On the edge of change... should I settle down or go on a big adventure?

  • I'm a forum lurker but take so much inspiration from all of you here, and am posting here partly to get some thoughts out of my head, and to ask for guidance should anyone have any to offer! <3

    I'm at the age where most of my friends have bought houses, had children, settled down. I currently live at home with my family and have been working solid since finishing uni, trying to save in recent years for a deposit on a house so I can avoid paying someone else's mortgage. I've always wanted a patch to grow fruit and veg, have chickens, live as sustainably as possible. I work part time (30hrs pw) and enjoy my current job but feel extremely restricted by stingy annual leave allowance and inflexibility. I'm an artist and would love more time to create.

    I've been with my partner several years, and I love him to bits, although we are very different in many ways. We share a few interests (growing, building, slow living) but are different spiritually, politically and emotionally. I usually feel that this makes for an interesting relationship - we always challenge one another and I find that this makes me understand myself better in relation to him. A bigger issue is that we don't agree on where we'd like to live.

    I've been on a long journey of self-discovery and minimalism, paring down my life and living more simply. I have quite high levels of anxiety, and try to do as much as I can to be stress-free and happy. I would like to not have to ever work full-time for anyone else again (I work freelance too) but my partner is very skeptical about part-time working and mentions how much more we'd be able to access for a mortgage if I had a better job and worked more hours. I totally get that, but my view is I'd rather work towards something smaller and more affordable so I can continue with my current hours, rather than maxing out in all areas of life. What's the point in having a big mortgage on a place, when you're stressed out and working all the time so can't be there to enjoy it anyway?

    We're now at the point where we are now looking at buying a house together, and I am scared.

    One part of me wants to continue down the path ahead of me - make a commitment, buy somewhere, build something solid and reliable. Have independence from my family at home, and build my own family. I feel like buying a home will give more security and flexibility for when I am older. If we are lucky enough to find somewhere we both love, it will feel good to put down roots but I worry I will end up compromising too much on location, and that I will feel restricted or trapped.

    The other part of me shouts wildly from the edges. It wants to pack it all in, and go walkabout. Dreams include volunteering - WWOOFing (I've been a member for 3 years and still haven't done it!), conservation projects, etc and living in a van/motorhome so I am able to travel and explore the UK. I'm also interested in community living and if it were just me, I'd definitely consider this option (big no no for partner). This part of me wants freedom, self discovery, adventure and more time to create art. I had a motorhome about 10 years ago, and aside from going to a few festivals, I totally wasted the opportunity. I was scared as a single female of staying anywhere on my own and I'm so grumpy with myself for not just getting on with it! I feel like I've just failed to fulfil all these hopes and dreams while I was younger, where I wouldn't have hurt anyone (partner, family, friends) by exploring, and wouldn't have hurt my career prospects or bank balance too much. Now it just feels like a big risk.

    So, here I am... asking a forum of strangers what they think. Either way, I'm on the edge of a big change and just freaking out a tiny bit :shrug:

    Much love to you all!


  • What direction will help to develop existing skills experience as well as give you new ones that can be used to get better paid work in the future? Help you develop you as an artist/creative?

    What will be easy for your heart to stick with and enjoy?

    Sometimes doing something that doesn't directly lead to the next stage can at some point be the thing that helps to get to the next stage.

    I remember reading something on Facebook about sucess from taking indirect paths like Nature being indirect but still achieving an end result. < From long Facebook post about business success.

    Would you be able to support yourself, have some kind of housing/ fixed address and do what you want to do?

  • My partner and I bought a little cottage last year as we both really wanted to move to the countryside and grow our own veg. At the time everyone kept advising us to buy the most expensive house we could afford and get the biggest mortgage the bank would loan us. We completely ignored this advice as we didn't want to be tied to a crippling mortgage for 30 years. We bought a little place that was just right for us and our mortgage is in the range that we can work part time or self-employed (that is the plan) and still be comfortable. I think we bought the cheapest house in the village but as soon as we walked in it just felt like it was meant to be.

    I look at other people living in converted vans, travelling wherever they like and I think it looks amazing. Before we bought a house we did consider it but in the end we realised we just really wanted to grow veggies and make home brew.

