I never would have thought I would be the type of girl to live in the country… and enjoy it. Growing up, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always pictured myself working in a business in a downtown area, wearing a power suit, and holding a Starbucks latte. downtown-lauraAfter college, I went to go work for a fortune 500 company in the suburbs of Chicago, not quite what I had pictured in my dream. The corporate environment and its suburban surrounding was more stifling than it was inspiring. A couple years later I went to go work at a tech startup in downtown Chicago where I got to live my dream of living and working downtown.

A couple months into working at the startup, I met my soon to be boyfriend at a tech conference. I remember he looked at me like no other guy had ever looked at me. We started following each other on social media and I was like hmm… this guy is deep. He tweeted about technology, meditation/concsiousness, and the future. Stuff I’m into. A couple years later we moved in together and shortly after decided to quit our jobs and work on a laura-and-bobbystartup together.

 After working on our startup for a while in downtown Chicago, we realized we no longer needed to stay downtown, paying $2,000/month on rent. We realized, we stayed in much more than we went out. We soon had a new dream. To leave city life behind and move to the countryside. Bobby always loved the idea of moving to an Earthship. He wanted to move to the middle of nowhere, live off the land, and work on his tech ideas. One of the reasons living off the land didn’t appeal to me at the time was because I would think about where we would get our meat. I loved the idea of starting a garden, but raising animals to kill them… not so much. To me that sounded more like a nightmare than a dream.

During this time, I was watching a lot of food/health documentaries and shortly after, decided I wanted to go vegan for the animals, the environment, and my health. A short while after, Bobby was on board. The more passionate I became about veganism, the more I wanted to move to the countryside. The new dream started to become beautiful as soon as I realized we could have a vegan homestead, where no animals would be hurt, and all of our food could eventually be grown on our land.

So, we started our Zillow search. Bobby had a great idea to find rural areas in the country with Fiber Optic Internet. One of the things that had stopped him from building an off-the-grid home was the lack of high speed internet access. So, our search was on. We narrowed it down to West Tennessee and Lake of the Ozarks, MO. Bobby’s mom lives in Missouri, so Lake of the Ozarks won.

We found a little cottage on 3 acres with a price tag equal to two years of our Chicago rent that we’ve been fixing up while working remote and saving up money for a new build next door. Our goal is to build the new house under $100K by acting as our own general contractor. Stay tuned!