Long term project / sustainable living / looking for like-minded people

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • AnjiP i think this is terrific and hats off to you for getting off the ground.
    Many have failed ( myself included) in an attempt to launch housing co-ops and communal living.
    Its not easy.
    Wishing you best of luck for the future with all that you do in your new community.
    I look forward to more updates and posts about your progress :-)

  • Well, its been a year since I posted the original message. I feel the need to defend myself lol. Nah not really only joking but will make some points anyway :-P


    Firstly, thanks to all posters, good to see this thread is still active and other people have found use of it :-)


    Life is not a straight line. It meanders. I still have a long term goal in mind of what I want to work towards but I made it clear from the start this was longer term vision for me and not something that will happen overnight! On that, over the last year I've got to a relatively good place in life and just realise what is important to me atm, and my long term plan was always flexible and things change, and I don't think communal living really is for me, maybe as people have said, a small core group is more suited to me. So yes, I still have those similar goals in the OP, but right now in life I am focusing on the here and now and what's in front of me, and making decisions that I believe are currently the best for my future and that is not dropping everything to jump into this project, and I'm ok with that, and there isn't anything wrong with that.


    Does that mean I wont ever get there? Who knows, does it have to happen overnight? No. Have you seen all this talk before? Yes. Does that mean I'm just another dreamer? Maybe. Does that matter? No. One day we will find out... I'm just looking for happiness, and trying to find my way to it, whatever road that is... I'm on a path, I don't know where it leads, I hope to find a soul mate and happiness while staying true to what I believe and want in life.


    This isn't directed at anyone (treestump) lol, honestly :-) I just felt that I started this thread, people have shown an interest, and here is my update and where I'm currently at. And yeah, people might not care, think its all bullshit, but that OP was genuine, and I'm genuine and its my thread and my bullshit lol, and it feels good to get it out there, lol :-D


    take care all.


    Adam

  • I don't think that starting off big, that is with more people than your immediate family and a property larger than that which can be readily bought or rented with whatever money your have saved or being earned, is the way forward for what you want to achieve. I've accomplished a bit of self sufficiency by moving over to Ireland from the UK, and building my house from scratch to my own design, but still staying within the system. Much as I'd have liked a straw bale house or similar, there was no way anyone was going to give me a mortgage for one so good old concrete blocks had to be the construction method. Nothing to stop me using my own ideas for heating, insulation and more minor details though. Outside I have my veg garden, polytunnel, solar water heating, garage/workshop to keep my vehicles going at minimum cost and (one day) a planned electricity generating wind turbine. While not part of a commune, I co-operate with the few others in my area with similar ideas. We swap surpluses of produce and help each other out with a few hours of work during busy times, nothing formal but it works.


    This way allows for differences in lifestyles and aspirations among us all, I doubt if we could ever all live in one place and to one regime. While the west of Ireland is a sort of sump to which Brits and others who prefer the place to their own countries gravitate, I think it would work to some extent anywhere, certainly when I lived in Northampton I had a circle of friends and workmates with similar ideas to my own, and with whom I would co-operate.


    As E F Schumacher said, small is beautiful, so start off that way and if it develops into something more organised all well and good. If it doesn't, well you still have something for yourself.

  • Never mind the souls who read your words with interest then? Trawling for a girlfriend! People with skills! Money! You could have put the OP in the Help me find what I'm looking for, section. It's almost like reading the liberal dem manifesto


    lol :-) really?


    Well you didn't read my words with interest did you so no, I don't mind you. I wasn't looking for any of that on here, did you even read the original post? I have replied to everyone who has contacted me or shown an interest, with a genuine interest in what they have to say. I merely just updated my position and clarified what's changed for me. But thanks for your comment, I like to deliver a good rebuttal ;-)

  • astartosteerby,


    Really good post, thanks for this. I think you're right, and something I think is the way forward. Like I said im concentrating on other things right now but there is nothing to stop me doing things like you said in your post. Start small and do little bits at a time working towards the bigger picture, as opposed to my original post which was dreaming big from the off!


    Fire-Tree,


    Thanks for your kind words xo

  • Thanks nicklincs, that's very kind of you :-)


    Although I have no idea on the timeframe, I will keep updating this thread periodically of any progress I may have made, even if that is simply just experimenting with self sufficiency such as solar panels which is on my list of things to do in the future :-)

  • Yes, I am interested, eventually, I will send you a message, at the moment I am thinking of making a eco community in ecuador, am waiting for some things but am considering learning to make a lavvu cabin and seeing if I can make a sustainable online income in things that interest me. Its going ok at the moment.

