We recently took a three-day trip to a forest (not Mirkwood) in East Texas. We stayed in a log cabin which was part of a bed and breakfast.
It was great getting closer to our dream of finding our Shire (future home). The air was fresh, there was peace in the air, and the scenery was gorgeous.
One problem was a lot of mosquitoes and bugs! It was a bit humid, and the air was moist (probably not a good environment for raising livestock and certain plants because diseases and bad bugs are more likely in a hot, humid environment). However, several miles away from the water, it was much less humid and a better environment for farming and more comfortable living.
We went strawberry picking (no cream though as the Hobbits like it). This was an amazing adventure.
I must emphasize to those who are searching for their Shire but don’t know what to do:
YOU MUST TRAVEL!
If you don’t actually look around, it’s going to be hard. Climate, environment, weather, culture, lifestyle, scenery, air quality, beauty, and so much more of an area are largely experiences by your five senses. Research places that seem like they may be a good fit for you and then go there. They may not turn out to be exactly what you wanted, but you may gain insights into what you do want (and also don’t want).
We’ve started on our Journey to the Shire. Why haven’t you? (Or have you?)