    Good luck in making your decision, I hope you can find a compromise that works for the both of you.

  • That's a beautiful thread moonstrel, I'm glad you took the time to put all your thoughts down. From an outsider point of view it can be seen you have a struggle between picking certain things . . . perhaps thinking decisions lead to concrete results? Whether to be free and rambling or committing to working towards having a solid house, firm, dependable walls which will protect you and give you surity and comfort.

    You can't have everything. But if you make the right choice, that might mean everything.

    One thing which came through your dialogue is (I think?) your love for your partner. Wow <3<3<3 such a gift. And yet such a long thread - so why still the wonder? Well, no doubt you have genuine concerns. (What really is the doubt - as, remember: you can't have ewverything.)

    One thing I discovered with words was the word "crisis", meaning crossroads. A point and place in time where we see we have different routes we could take: each route taking us in totally different directions. How can we be sure to take the right route? The cross we are crucified to of decisions. All our decisions pave our way, decide our future and have real impact on reality. We want to do the right thing. Odd things can confuse us to distort our perceptions and make poor decisions we regret sometimes.

    You are doing the right thing to ask the question. The answer may come externally, but . . . Hopefully you have the answer within you. In the end, it is always the same, you have to decide.

    The world out there is pretty relentless. Each striving for its own. There is something to be said for having something solid: a house, a bit of land, stability etc. You have to work for that. And the tried and tested way, is not always the right way, it might be the easiest, the most obvious . . . There is a lot to be said for freedom from Dick Tators. Assholes who say they want this or that; who tell you to use your paintbrush in a certain way. The more you work, the more you can get away from assholes like that. But also, there may be other paths. Love and Time are important commodities to consider. Perhaps you know of a way better than your partner's?

    It's good you have a partner who thinks differently to you, and I hope there is a good degree of love there. With the right questions - you might get the right answers. At the end of the day, it comes down to what I said at the beginning: you can't have everything, but if you have what is most important, that might be everything?

    I honestly don't know if that helps? :happydanc

    [For a living I used to hire artists like you, so I know where you are coming from and the kind of bosses you might encounter.]

  • After reading your initial post moonstrel, life does have some dilemma's. Maybe some sort of compromise where you can take snippets of time out to have the the freedom to go explore the wider world and have times of self discovery that is shouting at you to do etc etc.

    In my experience of life and what I've done, seen and been, all I can say is if something is shouting that loudly at you to the point it's difficult to ignore, if a person doesnt do these things or at least have a go, then you'll only regret it later on in life. a partner will always be there if love is the binding thing, but experience and time gets left in the past never to be recovered and we only get one chance, dont waste the time you have, it's precious.

    Lyrics of the track 'time' by pink floyd come to mind especially the line 'and then one day you find ten years have got behind you'

    If anyone has anything that's nagging and they real feel the urge and calling to do it whatever it is, putting it off because - list excuses or fears here, is sometimes a blocking mechanism, folk can be great at finding excuses or reasons not to do something. I can be like that, I would love to visit places like Peru, New Zealand, India, but plane flight is my obstacle, never flown before, it does not appeal plus there is the environmental aspect, I live pretty low impact and low carbon out of respect and care for the planet, blowing all I've done to achieve that on plane flight doesnt feel right and flies in the face of what I believe in.


    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

    You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.

    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town

    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.

    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.

    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.

    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

    So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking

    Racing around to come up behind you again.

    The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,

    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

    Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.

    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines

    Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way

    The time is gone, the song is over,

    Thought I'd something more to say.

  • wizard1luv - GO TO PERU! JUST DO IT ! ! !

    I know what you mean - I am 'low carbon too', and am aiming at being more so. Cars are the worst - so individual, one little person going to get their loaf of brfead in a tin can . . . I do the plastic bag thing to the extreme of washing my plastic bags and reusing them to throw away garbage.

    As for flying? Look around you. Trumpmayputin - do they care? Where are we going? You might stop flying, but the business folk aren't. Flights are divided amongst the number of passengers - I am not sure mathematically how it equates, but think of the dream value.

    The world spins its relentless cycle. You said it yourself through Floyd. It is a tenuous thread, what is right and wrong, the longevity of the earthly coil and wherever we are going.

