|On vacation at Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, Alaska in May|
Homesteading is a 365-day-a-year commitment when you bring live animals into the picture. Unlike an office job where you can turn off the computer and tell your boss that you'll be back in a week or two, you can't turn off your chickens or goats or tell the weeds to stop growing in your garden. Real life waits for no one.
In my livestock talks, I always suggest starting with chickens because they are about as easy to care for as a cat. You can fill up their waterer and feeder and leave for the weekend, and unless temperatures are above 90 (and eggs might start to incubate) you don't even have to ask a neighbor to pick up eggs for you. However, as many urban chicken keepers have told me, asking neighbors to check on the chickens once a day and gather eggs can actually make your neighbors more enamored with your chickens -- especially when they get to keep the eggs they collect.
Other livestock, such as pigs, sheep, cattle, and goats, need daily or twice-daily attention, and if you have a dairy animal that doesn't have a calf or kids nursing, you'll have to find a farm sitter who can milk. Do not expect to find someone with these skills very quickly. It is much easier to find a dog sitter. However, you can also plan kidding and calving with vacations in mind so that you can leave home when you don't need to have someone milk for you.
Although taking a vacation from the homestead is more challenging, it is not impossible. With a little planning, you can have your fresh eggs, homegrown produce, and vacations too.