a farm vacation, where work is optional, but the experience of farm life is not.”

Let’s be honest. This probably enticed you as much as it enticed me – which isn’t much. But as I continued to peruse the website, I started to see the draw.

This was about connecting to nature and a simpler life. This was about going somewhere you couldn’t check into Foursquare or be sneezing distance from a Starbucks. This was about wandering fields and exploring. And most of all this was about connecting with other people – because you finally had the time.

Sure milking a cow, picking strawberries and having no cell service seem quaint to some and hellish to others. But one thing was clear – Farm Stays are addictive because they are the ultimate escape. A resort in the Caribbean, while remote, is not truly relaxing. There is still WiFi. You have no good excuse for never returning those emails or not playing your buddy back in Scramble With Friends. Ironically, an island you reached by plane, is more connected (and stressful) than a Farm Stay just an hour’s drive away.

Now I’m intrigued.

-Nina Keehan


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