    The unknown is much too easy to push aside and defer. Your excuses about not going to Peru are just that. You are probably right theoretically about flying, unfortunately, nobody is listening. And the little Peruvians, the real ones, not the Spanish invaders - are all dying to meet you (rather than the business man).

    I have been to Peru. Machu Pichu is the seat of heaven. I climbed to the top of the mountain just behind the ruins of Machu. As I got to the top, boulder from boulder - on the other side - a humming bird fluttered up to greet me. Amazing Amazonian miracle metaphor fluttered up to peep "hello". I couldn't believe it - I'd flown all the way from England, train to the base of the mountain, then bus, then climbing and a bumblebee-sized bird squeeks its hello. Struggle V ease.

    You'd love Peru.

  • It's growing on me, but its getting in an airplane, i just cannot picture myself all the way up their in a big metal cigar with wings, yes, it is said to be safer than car travel, but just being that high up for that many hours, eewww, need a travelling partner if its going to happen as I am not going to do first flight on my own, i got my first passport a couple of years ago. i like my roll ups, will need some super strength patches for n 8 hour flight. Someone told me recently you can go on courses to get over it. I think once I've done it will be fine but just that first time, am 52 in May, fit and healthy as you like. Because I've been on the road full time nomad for an awful lot of years, I've never even stayed in a hotel or similar as where I've always gone traveling, I've always had my own bed there. It seems an alien notion to not take my home with me to go traveling, a snail does not dump its shell to go on a little foray, its kind of like that if you get my drift. Have been watching loads of you tube films about India, dont think its for me, the spiritual aspect definitely, but the heat, I would not be able to hack the heat i know that and the mental crazy busy cities, I'd have to be off rural from the off.

  • Thats about how it is. I had most of my life thus far travelling, fulfilled that bit, will have no regrets when I expire, whatever I get up to in my life from here on in are little additions to add to the memory bank.

  • Its all a load of bollocks moonstrel imho.

    Work part time and grow veggies in a spot far away from other humans would get my vote but achieving it without a silver spoon or working your butt off for some considerable time is probably unlikely.

    You could travel, wwooof, volunteer or try communal living but mostly when it comes down to it those people who want to exploit your grind can and will cause reason for you to be miserable and bitter because they just love to exploit dreamers.

    It's a miserable, miserly, greedy world out there as I'm sure you are already aware.

    Sounds like you have some things you would like to try.....I've no advice to offer. I tried things and believe I've a wider mind because of my stubbornness but I would not recommend any particular route to becoming broken and bitter.....the misery of this exploitative system will find you eventually I'm afraid.

    Soz and all that but it is all bollocks and the greedy, selfish twats in the world kill all hope of living a healthy and fulfilling existence.

    I hope I am wrong......but I'm probably not.

  • There's pissing on someones dreams and there's the truth of the matter. In the ecological, woofing, permaculture working for board and bed and learning skills has two sides, some very genuine decent bods out there, but unfortunately as with all things, there are those that just want to max out on the folk that book up and hope to have a positive learning experience. Have heard some not nice things and some very positive things. I knew some people in wales, they were exploiting overseas woofers coming here, they wanted regular shit shovellers and didntr want to pay a wage and were passed off offering woof courses as a blag to reel em in to grab a shovel. It's a case of take your pick and trust your instincts. It shouldnt put anyone off but in my experience, I've always faired better when have gone it alone and achieved what I wanted to by my own grunt, hard work and inventiveness.

  • Hi Moonstrel,

    A simple thought.

    Once you lay down the money for a mortgage, you're dedicated to a commitment that is less easy to leave.

    The life on the road is free, you can leave any time.

    So why not go for the road for a while? If you love it, maybe you'll continue. Many people enjoy it for a while, but then want to come home. Or, you might find it's not for you.

    Commit to doing it cheap, live essentially without money. If you decide to come back to the nice safe working world, there will always be more jobs, and the bank will be ready and waiting for you. So, you might have pushed the mortgage back a couple of years?

    As for the fact that you disagree with your partner, this is a sticky subject. Personally, I believe that you have the right to make the choices of what you really want for your life. He has the right to make choices for his life. So, if you choose to trip, he has the right to join you or stay behind, but not to prevent you. I do realize that there is much more complexity than this.