  • What an interesting thread!


    I would love to join something like this. In fact, our travels to Europe this year are with the intent of seeing lots of new places in hope of finding somewhere better to settle than this ball and chain country.


    The main reason we're looking for somewhere is I have EHS (electro hypersensitivity) which means I can't be around wifi/mobile phones/bluetooth/etc. So the search is on for somewhere back with nature, away from all this technology that makes me very ill.


    Will keep watching this thread, I'm very interested.


    Rich (36) (and Kirsty (27)).

  • Just butting in look at Bulgaria i have a place there well more of a shambles lol but you get the living with nature, no or very little technology if rural. Beautiful. Ignore i hadn't looked at all previous posts.

  • I don't think that starting off big, that is with more people than your immediate family and a property larger than that which can be readily bought or rented with whatever money your have saved or being earned, is the way forward for what you want to achieve. I've accomplished a bit of self sufficiency by moving over to Ireland from the UK, and building my house from scratch to my own design, but still staying within the system. Much as I'd have liked a straw bale house or similar, there was no way anyone was going to give me a mortgage for one so good old concrete blocks had to be the construction method. Nothing to stop me using my own ideas for heating, insulation and more minor details though. Outside I have my veg garden, polytunnel, solar water heating, garage/workshop to keep my vehicles going at minimum cost and (one day) a planned electricity generating wind turbine. While not part of a commune, I co-operate with the few others in my area with similar ideas. We swap surpluses of produce and help each other out with a few hours of work during busy times, nothing formal but it works.


    This way allows for differences in lifestyles and aspirations among us all, I doubt if we could ever all live in one place and to one regime. While the west of Ireland is a sort of sump to which Brits and others who prefer the place to their own countries gravitate, I think it would work to some extent anywhere, certainly when I lived in Northampton I had a circle of friends and workmates with similar ideas to my own, and with whom I would co-operate.


    As E F Schumacher said, small is beautiful, so start off that way and if it develops into something more organised all well and good. If it doesn't, well you still have something for yourself.


    Very interesting, important to start from where you can...I have been thinking ireland too, what are the house/land prices like where you are? and whats the weather like..

  • Hi All,


    Just a quick update, nothing to report at the moment, just that I am still alive and moving along the right path! Hope to move into a new house soon which will allow me more space and time to start experiments I want to do. Still working towards the future I set out.


    Thanks to all who have shown an interest and responded since my last update.


    Skydogsinan, Ecuador sounds interesting, what are your plans? I would imagine a tropical place to have many advantages and perhaps full of nature, but also very challenging also.


    BeyondTheVan, although I don't suffer from EHS, I too want to get away from all these extra radio waves (as far as possible as its a fine balance at times) we are bombarded with constantly!


    See you in a while :-)

  • I am sorely tempted to ditch my 9-5 for a permanent communal living situation such as this (especially one that wouldn't require any particular skills, as it would be a steep learning curve for me!).


    However, it would probably have to be all or nothing, and having read further through the thread, I see the idea has become more relaxed. I don't think a project such as this could work unless all members were 100% committed, both to the project and to each other. And, let's face it: none of us are getting any younger. If you want this to be your future, you have to go forth with determination and gusto.

  • Hi Adam and everyone,


    Thought I'd add my thoughts to the mix. In terms of European countries where you can afford land, you might want to consider Sweden or other Scandinavian countries. Those might not be the first places that come to mind when you think of "affordability" but:
    -All the Nordic countries have very few people, and they're concentrated in the cities. (Finland has the lowest population density in Europe.) That leaves tons of unused land in the countryside.
    -Income tax is high, but that's only a problem if you earn lots of money and resent paying taxes.
    -The welfare system is generous and everyone speaks excellent English.


    Maybe you'd rather be in a warm country like Spain, but if you don't mind a bit of snow in winter then Scandinavia might work.


    I'm planning to move to Sweden with my family next year, if circumstances permit it. Interested to know if anyone else has considered it/is planning it. We're not dedicated to the "communal" idea, but admittedly it would be nice to have some like-minded people around. Like many in this thread have pointed out, once a group gets large, it gets hard/impossible to achieve anything. But a couple of families could easily buy an old farm, divide it into separate lots and start living.

