I've been struggling with this for a few years, and I'm getting closer to having to decide. I've set a goal to sell my vacant urban lot in Austin and buy land elsewhere by the summer solstice of 2021. I should have finished my landscape design classses by then, and my new business that I started last year should be further along.
Edit to add.... I'm turning 40 next month.
I moved to Austin for polyamory and permaculture in 2009. I found both. I worked on a organic vegetable farm, then worked for a high end native plant landscaping company for 10 years. I left them after they took a new employee's word over mines, after a conflict. I started my own business similar to theirs and have done well in my first 3 fiscal quarters. The owners of that business were like family to me though. It was heartbreaking to go through. Two of my closes buddies in the polyamory world weren't very supportive in that hard time because they are tenants or got business from my employer.
So, I'm less close to several of my previous closest friends in Austin, and like-minded friends are what kept me here, as well as hippie related events of various sorts.
My immediate family moved up to northeast Texas after hurricane Katrina. My extended family is in south Louisiana. My brothers moved for the horse industry, as I had too back then. My divorced parents moved up there individually to be near grandchildren and my brothers, but they love the culture too. My dad loves the ranching and rodeo culture, and my mom loves that it's primarily protestant up there. She's constantly meeting like-minded people.
I'm an atheistic Pagan, having deconverted from Christianity in my mid 20's. Austin has been a wonderful place for being different and non-Christian. There's so much diversity here, and a ton of agnostics or Atheists.
I originally wanted to buy land within 30 miles of Austin to farm. I could have in 2009. I had the money, and land prices were a little more reasonable, but I wanted to stay in closer to the polyamory community, and was intrigued by the idea of urban farming and using bicycles a lot.
Well, I got back into horses. I have 3 now. I like the idea if using horses to do some farm work. It's been an alternative satisfying thing to rodeo for me. I've tajen a lesson, met with the draft horse organization, and have been collecting books on it.
So, I feel better suited to living on 10 to 15 acres, as that's the upper range of what I can afford in cheaper parts of Texas. I'm interested in a sheep or goat micro dairy setup for making artisan cheese too.
My parents are in their mid 60's now. My dad tends to have a health issue every 4 years, my mother has lots of longevity on her side of the family and is doing great. My dad's side has had alzheimers, so that worries me.
My brothers will help, sure, but I feel guilty not being closer. It's really tough because my family and I don't share political views, dearest to me being environmental issues. Most of rural Texas is that way, but especially up there in northeast Texas.
Land is affordable up there though at 3k - 6k an acre. I can find that in the Austin region, but 70 miles or more out. I then feel that if I'm willing to live near people that don't share my beliefs in central Texas, why not do that closer to my family? Actually though, rural central Texas is a tad more alternative or environmental, even if it's still a minority.
So, I go in circles. Lately I look between my family and Tyler, Texas and think that would be decent for my landscaping business, and 44" of rainfall great for fruit and vegetables.
Then, 2 weeks later I'll feel drawn to an affordable town in TV he hill country called Lometa for 11 acres (31 inches of precip), or drawn to a half acre lot with an old house in Temple for an urban homestead. I'd be close enough to Austin for hippie events at both of those spots, but the urban option isn't one for horses or dairy. I can board 1 horse, but that's a big lifestyle change.
Northeast Texas is best for grazing (precipitation total) and being near my family. There are several pretty lakes too, and I don't have a canoe, but will get one. It's not the best for me socially though. I've been reminded of UU churches and know of a Free Thinkers mertup in Tyler/Longview, so I'm planning to go check those out.
I saw a good suggestion on a YouTube vid about going spend a few days and nights in each place to feel it out in person. That seems very wise to me.
Any advice? I still live on my former employer's land, but we get along by choice after disagreeing, and my horses keep his land qualified for ag use, and he collects pasture rent.
So, this is what I've struggled with for several years. I struggled with a career decision to, as to how to transition to farming, but my landscaping business is working well for that.