    Please bare in mind, that I am completely and utterly bias. Please also bare in mind that most people who know me look at my life decisions and think I'm mad. My mum can't believe that I still don't have a "steady job" and a mortgage, and cannot comprehend my way of thinking to actively avoid them.

    So, just a thought. All up to you.

    All the best,

  • Thank you all, I've been reading and mulling over all your responses. "If it does not feel right in any way do not do it" pretty much sums it up! I think I need to have an honest talk with my partner. I do feel like I'm just not in the right place for the settling down part of life - I haven't had any adventures yet! I guess I am just really sad, because I'd hoped to share adventures with my partner and part of me thought there was a chance of that. But, there's no use sulking about that as he is who he is, and I am who I am. Just need to get on with it. Will keep you posted <3

  • I would want a partner who goes on adventures too. You are right to want to explore this wonderful world. It's also a good idea to do it NOW and MAKE it possible.

    It's weird isn't it? Things don't always work out neatly. Your honest talk is an excellent idea. Hopefully bending can be done by both of you and you can have the perfect pretzel.

  • I would want a partner who goes on adventures too. You are right to want to explore this wonderful world. It's also a good idea to do it NOW and MAKE it possible.

    It's weird isn't it? Things don't always work out neatly. Your honest talk is an excellent idea. Hopefully bending can be done by both of you and you can have the perfect pretzel.

    He doesn't bend :( I do feel overwhelmingly that I need to do these things now, it's just so painful because I feel I'm letting others down, and that I am the odd one out. Everyone I know just asks me if we're buying a house yet, when do we think we'll get married etc :( I need some friends like me!

    Are there any likeminded wannabe nomads living in/near Bristol?!

  • He doesn't bend :( I do feel overwhelmingly that I need to do these things now, it's just so painful because I feel I'm letting others down, and that I am the odd one out. Everyone I know just asks me if we're buying a house yet, when do we think we'll get married etc :( I need some friends like me!

    Are there any likeminded wannabe nomads living in/near Bristol?!

    So in the relationship you are supposed to meet him on his terms instead of both trying to bend abit and compromise to make each other happy and better people?

  • Oh dear. To hear that distresses me a bit moonstrel. A non-bender, I'm not sure I could live with a straight pretzel.

    In answer to your question - I am sure there are people like you in Bristol. You have that great art centre (Arnolfini . . . is that how you spell it?). When you do the things you enjoy you have more of a chance of meeting people like yourself. I need to get out more myself, so I certainly don't have all the answers.

    But I will tell you this. I have gone on wonderful journeys. That is why my moniker is 'off the beaten track'. I have been to Machu Pichu, India etc. I find that when you do these things and you go off the beaten track you do meet people of all sorts. There are loads of examples. You break your fear of doing it alone and then things happen naturally around you.

    When I landed in Peru, on my own - it was my first trip on my own - I thought, what the fuck? It literally took me half a day to get over, once I got on the bus out of LIma I was fine. At a ruin in Peru a woman came up to me and sarted talking to me about the power of the stones, but then she also opened up and started talking about her cancer and all sorts of very personal things (she was very sane). Another time - Taj Mahal - my guide was giving me a spiel, I got a bit bored and said why are you talking to me like this, all these facts . . . he then sat down and told me all the personal things in his life . . .

    . . . but they're more holidays. I think you are thinking of something more like a way of life (I did that for a few years and then got a job . . .).

    Well, inevitably your love will be tested by your desires. How much do you rely on his stability? The rules of attraction are weird. You are held there for as long as the attention holds you. Are you sociable? Do you make friends easily? I still think the honest talk with him would be good. (And maybe it's the proper way of saying goodbye.)

    See, nobody in my position wants to tell you what to do - we don't have the full story like you do. It's NOT our decision to make and advising in a particular way holds some responsibility (?).


    From what you say, and that you have gone to the trouble of this thread kinda shows you want out? It's hard to break up and to suddenly start a new direction. How is it done? There aren't any freebies.

    I know what you mean. The world can be incredibly straight sometimes. But there is the other side. There is immense potential for those who chose to go in other directions. And once you start, it gets easier. LukGkruu put it well in #12.

