‘I swapped my big city life for a much slower pace on an idyllic farm’ K ent Dunn, 28, is an admin assistant at a veterinary clinic and lives with her partner Trevor Van Staden, 29, and their three dogs, Penny, Baby and Pip, on a farm near Musina. I met Trevor in Johannesburg in 2005 when I was only 15 years old and we hit it of immediately. We had a three-year relationship but he moved around the country a lot and ended up studying in Cape Town. We really tried to make our long-distance relationship work, but it was hard on both of us. We eventually called it quits, but stayed in touch. I never met anyone else like him, and although we were just friends, the connection we shared was never lost. So in 2016, with both of us single, I phoned him and told him I thought we should give our relationship another chance. He agreed, and even though I was in Joburg and he was living on a farm in Musina, we visited each other as often as we could.
Kent Dunn, 28, Is An Admin Assistant Photo Gallery
THE TURNING POINT
I had an admin job in the legal department at a plastic surgeon in Sandton. It was exciting, and I loved the fast pace of the city and that there was always so much to do and see – but I was lonely. Trevor and I made our relationship work through regular phone calls, messages and weekend trips, but I knew that if we were to have any real future together, something had to change. With Trevor taking care of his family’s farm and working as a truck park manager, it would be far more diicult for him to find a job in Joburg, so I made the decision to move to the farm. I loved my city lifestyle, but I’d had a taste of rural living during my visits to Trevor, and I started to imagine a new life in the countryside. So in July 2017 I packed my small car with all my belongings and my three dogs and drove to Tshipise, a town in Limpopo close to Musina, to start my new life.
Farm life isn’t how I imagined it. Rather naively, I thought Trevor and I would spend our evenings going for long strolls and making dinner together, but every day here is far more demanding – and more rewarding – than I ever expected. The move was a big adjustment at first. In Johannesburg I would wake up early, sit in traic for hours on the way to and from work, be rushed of my feet at the oice, then wake up and repeat the routine the next day. But on the farm, there’s no rushing – it’s something that took a lot of getting used to, but now I can’t imagine ever wanting to go back to that fast-paced, big city existence. I no longer spent my days on the phone talking to lawyers and doing paperwork; I had to learn new, hands-on skills, like how to grow veggies. Ours is mainly a subsistence farm, although we occasionally have enough produce to sell to the community too; we grow small batches of cabbage, onions and artichokes, and we breed turkeys, rabbits and sheep.
My favourite part of every day is walking out into the garden to pick vegetables for the evening’s dinner. Although the farm keeps me very busy I manage to help out at the local veterinary clinic on most days, too. So much has changed since I made the farm my home. I had to say goodbye to my chic corporate wardrobe and now my day-to-day ‘uniform’ is a pair of comfy, old jeans and a T-shirt. I rarely have a reason to get dressed up anymore, and I no longer have the luxury of jumping in my car to quickly pop out to the shops to get something I want – the closest town is a 45-minute drive.
There might not be any date nights at fancy restaurants for Trevor and me, but we get to enjoy spending every day together, and I wouldn’t swap our idyllic country life for anything.
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