Hi Lily! Welcome to Permies. This is an interesting survey, and I'm curious to read other people's answers, too. Something you might consider is changing the title to make it more clear that it's a survey. I suspect you will get more responses this way. In the meantime, here are my answers.
Lily Scott wrote:What drew you to homesteading?
I was fortunate to grow up in the country and feel a deep connection with nature. Of course, that alone doesn't draw a person to a homesteading-type lifestyle (ie. my sister and most of the kids we grew up with moved to cities). I wanted to be in and live with nature as much as possible, and that drew me to information and people who were living in ways that I liked.
It wasn't necessarily homesteading, as there were already a fair amount of homesteaders in our rural community and most of them did not live with
the land. Rather, they seem to have an adversarial relationship with it - dealing with loss of livestock or crops by poisoning or shooting animals, ie, coyotes, hawks, jays, crows and any other animals that threatened their livestock or gardens, spraying fencelines with herbicides to keep the electric fences free of grass and working, spraying gardens to prevent bug problems, installing culverts and rock banks to control the streams, and getting mad at legislation that required things like fencing off streams to cattle don't wreck the banks... that's the sort of small farming I grew up around for the most part. It didn't make farming sound like any fun at all. I felt like there had to be ways do do those things differently, and that led me to read about other methods of homesteading, and that eventually led me to permaculture.
I wanted to live with nature, rather than against her. And I really liked gardening and watching food, flowers and herbs grow. So I worked to create a life where I could be surrounded by that each day. And I like learning how to fix and make all sorts of things, which is really useful when you live in rural areas. I was attracted to learning how to rely on one's self and nature more, and develop greater understanding of both.
Lily Scott wrote:Is it what you expected?
My process was a long, slow one because I already grew up in the country and already was accustomed to many aspects of the lifestyle. I don't recall having many expectations. I did learn that working with bees in the summer is more miserable than I had envisioned, but other than that, this life is about as much work as I expect it to be.
Lily Scott wrote:How has homesteading impacted your overall quality of life and wellbeing?
I've had to live in a small town once in my life, for three years. That was miserable. I loathed the noise and lack of privacy, and terribly missed having a garden. So, if I hadn't done that, I could only imagine the answer to your question.... but my previous imagination was on target. Living in the country, growing any amount of our own food, and having peace, space and nature around me is incredibly valuable to me.
Lily Scott wrote:Do you currently have a profession aside from homesteading? (Freelancing, artist, consulting, etc.)
Lily Scott wrote:If so, how has eco conscious living influenced your work?
We use much better building materials for house remodeling than most people. Better as in lower toxicity and longer lasting materials. Also, we use organic and permaculture principles when landscaping properties.
Lily Scott wrote:How has the pandemic impacted your way of living?
Not much at all, but that doesn't have a lot to do with homesteading per se. My and my husband's life was already well suited to the current scenario, from working at home; to ordering a lot of our food from online or other sources; buying vegetables, meat and milk locally whenever possible; using books online; and we socialize rarely.