    There are things to consider, for instance the conventional labour market is not easy, it is very competitive. And entering it at a later age can be harder. Ditto: 'crooked' path. However, if you are sociable, life-experienced, those strengths can make getting work easier. There is a lot to think about. But you want to start doing: right?

    OK - so think up a plan.

    What do you want to do? What skills do you have? What money do you have? Go to France and pick grapes to support a more wandering life? Throw yourself into something which will put you in contact with an entry point into the world you want. Maybe a volunteer position in an art group. Go to some gigs in Bristol to meet some more like minded people? [They ARE there.] Buy a tent . . .

    And take the first step.

  • facebook:

    shift bristol

    m32 flea market - just starting out but has a nice vibe (£10 a stall)

    Royate Hill Community Orchard & Permaculture Allotment - mike feingold is a legend

    If you live in Bristol then Green Gathering is the place - plenty of women go there on their own courses/talks etc.

    If that doesn't work out then you arn't far from Glastonbury, stroud - both have a good scene.

    It certainly is the time to be a woman doing things, i get quite jealous of all the groups and courses focused on enabling women. More power to you

  • OK, so I don't think he and I have ever been the best match, but obviously we are together for a reason (it felt really great at the start). But I feel that my dreams and inspirations are perceived as silly or not sensible (and therefore not realistic in any way), and I've just gone along on this path with him under the impression it is the right and grown up thing to do. What has kept my interest is the promise of enjoying the shared journey, having some land, to grow food and to live in a way I'd like. But while we may want similar things for our home life, we're coming from a totally different place spiritually, emotionally.. our motives are so different and I don't think I'd enjoy it in the way I want to. Not sure if that makes sense!

    I currently live at home with my family, so I am stuck between having massively overstayed my fledging stage, and having itchy feet to leave, but not really wanting the option available to me for leaving (buying the house). I think it just feels too much of a commitment, and doesn't allow any freedom as I will always have a mortgage to pay. I want it all really - a secure home base I can return to, and a reliable van to live and go off galavanting in! :whistle:

    It was unfair for me to say he doesn't bend, he does make compromises for me, I think. We both do, because we don't agree on much.. so one of us is always bending a little bit for the other. But I find myself doing much more bending than I probably should, and like I'm sacrificing something of myself to make it work and I think that's why I'm here rambling on to you all...

    My heart wants to find a van and do some exploring in the UK, gradually while working, and then perhaps in the future working remotely and going further afield. I need to stop making excuses (being afraid of doing the vanlife thing alone, etc). I love Glastonbury and Stroud and go to loads of events and classes and workshops to meet people but I'm yet to find my 'tribe', it does take me a while to get to know people because of shyness. But I'm working on it!

    So, the talk. Wish me luck. X

  • Thank you. XX

    I do rely on his stability, but that's not enough and I need to create my own!

    I have some money saved in a LISA so it needs to be used for a house purchase or for retirement to have made that worthwhile. I would like to focus my energy now on saving for a van, leaving that bit of money tucked away for one day when the time does feel right to settle down (if that does come!?), and then see how the plans unfold. I have some contacts on community living projects etc where I could test the water out relatively safely. Just so used to the pattern of working regular hours, saving money, etc so it would all be a big change for me...

    Love the idea of volunteering in an art group. :)

  • simply-do what makes you happy !!

    If you and your partner love each other enough then compromise must be made both ways if the relationship is to work.

    If you are in a relationship that does not have a 50-50 balence as the norm,then the person putting in the higher percentage more often will end up getting burnt and it will get ugly.

    Sometimes it can swing to 90-10 , but as long as that swing goes the opposite way,then that is cool.

    If you feel that you are going to regret not having gone off and done the things that make you happy,then you are already taking steps towards making your happy future happen as you are evaluating your wants and needs.

    I can only encourage you to make the most of your life and get as much enjoyment as you can.

    However,you are in a relationship and it is the two of you that should be talking this through. Keep no secrets and be honest and even if you have to part ways,then maybe you can still keep each other as great friends. It is easy to find another partner,though not so easy to find a new best friend.