  • Thanks firetree, kind as always :-)



    treestump,


    Depends on your definition of developed! Yes, i have moved significantly in the right direction, still a longer term goal but have a significant other to work towards our dreams. Will probably start a video blog on any experiments i do, tips for greener living for people and document the journey. This is all very long term of course, fitting it around my current life and job while i save!



    starling,


    Thanks for the message - yes it really has meandered away from my original thoughts. It has been somewhat of a journey to find what i really wanted in the future. I think theraven sums it up quite well for me, this sort of idea works best with small intimate groups, fully committed and trust is very important i think too, there has to be a bond between members i believe. For me it was about knowing the sort of person i am and what i would really be happy with which led me away from my initial grand plan!



    theraven,


    Thanks for your contribution, yes i have considered Sweden, and still am too be honest. You raise some good points thank you, but one thing i must admit to being concerned about in Sweden and Scandinavia in general is the amount of light, especially in winter. Its not about the heat aspect, its more about how the low light could affect my mood over a long period of time. I havent ruled anything out. And i agree with your idea what two families could create something pretty good. As i mentioned a few times, i like the smaller intimate group idea to really create something.



    As always, thanks for all contributions and I will update every so often, even though this isn't much of an update! My current plan remains similar to the initial goal, to live off-grid as much as i can, get closer to nature, grow food, and not rely on money. I now have a significant other to pursue this shared vision and we are both saving for our future as it stands :-)


    Take care all, until next time,


    Adam

  • I'm sorry if somebody has already posted this, but I haven't had a chance to read all of the replies.
    I seem to remember watching a couple of YouTube videos about starting self-sustaining projects in Wales, and some of the councils seem to welcome this as beneficial use of the land.
    The other advantage of Wales is that it will be out of the EU soon. :)

  • oh wow...time flies!! been a crazy year in so many ways trying to cope as a single woman dealing with a house building project! interesting, but i have learnt lots and have loved it including doing two workshops with Straw Works around building with straw bales, and then helping out for many weekends on an actual build!! so where are we at? well, onto site number 4!! oh yes, its a journey!! But, the last site is amazing, 3 acres with a 21 roomed 'hall' on it, with planning permission for 4 builds in the grounds (where there are static caravans at the moment.) I've just about raised the funds to purchase it, but still have structural survey to do...etc. hope im not tempting fate here by talking about it, but if this one based in south Lincolnshire falls through, i could relocate to anywhere with the funds i believe!! so, if you know of another potential site, or if anyone is interested in knowing more do message me, but there will be a vetting system to ensure that the people with the right values join the new project - INsight Community (and Hut. Concept Network, the workers coop that is optional and linked) we will, all being well, be offering educational facilities for all ages around small holdings, sustainability, traditional arts and crafts and a therapeutic retreat centre. Therefore anyone with appropriate skills will have an advantage. aporter@lincolnshirecda.coop Anji xx

  • My partner and I are looking at Sweden as a real potential country - it does seem to have lots of advantages to other countries and more in line with what we are looking for. The timeframe we are working towards is 2-3 years (want to travel a bit before starting). Since i moved house it has set me back financially based on the timeline of my original post in this thread but this is the way life has taken me and thats ok.


    My original idea as i mentioned has meandered and developed over the course of almost two years (wow, that long already!). I think its best for any community that people have their own space and land but share common goals and values. I would really like to find people/couples/families that might be interested in the future buying land in the same area, or at least close by so potentially we could start our own eco village, trade, work together, share resources and skills - but all have our own space as to avoid issues around land/ownership/decisions etc. We would obviously share a vision and common beliefs but its a community rather than communal.


    I would be interested to hear thoughts on this, suggestions, critiques, gauge any interest or lack of! I know our plans are not immediate but you can never start planning too early! Many thanks as always for reading.


    Until next time!

  • As treestump said a lot of talking an not much action,just get in your van an drive to france,spain,italy we did this 15 years ago an found a better dream,warm sun , loads of land for squatting,people not being crushed by the system every day,
    Here in spain you can live on €40 a week thats with fuel.
    Let me know if you need help
    ,mike ( 35 years in a truck never payed rent)