    Wishing you courage and wisdom to help you both find happiness

    Love and light

    fly xx

  • Go for it! Get out there and explore! Don't let anyone tie you down, it's awful...

    Its your life. Live it!

    Live the life you dream of and don't look back.

    You only get one shot.

    That reads as quotes but it's so true

  • What is your view on house sharing? Maybe you could have the security of the family home to fall back on and the benefit of an address in an area where you might want to work or explore?

    As you have talked about a van it would appear that you are able to drive some of your stuff from place to place if you find an area not to your liking. Furnished//Part-Furnished rooms in shared houses might be something you could look into.

    You could look on Zoopla if you want but there seems to be a number of fees and other financial things involved.

    I supposed there is Gumtree.

    Spareroom.co.uk and easyroommate.com

  • Plans and plans and more plans.

    You are you moonstrel and everyone else is everyone else. Do you need a tribe? Do you really want a tribe?

    Sounds like you are among the fortunate who can earn a living and save so there isn't much stopping you from jumping off.

    Cash in your savings plans and accept the financial penalties and you could do it tomorrow.

    'Course the daily grind doesn't just stop and you might be trading one form of misery for another.

    Personally....I should have moved into a van two or three years sooner than I did....but that is easy for me to say since I have the benefit of hindsight in this regard.

    Wish you well....

    Shared housing sucks worse than being shagged by an elephant and can seriously fuck up one's ability to function as an otherwise rational and reasonable human being.

  • Your #19 thread puts it in more perspective. It's good to hear there is some flexibility in your relationship. I'd also wonder how your parents feature in this - are they lenient, or is there considerable pressure to do the 'sensible thing'? Depending on that answer maybe they can help.

    Regarding buying a house. There is a lot to be said for having your own place and financial security. But it can tie down as much as liberate. I'd think buying a house is something you do when certain other criteria in your life are met: you know who you are with is the right person, you are doing what you want, you know who you are etc . . . it should be added, with Brexit HAZE, the market is kind of fucked-up unpredictable. Financially it might not even be the right time to buy property in the UK. Could there be a crash? In which case it would be unwise to commit to buying property at the moment. I'm not sure of your age, but if early twenties, a few years really doesn't matter long term regarding buying a property. It could be more important to experiment, find out who you are, what you want. Living with your parents I am sure you have developed yourself a bit, but it's not the same as experimenting with life independently.

    I recently watched Private Benjamin - you might want to catch it. Goldie Hawn joins the army as a ditzy blonde and becomes deditzed. It shows well how we can be totally blinded by society's rigid roles, dismissing what we want / who we are / what we are potentially capable of. Sometimes you have to throw your self into the world to get that answer. You don't want to hide in the shadow of your partner's stability, especially if it is already putting a fug on your dreams.

    You are currently in the flexible stage of choosing who you want to be, whether to conform to certain roles or whether to discover a more suitable you . . . When you are 89, in your rocking chair, where will you be, what will your view be of and will you be smiling?

    You seem very grounded, I'd think that can help you on your way. dustydave's thread #18 looks like practical tips you could actually try out now (and summer's coming!). At the end of the day, beginning of the day, or whenever-day-NOW, like zendaze says, if you want change, you have to jump in and take a step to correct the path you are paving and ensure it's the one you want.

    This might seem corny, but I'd like to add, that what we all do is political: the decisions we make don't only form who we are, they also shape the world we live in. Everything, what we say / do / wear, whether we smile, what we buy, where we shop, our work, who we see, who we help . . . If you contribute to the dust and grind of some dubious institution, then the world gets more lost. If you do a volunteer job in an art centre with people who have difficulties / mental disorders, you could be doing some good, meeting some interesting people and perhaps opening up possibilities in the direction you want to go. :)

  • Hi everyone, I can't thank you enough for helping me process my thoughts about all of this. My partner and I have mutually decided to part ways, and while it's incredibly hard, I think it is the right thing for both of us long term. Your comments have been really helpful <3

    I am keeping my eye on a few vans for sale but am conscious not to over plan too much and just start taking the steps that feel right!

  • Any questions you have about vans,mechanics or anything else relative to what you want to do,do not be afraid to ask. There is a huge wealth of experience on this site and a lot of good and experienced folk who will be more than happy to help. xx